humor

One is Silver and the Other is…Old

“When you’re a kid, age matters a lot,” Babs, my mom, said the other day. We were lounging on her living room sofa killing time before her friends, Dick and Fern, came over for dinner.

Hang on. What’s that? You think I’m lying about their names being Dick and Fern? Would I lie about something like that? Babs even gave me permission to use their real names in this post! (Then again, Babs also gave me permission to paint my aunt’s house as a surprise gift…)

Dick and Fern have been friends with my parents since before bottled water was a thing.

Dick-and-Fern-timeline

“You know. If you’re seven and the neighbors are ten it’s a huge deal,” Babs went on. “Then you get into your 20s and it really doesn’t matter at all.”

She took a gulp of wine.

“Then it starts to matter again.”

She paused and gave me a look.

Hmmm.  Not good.
You know the look.

“Dick and Fern are a few years older than us so they’re in their 70s now,” Babs said. “And just look at this.” She whipped out her phone and showed me the text message that Fern had just sent.

Fern-text

“Late because of rain! At least she finally got a smart phone this year,” Babs went on. “Before that she was doing the texting where you had to hit the number keys over and over!”

I didn’t have the heart to remind Babs how recent her own memorable smart phone purchase was.

“Yeah,” I replied. “It also seems like there’s get-off-my-lawn-seventy and I-AM-JUST-GETTING-STARTED-B*TCH-SEVENTY.”

go-jules-go-old-vs-young-phones

This, of course, got me thinking of my own friendships. Had there ever been an age gap that suddenly became too pronounced? Is there ever a “cut off” when you can no longer relate, whether it’s on a surface level with cultural references, or emotionally based on various life stages?

Go-Jules-Go-2018-dream-birthday-Darren-Criss-1
What I’m really trying to ask is: Do I need to stop talking about Darren Criss?

So far, at 36, age has never been an issue in my friendships, though it’s still certainly bittersweet when they fade for other reasons: Distance, difference of opinion, or interests in chipmunks and priorities that no longer align.

My advice to Babs? Might as well stick it out. At least you’ll get to tell your favorite stories over and over.

As long as it’s not raining, that is.

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Thank Your Lucky Charms: I’m Hosting My First Guest Post!

Well. Chipmunks. Well well well. I promised you a guest post from my best friend, Jenn, this week, and she has begrudgingly graciously obliged.

The thing is, she owes me. It’s a long story.

You’re in for a treat.

Which I hope is clear based on the fact that this is my first guest post in a year and a half of blogging.

No pressure, Jenn!

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As all you fabulous and wise Go Jules Go readers are aware, I am the lucky soul who gets to call herself Jules’ real-life BFF, as well as her heart’s — or at least her liver’s — inspiration.  You wonderfully literate folks also recently learned that last Tuesday was my birthday.

When I’m not busy reading flattering blog posts penned in my honor, I like to think of my birthday as infrequently as possible.  Way less than annually.  Every four years like the Olympics actually sounds too frequent.

Like a double chin dented by the rubber band on a party hat, birthdays over a “certain age” remind us that, although the cake is gone, the scars remain.  The buoyant charm of youth faded long ago, but the birthdays keep coming.  Like Groundhog Day, with epsom salt.

I still recall (who knows for how much longer) the days when I’d carouse for hours, stumble to bed at dawn, and then pop up at the alarm, ready to start another glorious day of being young.  These days, mornings at my house sound like a wounded herd on the move.  A herd that knows its way around childproof caps.

I didn’t always hate birthdays.  Once upon a time, nothing pleased me more than getting another year older.

It’s like she just saw her first pair of mustache glasses.

As an old man once said, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

These days… let me not mince words.  These days, I hold birthdays right up there with fungal infections and rectal exams.  Both of which, you’ll be tickled to hear, multiply exponentially with — you guessed it — birthdays.  Sigh.

While I still have my faculties, let me leave you with a final thought on the aging process.  The more birthdays we have, the more we realize that we travel from cradle to grave at a breakneck pace, and not all our body parts will cross the finish line.  So enjoy your kidneys and your knees and your ability to sleep through the night while you can.

And live each day as if it’s not your birthday, my friend.  Because time is one big Donner party, and you are magically delicious.

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How do you cope with birthdays/the aging process?  And how much do you love Jenn? (Well, just forget it. She’s mine.)

Family Ties

For the Woman Behind “Jules”

Indeed.

Well, apparently if you were born in either July or October, I like you. Have you ever noticed that? A plethora of birthdays in any given month? If not, did you notice I just used the word plethora? You probably did, because it sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s like a lot got all dressed up for a dinner party, and since it didn’t know anyone, it bought a really fancy bottle of wine from the Hamptons so it could make conversation brag about its summer home.

Anyway. My point is that you’ve already seen a post about my bloggy BFF’s birthday this month, and now today is my real-life BFF’s birthday (next up: First Husband’s birthday on Sunday! Told you).

I’ve mentioned Jenn several times before, and you’ll hear from her directly soon. She has finally succumbed to many months of what I like to call WordPressuring, and will guest post right here on Go Jules Go next week. You won’t want to miss it, and now that I’ve put it in writing, she can’t get out of it.

Happy birthday, Jenn!

I think of myself as her everything.

There’s so much I want to tell you about our 12 year-longstrong friendship. Jenn once said in a brilliant piece of writing, “Of all the reference sections in the world, Jules had to walk into mine.”

I’m pretty sure my life didn’t begin until I met Jenn, when she came to work alongside me at a little, independent bookstore in northern New Jersey. She was older, wiser, fiercely smart, hilarious and musically gifted. I was 18 and worshipped her instantly.

I could tell you more about those scandalous memoir-inspiring early days, or about the time we almost died, on a road trip lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Squeal like a pig!” Jenn quoted Deliverance, laughing, as we wound through the middle of no where, right before her new Honda Civic hung off the edge of a cliff.

Savannah, circa 2002. Five days from near death.

But then I thought of something. Something small, but maybe really big, too.

Jenn is the reason you call me Jules.

Eleven years ago, her wonderful boyfriend (now husband) started calling me Jules, as if it would have been unnatural not to. It’s not an unusual nickname for Julie, of course, but before then, only a stray gym teacher or soccer coach ever used it. Jenn ran with it, and pretty soon our tight circle of friends all called me Jules.

After many years of feeling less than, this little nickname made me feel special. I soon hated when anyone else used it. Jules was for cherished friends only.

For some reason, though, when I started this blog, I chose gojulesgo as my profile name. At the time, it was all one word, and my blog name was GoGuiltyPleasures.

Several months in, a couple of new blog buddies asked via email whether I preferred Julie or Jules. I was a little afraid to answer. Who was I to them? Who was I going to be?

But there was only ever one choice.

While I knew nothing about blogging or the friendships I would eventually make, some part of me knew that being Jules here was important. Though [in my naïveté] this blog was originally about solitary writing and portfolio building, it quickly became so much more, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Every time you call me Jules, I feel like a friend is addressing me affectionately. Let’s face it, it’s as awesome as a chipmunk hug if chipmunks didn’t have such teeny, tiny arms.

It’s why my About page and business cards say, “I sense you’re ready to take our friendship to the next level.”

Thanks to Jenn and her belief in Jules, this li’l blog is one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Jenn has helped uncover the real me in this way and so many more, and I’m not sure there will ever be a birthday gift big enough to repay her.

But methinks going to see “Wicked” last weekend was a good start.

I love you, Jenn-a-fahhhh! (How’s that for the left-hand side of your card?)

For bloggers, what’s the story behind your blog name? To non-bloggers/all, do you have any favorite nicknames (for yourself or others)?