Crazy Stupid Middle Age

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Crazy Stupid Middle Age

I am sorry.

You, youthful, youthy, perfect, barely, sixteen-year-old girls that shared a row of seats with me on a crowded late night showing of Crazy Stupid Love at the budget cinema.

Oh, I’m sure you remember me from the 10PM show.

Ryan Gosling? The gasp? Now it’s all coming back, isn’t it?

I took myself to the discount showing of Crazy Stupid Love on Friday night. I’m sure this was a repeat viewing for you and that you saw it the first time around. I only catch movies when they’re a year old. Yes, that’s right–I took myself. This is an act of desperation you don’t yet understand. Do you know what it takes to go see a movie alone late at night, you perfectly beautiful things? No, you don’t yet. What it takes to decide to go see a movie alone, at 10PM, is seeing a block of time; free, unscheduled, and you make for the door before anyone has the chance to ask if you know where their soccer uniform  is.

To the girl with the pretty pointed toe leopard spot flats who had half my soda dumped on her feet, I’m sorry. I just didn’t expect Ryan to whip off his shirt like that. Is that what they do now?, on a date, I mean. I am sorry. I usually don’t do things to get people’s attention. I’ve never been the class clown, despite my lone Three Stooges act that night with you.

To the girl who got her entire bucket of popcorn dumped onto her lap while she sat whispering about Emma Stone, I am sorry. I hope you got all the popcorn picked out of your waist length black hair–I just didn’t know the arm rest we shared would go flying up that quickly.

I am sorry to the girl who got hit in the head with my summer purse, even thought it’s now autumn, while she sat peacefully on the end. I couldn’t see a thing when I first entered the theater. It takes a helluva lot longer for your eyes to adjust to the dark after a certain age. It has to do with slower muscle contractions –I know this because when you get older, Google becomes your health care provider and you search out every new overnight growth or body change in hopes of finding out just what the hell is going on.

I realize all of you had to share a row with me on a crowded night and that meant you all had to smell the smell of fried Tilapia fillets. I am sorry. That was my hair. You see, it’s my boys’ favorite Friday night meal. And so I make it for them. Because that’s how exciting my life is now, I live to make fish on Friday nights. If you stay in college, this could be your dream life, too.

I am sorry to the girl that I kept giving answers to questions that I thought she was asking me, when she was actually just trying to talk to her friend on the phone. I should have known you weren’t asking me if I’d do Ryan Gosling. Do me a solid, and keep that answer between us, would you? Thank you.

To the girl I kept creeping out by telling her how cute she was, I am sorry. You really are. So cute. You don’t know this yet, because all you see is your imagined physical shortcomings when you compare yourself to the girl sitting in the middle of the row. Who, by the way, is not even close to being half as adorable as you are — and that look she’s sporting? totally sleazy.

I am sorry to the girl that had to keep moving her matchstick legs to the side for me, because I kept having to get up and down and up and down to go to the bathroom. It’s obnoxious, I know. But after three children, your bladder… see… um… I’m sorry.

I am sorry to the girl whose water bottle I kept kicking over with my feet –I was not trying to play a game of me kick you pick up. My feet are slowly becoming flippers, getting bigger every year. I graduated from high school a size seven shoe, and I’m not used to these size eight and halfs yet.

For the ninety minutes that I sat next to you ethereally divine angels in the theater, I thought of how you must think of me: a walking billboard for “Don’t get old! This could happen to you!”  You see me, a middle aged woman, with hair that never did make it in for its appointment last week, dressed in a thrown on stretched out sweatshirt since she’s not cool enough for a hoodie and too tight brown yoga pants that she’s been in since Wednesday. On my two-months-ago pedicured feet are green flip flops that don’t even match my clothes, but they were the shoes closest to the door. And I’m in a theater, alone, because I really want to see this movie; and so, without time to call anyone else, I go.

This won’t be us, I know that’s the promise you make to yourselves. We’ll never wear clothes that look like they’re our husband’s, or let our feet get all gnarly like that, or go to the movies ALONE. I practically read your minds.

The thing is this: you are all so beautiful. Being young is so naturally beautiful. And you’re blind to that right now. But, one night with me and you’re feeling like Emma Stone up there, aren’t you?

And that’s all right, because then my work here is done. I live to serve now: just come watch me some Friday when it’s fish night at our house, I wield a mean Tilapia.

I am sorry.

And you are welcome.

And my gosh, but that Ryan Gosling? Whew—is that how they make ‘em nowadays? Because I never would have stood a chance.

(Editor’s note: Need more Alexandra? Check out her wonderful blog, GOOD DAY, REGULAR PEOPLE)

Alexandra Schultze

Alexandra Schultze

Alexandra is a first-generation American who writes memoir and humor for various writing websites. She posts on her blog Good Day, Regular People of life in a small town as the mother of three boys where she tries hard to go unnoticed. She was named a 2011 BlogHer Voice of The Year for Humor. a 2012 Babble Top 100 Mom Blogger,  and 2012 Most Interesting Blogger and Best Female Blogger by Studio30Plus, an online writing community. She was part of the nationally acclaimed The Moth Live Storyteller's Tour, and is currently seeking a publisher for her memoir Just Visiting. The Real Story of Milwaukee's First Latino Gang: Tales of an immigrant family and their Colombian bandana-wearing ways.

Comments

  • Andrea January 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Love it!

  • Lisa January 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

    It’s his 8 pack plus…good at ANY age.

  • Debi January 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

    It’s the “I lived long enough to be comfortable in my skin” time and someday these little “butterflies of the teen world ” will know that too ! Nuff said

  • Anonymous January 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    We can look, right?

  • alexandra January 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you, MyPheme, for featuring me here today. This is a thrill. I have long followed you and to be here today, I’m going to have to brag about it.

    Thanks so much!

  • Beth E. January 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Funny stuff.

  • TheKitchWitch January 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    You crack me up! It’s true though, that those young girls have no idea how cute they are and how fleeting that time is…

    Ryan Gosling. Yum.

  • L. Hewitt January 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    They can only hope to be as good as you one day, sooner than they think, I am sure.

  • renee a. schuls-jacobson January 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I’m not sorry that I’m just like you. That I am forever admiring people who are young and beautiful, the way I remember feeling. People used to tell me, and I didn’t appreciate it back then. I didn’t appreciate the any of it back then. I just kept swinging my badonkadonk, so confident in my yumminess.

    Oh, to have that confidence again.

    So glad you are here. But you know I would follow you anywhere, right?

  • G.S. January 4, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Full on Ryan!

  • Cecilia January 4, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Love it, Alexandra! You killed me with your tilapia smelling hair ;-) I look at those girls that way too, but with so much snootiness…have I gotten overly confident in *my* old age?!

    My mother used to always say that all young girls are beautiful, simply because they are young. I’d roll my eyes and think “whatever.” But now I know what she meant. Even when I look back on my pictures from just 10 years ago now I think, “Wow, I was beautiful.” It’s amazing because back then all I thought was how ugly I was.

    I hope even half of those girls will grow up to be you.

  • Jamie@southmainmuse January 4, 2013 at 12:36 am

    I must really be old because I don’t “get” Ryan Gosling. Not one bitty bit. On the other hand, “my summer purse, even thought it’s now autumn.” That I get — most tragically for me. This made me sad that the closest movie theater to us is at least 30 minutes away. I don’t think I could stay awake for the drive home from a 10 p.m. show. Maybe a matinee?

  • Marianne January 4, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Ryan’s a little too sensitive for me. Give me Russell Crowe any day of the week! LOVE LOVE LOVE this post.

  • Alison January 4, 2013 at 6:24 am

    I love this piece, and you. xo
    PS: Ryan who?

  • Maggie S. January 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I live with them.

    Tell me how this “by yourself” thing works.

  • Lady Jennie January 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    It’s so true how you’re blind to being beautiful when you’re young. (shakes head) And now it’s all gone. GONE, I tell you.

    Great post Emp.

  • Susan January 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    “Google becomes your healthcare provider” is one of my favorites lines, EVER! Great job, Alexandra!

  • Tammy@WorldsWorstMoms January 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I can just picture you telling that girl she was cute.

    Awesome.

  • Susan January 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    “Google becomes your healthcare provider” is one of my favorite lines, EVER! Great job, Alexandra!

  • Casey January 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I am sorry. And you are welcome.

    AWESOME! Great work Alexandra! I love this!

  • The Flying Chalupa January 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Hi-larious! Wonderful job, Alexandra. Loved it! xo Chalupa Gosling

  • Andrea January 5, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Thank you for making those of us other “women” sharing the aisle feel like they are in the best company ever!!

  • deborah quinn January 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    You *do* know the website “feminist ryan gosling,” right? best thing to happen to feminism since hillary clinton. I love this post because I realize that we are members of the same tribe. when I see that open window of time, you can practically see skid marks on the floor as I head for the door. And then there’s Ryan Gosling. yes. Anyway. very very funny, lady. very.

  • Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom January 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Omg how I loved Alexandra! This will totally be me when I venture to see “Les Mis”. I was just discussing this subject with my mother who couldn’t believe I go to movies by myself. Hells yeah. I had to sleep…er…sit through three hours of “Gettysburg” to get my husband to see “The Piano”. Never again. xx

  • Helen January 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

    This is really funny! PS I love going to the movies by myself.

  • Twyla February 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Oh, my. Such fun reading this blog. Hilariously therapeutic. i need to come back often — like, daily.

    Thank you.

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