It was my birthday recently and we were invited to a big gala charity event. Before the entertainment began, my wife was nodding off. When she briefly awoke, she nudged me and said, “Let’s go.” Usually, I’m there right beside her wanting to leave and go home to sleep. This time I actually wanted to stay, but you know the saying, “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” so we left and looking on the bright side, we didn’t have to wait long for our car at the valet!
That, however, is the only bright side of this story. By my unscientific observation I was perhaps the oldest person in the room. With Selena Gomez as a presenter and other contemporaries of hers sprinkled throughout the room, the pile of youth was abundant. My wife remarked at one point that the event was making her feel so old. Trust me, my wife could hang with any of those young gals in the looks, let alone class, department.
But, I knew what she meant. The whole scene was just not us anymore. I was part of Hollywood for a quarter-century. I attended this sort of event with my peers regularly and I had a blast. Heck, I didn’t get married (for the first time) until I was 39 so I had my share of fun, socializing, travel, and partying which, to me, meant simply going to a party. I gather it implies substantial alcohol and/or drug consumption to qualify as “partying” today.
Soon after this event, I had lunch with a former Hollywood colleague of mine who is still very active in show biz. His wife is a prominent agent and she, too, is very actively involved (as well as very successful). He told me that they had reduced the number of events, such as this one, that they attended. I was very surprised having considered this friend “the one” who stayed “with it” and actively relevant.
“Relevant” was the word I used when I asked Selena Gomez to take this photo with me, telling her that I wanted my son to still think I was relevant. She was gracious and, as you can see, she illustrates my point (about age) perfectly as she looks “perfect” next to THIS old man!
The life I live doesn’t make me feel old until I see photos of myself such as the one with Selena. I do as much as I ever did – at least in my mind – and don’t feel limited or inhibited about anything vis-à-vis my age. In fact, I’ve found getting older makes me more secure in my emotions, actions, and words. Figuratively and literally I feel like that quote from Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” It’s a glorious and liberating feeling!
Nonetheless, the facts of my life belie my feeling that life is still the same. I do go to bed MUCH earlier than I used to. I prefer to stay home rather than go out (much of the time). I prefer to watch a movie on Netflix than go see it at a theater and I’m easily patient enough to not care one way or the other. I choose to go see movies in the theater that I believe deserve a “theatrical” experience and presentation (e.g. Gravity), but those have become fewer and fewer.
The one thing I’ve been doing regularly is attending live (music) concerts. I’ve been to plenty since introducing my boys to “The Boss” when they were little and fell asleep halfway into the show. The concerts I attend range from Tony Bennett to Lady Gaga. In fact, I’m seeing them together in May of 2015 at The Hollywood Bowl.
But, it’s true that your interest in life and certainly in clubbing and “partying” diminish with time. I have no less fun, but it’s fun to do less these days. There are passages in our lives and one of those passages is understanding our limits even if we feel limitless.