Chipmunks Forever, Uncategorized

My Life Coaches Prep Me for the Big 3-0

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on the whereabouts of my life coaches, Zest and Zeal.

You might recall their infamous post-Christmas shenanigans. I’ve since moved the vodka to a higher shelf in the freezer, and confiscated the handcuffs. Nevertheless, old habits die hard…

In fact, it would appear they’ve even started having secret meetings. I fear a cult is forming, and these young recruits will soon do their bidding.

This can't be good.
Nothing to see here, Jules...
For Champagne's sake, Zest and Zeal, not the children, too!

Despite their unsavory reputation, I find myself turning to Zest and Zeal for advice. You see, something terrible is about to happen. And I can’t stop it. It’s almost as terrible as when someone tells you “you have a pretty face” or when I learned you can’t legally buy Kinder Surprise eggs in the United States.

I’m about to…

…Well, you see…

It’s just that…

Dangnabbit. I’m turning 30 in 3 weeks!!! And I don’t like it one bit. So, with an old, decrepit and heavy heart, I sought out Zest and Zeal last night. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Guys, I just don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

Zeal: Here, have another drink.

Me: F&*%. How’d you get my vodka?

Zest (glancing nervously at Zeal): You know, Jules, you’d look really good with green hair.

Me: Ha ha. Thanks for bringing that up. Thanks a lot. You’re supposed to be making me feel better.

Zest: Um…Second Husband? Glee? Champagne? Cats dressed like Easter bunnies? Titanic in 3D?

Me (starting to smile, then frowning): But won’t I be too old for all of that? 30-year-old women aren’t supposed to eat animal crackers just because they come in a cute little box with a string. And I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have a Jersey Shore wall calendar in the kitchen. And, oh god. I bet the next time I go to the MAC make-up counter they’re going to call me ma’am.

Zeal (hiding the vodka behind his back): Jules. Jules, Jules, Jules… On the road of life, there are many winding, um… roads.

Me: Shut up.

Zeal: I wasn’t finished. (takes deep breath) There are many winding roads, and you need to learn to…um…put on the brakes and stop and smell the…deer…poop.

Me: I hate you.

Zeal: Why don’t we just SHOW you how good life after 30 can be?

Me (narrowing eyes): The last time you said you wanted to show me something, it involved a bb gun and Kate Gosselin wigs.

Zeal: You said you liked it!

Me: I was…just trying to be…polite…

Zeal: Listen. Do you want our help or not?

Zest: Isn’t he as cute as a peanut when he’s frustrated?

Me (muttering): …I’m going to regret this, but… Fine. Show me.

Zest: There's always retail therapy. DSW Shoe Warehouse doesn't care HOW old you are. They'll still take your money. Trust me. I know. I've taken your money there lots of times.
Zeal: You're old enough now that you can drink vast quantities, I mean, higher qualities, without winding up here. And when your friends' kids get married? Oh boy. They'll be disappointed if you don't sidle up to the open bar and then insist on dancing with all their friends.
Zest: I'm PRETTY sure by the time you're 40, polygamous relationships will be legal in New Jersey.
Zeal: That reminds me, I think in another 10 years, you'll be able to grow a lot more than soy beans in this windowsill...
Zest and Zeal: Plenty of things get better with age, Jules. Including you.

Me: Gosh. Thanks, guys. I actually do feel better now. …Zest? Zeal? Where’d you go? Aw, crud. I’m getting too old for this sh*t.

Have you ever gotten any good (or bad) advice about getting older? How do you cope with the aging process?

 

Movies are Magical, Uncategorized

Oh My God. I Didn’t Read the Book.

I have a confession to make. I don’t read a lot (blogs excluded).

But I used to.

In fact, one of my earliest guilty pleasures was indulging in the Baby-Sitter’s Club “junior” series spin-off, the Little Sister series. By 9-years-old, I knew I was way too mature for these beginner chapter books about 7-year-old

An early guilty pleasure.

Karen Brewer, but I devoured every single one I could get my hands on. My best friends, “The Twins,” and I would sometimes sit on the floor of their small bedroom and each read an entire book. For years, I read a new book every single day. Friends’ parents would always ask, “What are you reading now?” when I came over.

When I was 13, they made the Baby-Sitter’s Club into a movie. I called up my oldest childhood friend, and slightly shame-faced but excited, we met at the mall to see it. By then we were way too old for that stuff, even though the baby-sitters in the movie were our age. We loved it.

By 13, I was definitely aware that you were ‘supposed’ to read the books first, and felt superior every time I fell into that category. Books were for smart people and movies were for…less smart people. Right?

As I got older, and books appropriate for my age became more and more dull to me, I rarely read anything. I worked at a book store in my late teens, and when people asked for recommendations, I pointed them to Oprah’s book club list and fed them lines from other customers. I hadn’t read any of the books on the counter, and I was constantly ashamed. Reading was suddenly a chore, something I’d need to do to prove I was smart, or worthy of intellectual conversation.

Then, of course, HE happened. I’m talking Harry Potter. Then David Sedaris. Bill Bryson. Twilight. Percy Jackson. It became easier and easier to allow myself to read what I wanted to read, just as I had done when I was 9-years-old. If it was popular, unpopular, meant for teenagers, I didn’t care. I naturally gravitated towards fantasy and humorous memoirs, and I gave myself permission to give up on a book whenever I wanted to if it wasn’t gripping. Oh, the freedom! I read more, but only when I wanted to, just as I do today.

Two weeks ago, I saw The Hunger Games and I loved it. I’ve never read any of the books. And guess what? I was GLAD I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was exactly what a movie-going experience should be; I was emotionally invested within the first 5 minutes, even though I had only just met Katniss and her younger sister.

I carry it with me everywhere.

I think both mediums, books and film, can produce magic. There are plenty of movies that inspired me to go back and read the book (and vice versa), and I’ve enjoyed them both for completely different reasons (The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll is a perfect example).

But I’ll be honest. I still carry a little of that old ‘The Book Is Best’ prejudice. Right now I’m reading The Help, and am enthralled. I won’t let myself see the movie until I finish.

I’m dying to know, where do you fall on the book vs. the movie argument?

Photo credit (Little Sister book): http://childrenofthenineties.blogspot.com