When the few subtle signs the universe sends you about aging are dutifully ignored, it’ll often reach out in ways that can’t quite be anticipated. The first subtle sign I received was in the form of kidney stones in my early 30s. “Here’s some pain,” the universe whispered and gave me a little wink. I merely adjusted my diet and Ignored the aging bit. “Here are a few gray hairs,” it spoke up a little louder. I started getting highlights. Aging ignored. “Look, you little git, try ignoring some age lines!” The universe was clearly annoyed. So was I. Hellooooo, Botox! “You f***er! Oh, it’s on!” And with that, the universe set out to look for less subtle ways of telling me I’m getting older.
Now, I’m a bit of a movie buff. I don’t watch nearly as many as I used to and, truth be told, most of the films that come out today don’t really interest me. The majority of them feature plots recycled from films I do like, which are recycled from films my parents grew up with and liked and so on and so forth. There’s very little ingenuity anymore. Anyway, I sat down to watch Rocky Balboa when it was released on DVD and totally got sucked into the whole aging thing.
I mean…it was ridiculous how much I was empathizing with the Rocky character. He boxed…I tonsil boxed. He lost the love of his life…the hubby’s Grandmonster is still alive and threatening mine. He wanted one more victory to prove himself to himself…I want to write twenty more books so I can finally make enough in royalties to cover my cell phone bill, which I would consider proving myself to myself. See? We have SO much in common that I’ve got chills running up my arms even now! Shame on the sneaky ass little universe resorting to that tactic…
Then, two days ago, I watched the third and final new episode of Absolutely Fabulous for 2012. At least that’s how it was originally billed. Now they’re saying–as they’ve said before, though–that it’s the last episode period. I cried foul! It can’t be the last episode…and then I watched it.
Now, here’s the thing. These are the 20th anniversary episodes. It doesn’t seem possible that they’ve been around quite so long, yet it feels like many of us have known them for much of our lives. One might think that aging shouldn’t be an issue for them, that they really shouldn’t be aging at all, but one would be wrong. I was wrong. And when Edina wants to go out to a hot club and party only to have Patsy suggest going somewhere quieter and having a nice drink, I started to understand that even these two have been getting little hints from the universe. Eddie’s fighting it and Patsy is embracing it.
Saffy informs her mother that aging isn’t a bad thing. Some doors close, but new doors open. It’s scary and while Eddie is scared, so am I. Does it mean we can’t be fabulous anymore? Is it about how we fear other people see us or how we feel we see ourselves? I’ve got no problem seeing myself as someone who thinks younger than he is. My problem is how other people look at me and assume “Oh, not twenty. Therefore old.” Hmm, here’s a thought. Buggar off!
I’ve come to this conclusion, though; age is simply experience with a few annoying physical changes. Were they to continue with additional episodes, I think it would be delightful to see Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley explore more of this sort of thing through their characters. We may have fewer days ahead of us than behind us, only when it comes to death, there will always be that one nagging question; “Is it art?”
Kage Alan is the Meatballs watching, Bon Jovi listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins” and the first book in a separate series, “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell.” He secretly suspects that fellow author Dorien Grey has been bugging his flat and listening for subjects to write about in his own blog posts. Unfortunately for Kage, Mr. Grey is far more articulate and worldly than he (Kage) could ever be. Still, it’s a good thing they’re on the same side.