In praise of the Summer job. Is it a thing of the past?

Greetings, Monday. I hope you had a lovely long weekend. Mine was a bit of a mixed bag but glad to have had some time to recoup and regroup. 

So was watching CNN's movie special last night which looked at movies from the 80s and 90s, with many sitting squarely in the teen genre. As a child who grew up on a steady diet of those, I loved the look back.  And as they were showing a clip from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", I began to think about something. Whatever happened to the Summer job?

Back before college, I had many Summer jobs. There was my Summer as a telemarketer. That was a bit of a bust but I was a high performer and actually talked to someone from Def Leppard on the phone, who flirted with me incessantly. It was, of course, possible he was not with the band, in case you were wondering.

Then I worked in a few clothing stores, though my favorite Summer job was most definitely my BS guard duty at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. That was a weekend-long music event where you camped and drank and smoked and enjoyed. If you "worked" the weekend, you could get in for free. So my friend Bev and I had a really difficult job. Guarding the gate to enter the campgrounds. By gate, I mean small footbridge. And by job, I mean drinking beer and smoking Marlboro Reds all day and Lord knows what else.  That's a true story, We sucked at that job. Who knows the number of ruffians that got in for free on our dime.

But I digress. Because shows like "Stranger Things" are showing what it was like yet again to be a kid in the 80s. And we all had Summer jobs. Most of my dude friends delivered pizza. One girl my sister's age cut Flashdance sweatshirts at the local record and jeans shop. A few of my friends worked in restaurants as hostesses (that, ps, was my college gig straight through to graduation). Some of them were camp counselors (never my jam) or mother's helpers (summerish nannies who would accompany a family to the shore). And of course, if you were lucky enough to be "down the shore" all Summer, you'd get a job at the amusement park or water ice stand or on the beach. None of these jobs were high paying. But they offered a sense of purpose and socializing and that was all good.  I think about the kids of today and wonder where their work ethic went, or whether their parents thought such jobs were beneath little Atticus or Persephone.

Not the case.

Because as I was getting dressed this morning, I was listening to NPR, who had a story on about this specific thing. Summer jobs. The fact is, after the recession, a lot of kids stopped looking for work in the Summer. And many ended up focusing on academics by engaging in school programs to get extra credit or a better shot at getting into a good college. 

But for me, I loved having some pizza fry pocket money in the warmer months. And I still got to work on my tan because the time commitment was not insane. There's just something about your first few jobs in life that really mean something. They're not indicators of any career path most likely. But they do give you a sense of what it's like to deal with people, be responsible, and even brush (phone) shoulders with a maybe rock star.  And now that I think about it, it seems a pretty good idea to open a record and jeans shop now. Who's with me?

Anyway, I was just thinking about this particular rite of passage and was wondering if it's reached extinction. Apparently, companies like McDonald's and Taco Bell are accepting applications aka "snaplications" on Snapchat, so I guess it's still around or a scant workforce is making it so as employers struggle to fill open jobs.  What were your favorite or most miserable Summer jobs and why?  Reach out and tell me.

Summer summer jobs it wouldn't be Summer without them. Cause that's what's up this odd job kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in seasons past. XO


Don't be afraid of your freedom: The Midlife Edition

Good morning, Wednesday. Happy pre-4th to all my patriots out there. Let's remember what's great about this country- we've always been an optimistic lot after all.

So I had a meeting at a we workspace this am and noticed, as I often do of late, that I was the oldest person in the elevator. 

That in itself is not strange. But what's odd to me is the very notion of boutique firms, start-up companies, or small but mighty brands are not only staffed by young people but started by young people. I'm not sure why innovation is a young person's game. 

Take the first dot com boom of the 90s. I was a young chick in New York, working in advertising way back then, everyone was a good deal older than me who had any power. And I appreciated that. The C Suite was full of people over 40, and it was good. And then to the left of me was an entire startup culture, brimming to the surface of New York work life in a way none of us had ever seen.

Admittedly, the whole vibe was exciting. It was the early days of the internet, and it felt like anything was possible. But I will never forget going to some rising, sexy dot com party, surrounded by children drinking from some luge, and I thought, hm. This won't last. Sure there were cute people. And yes the ping pong tables and perks were enticing. But the places were being run by children. And as someone who worked at big Madison Avenue ad agencies, this all felt childish to me. Somehow in my mind, I knew these newbies were going to crash and burn. And they did. 

Cut to now. The startup culture is thriving. The gig economy is keeping many of us alive. There is a whole new way to think about work/life as many telecommute, cowork, and Skype their way through the day. I love this. I think the evolution of work is beyond exciting and here's the difference from the first iteration of it I referenced above- I'm ready for it.

Let me start by saying as I've said many times, I have no issue working with young people, whose ideas and idealism and cultural relevance are vast. But when a culture or company is in its infancy, you know what's often missing? Experience. 

That's what muddied the waters in the 90s. And as I stood in that elevator this am, that's what's wrong right now. Imagine if all of us in Gen X and beyond started new ventures. Solo or together. There'd be no stopping us. I'm sure of it.  Think of all the awesome stuff you've done. Imagine how valuable that can be when in the right place. A friend of mine is going for a big job at a big corporation, and all I can think about is how brilliant he is and why he's not using his powers for good to do his own thing. It seems sad to me, given that most of those big jobs come with a mark on your head and a two-year shelf life. You know it's true.

So as we celebrate our freedom and independence, riddle me this, friends of a certain age. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and poke holes. Say you need a steady income and a big office and staff. I'll shoot you right down.

Because if you are feeling edged out of your chosen industry because you have crow's feet, consider DIYing the crap out of your career. Start your own thing. Join boards of companies just starting out and show them the way. Go freelance and never look back. Hopefully, you realize that one of the great gifts of working for 15 plus years means you have great connections and compadres. Now is the time to use them. Start with me. How can I help?

Don't let some asshole eye your corner office. Create your own. Oh, ye tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Get off your butts and start something. I'll be here to collaborate. And hopefully at some point, I'll be in an elevator in a random we work building, and I won't be the only person who knows the theme song to "Laverne and Shirley". Go forth,  my friends. Let's take matters into our own capable hands and create new enterprises together. That's the real American way.  Last time I checked there was no expiration date on that.

Cause that's what's up this let freedom ring as you free yourself up to the possibilities kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in wanna be startin' something. XO




The crime of passion and why I need calm.

Good morning, Friday. TGIF my pals.

So last night was the second night of the Dem debates, and they got me thinking.

The playing field is insanely crowded, and we are living in crazy times, but between my constant watching of CNN and all the candidates trying to out 'splain each other, I'm exhausted. Everybody's yelling, and nobody's saying anything. I love how fired up Elizabeth Warren is and appreciate her conviction and planning, but stop screaming at me. Kamala, I love you and want you to rip Trump's face off at the debate, but wow, you're intense. And Bernie, the dandruff on the shoulders was far from a good look, and your angry Brooklyn finger wagging I did not find charming last election, and I find it less attractive now. 

And yea, I know. We don't need charm to fight the Old Yeller in chief. But can we have a little calm? Just a little quiet, studied, well-mannered sanity? Being passionate is becoming offensive to me. Because this landscape feels like rage vs. passion and I'm just craving a different style of communicating. We need to evolve past this current model of this frothy-mouthed, cuckoo town. I keep waiting for someone to have a heart attack on stage. 

That's why I was so enamored of Pete Buttigieg last night. His answers were cool, calm, and collected without being arrogant, cavalier, or dismissive. He was not asleep at the wheel. He is just someone who exudes grace under pressure and I admire that.  He's passionate but collected. More of that, please. Less of candidates and pundits gone wild. 

As someone who had a stressful career path as a producer for a long time, I always approached my work with calm or tried to. Because I realized panic spreads quickly and I was the one people were looking to solve problems. And I wanted to keep it cool. Even when my insides were on fire from stress. I don't like people that spread anxiety or yell too much. They are not my tempo and they never will be. 

Thing is Trump's fear mongering is a style I can't stomach. And now the Dems are yelling too, and everyone's screaming and I want to return to civility. I so appreciate Pete waiting his turn last night and not getting blinded by Biden's sparkly shark teeth. I have my eye on Pete, and I just wanted to mention it. This is not a political post- but more about my feelings and that I want calm in the storm. It's refreshing and beautiful and grounding. 

So I'm dedicating this weekend to some much-needed calm. Fighting fire with fire is debilitating. Cause that's what's up this keeping calm and thinking about 2020 kind of Friday in the 718. Yours, in steady as we go. XO

It's time for advertising to grow up: Marketers I'm talking to you

Good morning, Friday. Thank goodness.

So everyone's in Cannes this week for the big advertising equivalent of the Oscars, and even though I spent a lifetime in advertising and also produced some award-winning work, I have never been to Cannes. And I don't mind. At all. As a non-joiner, self-congratulatory pats on the back mixed with too much rose and endless debating on what's next is not my tempo. And that's ok with me.

But as someone who's watching the industry a bit from afar these days, I'm still bugged by the ageism conundrum. And although I've reset my compass as a writer and am busier than I've been in a long time (knock wood), I'm still a little pissy about advertising and how it relates to anyone over 35.  So put down your rose and let me explain.

Yesterday I was talking to an old pal I met years ago at a conference. He's considering a job pretty high up in the car space.  As a top-shelf marketer, he'll have to figure out how to get more people on board with this brand.  And of course, all anyone wants to know is who is this generation behind millennials, and how do we grab their attention? And for the five millennials who love cars and want to buy them how do we hit a home run with them when it comes to messaging? Why try so hard to always to capture the same same when it comes to eyeballs and audiences? There's a whole damn world out there. Isn't it high time to stop chasing the dragon?

 Sure some brands are meant for young people. But does EVERY brand have to target the same demographic solely? I just don't get it. It seems so bloody shortsighted given that, according to the US Department of Labor, "Gen X outspends all other generations when it comes to clothing, housing, eating out and entertainment." Not to mention boomers who have always been known to wield a ton of spending power. I can only speak for my generation in saying if brands are looking to build lifelong customers and fans, why do they always dump the generation they so badly chase when they are finally old enough to buy stuff? Crazy to me. I recall being the coveted demographic for a moment, only to be dumped by the next pretty young thing. You want my loyalty? Where's yours?

As for said loyalty,  I can count them on the one hand, and at the time of this post, I can only think of one- Apple.  My first computer experience was on the very first Apple, and I've been loyal ever since. But when it comes to things like makeup or clothes, I am not wearing the same eyeshadow brand I wore at 16. Nor am I wearing Guess jeans at this stage in the game. When will marketers wake up and realize that building eternal flames of fandom is a pipe dream and that with our collectively lowered attention spans and choices gone wild, they should focus less on generational marketing and more on insight around universal human truths? 

Just yesterday, Adweek published a piece on changing gender norms thanks to (wait for it) young people, with the following quote:

"Simply put, it’s time for brands to be as brave and real as Gen Z is." OMG.

Yes, there are opportunities in gender-neutral spaces. Yes, we love the inclusivity of the body positive movement. Yes, I love these kids for speaking out and being heard. But can't that be for everyone? Surely it's more than Gen Z that craves bravery and authenticity. Surely. People have been fighting for that for years. Talk to all of us. Not just some of us.

Further, if ad agencies were hiring more people 40+, perhaps strategy for how to sell products and services would look a little bit different. More inclusive. Less pet rock and more long term. Insights that cross generations. Truths about the human condition vs. just chasing the latest jail bait. The only way real insight can occur is if you've been on this Earth for a considerable stretch.

That's not to say there are distinct differences in life stages and states and of course we can't ignore that. But we must extend the invitation for "must haves"  from the high and low to have a broader appeal for the rest of us. That's smart marketing. And why brands aren't talking to people past a certain age is just plain stupidity. I should know. I buy more shit than anyone.

We will always be enchanted by youth and with good reason. I respect and adore what young people are doing to change the way we think, but there's plenty of people doing great shit past some perceived expiration date.  We deserve the courtesy of acknowledgment that we are still very much alive, and our wallets are proof that there is indeed still a pulse when it comes to our spending power. Stop trying to court demographics that don't even want to date you.  It's not cute anymore.

Cause that's what's up this ranty, rainy Friday in the 212. Yours, in X marking the spot and just saying no to ageism. Don't you forget about us. XO





Me and Marc forever.

Good morning, Wednesday. Another day of gloom. What is going on with this weather huh huh huh? OMG.

So I'm sitting here working and writing and thinking as I do. And it's come to my attention of late that I'm annoyingly New York. Meaning, to outsiders, I may seem too cityfied for my own good. And that maybe I sacrificed my second bedroom to house my clothes and dressing table where I get ready in the morning. And perhaps I wear dark colors all year for the most part. And have the good fortune to duck out of rainstorms only to discover the best ramen of all time, ordered by sitting in an individual cubicle and pressing a button, only for the big reveal to be a curtain opening to take your order, and then later serving you some pork infused goodness that makes you want to pinch yourself. Yea, that's what I've got going on. And?

So it's no surprise I've always adored Marc Jacobs because, to me, he is the quintessential New Yorker. Stylish, creative, a little fucked up. Still ahead of and setting the trends with an understanding of street culture and youth culture and pop culture. It's true that in the past few years or so, many of us Marc fans have been scratching our well-highlighted heads. It was unclear what direction he was taking his namesake brand, but I, for one think Marc is very much back. With the infamous grunge redux and now his new rebranding as "the" Marc Jacobs, I love the spirit of the brand so much. And I even forgive him for moving to the suburbs. For the perfect midcentury, sometimes we must.

Anyway, here's something I should probably own. This New York nameplate necklace, done in collab with New York Magazine to celebrate the original Milton Glaser logo created for the pub back in 1968. It's perfection in type form. And it's next-gen Carrie Bradshaw realness when it becomes a necklace. Because besides wearing my name around my neck, New York would probably be a close second. It's a massive part of me. You know it and I know it and that's why I need this necklace. Birthday's next month. Just saying. I'll take it in gold, natch.

If you have a chance, check out the rest of Marc's fabulousness lately. It's so good. I love a comeback kid. And so does this city — cheers to New York, the brand. And New York being part of my brand. And extra clinks to Marc J. for also finding all the inspiration he needs in this blessed, crazy town.

Also here's a picture of Mia Farrow looking fantastic. Just because. You're welcome.

Cause that's what's up this old New York kind of Wednesday in Manhattan, baby. Yours, in long, enduring love affairs. XO


In defense of not aging gracefully

Good morning, Tuesday. This weather though. Blech.

So let's talk about Madonna for a minute. Her new album Madame X is getting panned left and right and I must admit it's not great and I also must admit her look is super bizarre. Whatever queen told her to wear an eye patch, cowboy hat, and bridal gown all at once has misguided her. I realize this might be a slight homage to the many phases of Ms. M, but, yea, it's not her best look.

But a recent Facebook comment on a friend's feed about Madge gave me pause. Because a woman commented on how bad the album was, saying simply "I wish she would just age gracefully". Come again?

As someone who is aging (newsflash we all are), I LOATHE that term. 

Sure I know what she means. She means be more like a Catherine Deneuve. Or a Helen Mirren. Or a Meryl Streep. Or a Michelle Pfeiffer. Need I go on? I think not. Because aging gracefully really means just being naturally beautiful. And somehow being all aglow as your hormones change.  It's nice in theory. But it's complete bullshit.

Because "grace" does not apply to every single woman on Earth. And you can say a lot about Madonna, but what about her and her illustrious, groundbreaking, sex-positive career has ever led you to believe she would "age gracefully"? Hers is not a life of grace. It's a life of rebelliousness, fierceness, in your face independence. Even if you're not a big fan of hers, you have to admit it- she changed popular culture and was a champion for women and their bodies and a new kind of empowerment. 

All of this is messy stuff. And incidentally, none of that requires grace. So why on Earth would she go wafting into the ether, in a smart cardigan and slacks and an Hermès scarf? And trust me, if she wanted to do that she'd own that. But why is there this notion that women must go quietly into the twilight? 

I've talked much about my complicated feelings surrounding aging pop and rock stars. But Madonna is in a class of her own. And the rules just don't apply to her. Let her live. Let her do her thing. Bad music? Sure. Super hot guy in her video for Medellin? You bet. Doing it all very much on her own terms? You know this. Cheers to her for always reinventing and taking risks. 

Not all of us look like or act like what many think we should as we are getting older. I'm not opposed to grace in any way. But it's a stupid term when it comes to people who have always defied the odds and lived rebellious lives. Don't ask Madonna to retire to the study in sensible pajamas.  She'll scratch your damn eyes out.

I think we need to vastly redefine what age looks like. How we feel about it. Our expectations around it.  We have Diana Ross. We have artists who we perceive as more age appropriate, and somehow, Cher manages to dodge a bullet when it comes to the G word. But Madonna is her own thing. Let her do her. You do you. And we'll all be great. After all, she made it through the wilderness.

And even though her new album may be far from her best, I'm just glad she's still out there doing her thing. And if she wants to be weird and cha, cha, cha, then fuck it. Let her. 

Cause that's what's up this graceless Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in living life on your own bloody terms. XO


Five beauty essentials for beating the heat/humidity

Good morning, my little Monday dwellers. I hope you had an exciting weekend. If you are someone who has worked or works in advertising, buckle up for all those rose swilling, yacht dwelling, self-congratulatory social media moments from Cannes. My eyes. I have never been to Cannes for the ad awards hoo has and I most likely never will be. I have, however, always wanted to go and write a Hunter Thompsonesque commentary on all the masturbatory madness. Who wants to fund that? No takers so far. Shocking.

But this isn't a post about advertising. It's about the heat is on and the humidity here to stay. This time of year is super challenging for me. Though I love the ocean, like a bit of a tan, and love extra daylight, the whole hot thing is a challenge. So here's five beauty products I've found that help. At least when it comes to looking your best all Summer long. You may not reach Bardot beauty on the beach status, but a girl can try.

For the face: Hourglass Veil™ Translucent Setting Powder. OK, so this. I know any woman over 40 is wondering if powder is for her. The answer is yes. If the said powder is not drying. If you don't want to look like a decomposing mummy, use Hourglass's fantastic powder. Its formula is lovely, and it doesn't seem cakey or drying and provides the perfect finish to makeup so it won't run down your face when it's hazy, hot, and humid. I love, love, love this one. I highly recommend for all ages. And the foolproof packaging allows for just the right amount to be dispensed. Maybe my favorite new discovery.

For the hair: Leonor Greyle Serum de Soie Sublimateur- This oil from French girl favorite Leonor Greyle is the holy grail of anti-frizz, and that's a fact. Run a few drops through your hair, and you can even dare to dry naturally. It's that good. It smoothes without being too greasy or weighing down your tresses. The smell is subjective- it's not my favorite, but others adore it- kind of the way I feel about the original Rodin oil. Smells a bit like that. I've written about this one before, but worth a mention again because it's perfection.

For the girls:  Boob sweat? Don't even tell me this isn't a concern. This talc-free powder from Megababe keeps you feeling fresh and sweat free, where it matters all day long. I love this stuff. In Bust Dust I trust. 

For the thighs: A miracle of miracles. Thigh Rescue is miraculous during bare leg season. And as someone who wears dresses more often than not, strong yes to having this in stock at all times at my casa. I love Megababe so much. They get it, and they also make one for men. How cool is that?

For the whole bod, baby.  Oh, I love this guy from organic line Osea. After the shower, smelling delicious, soft skin realness. It's from Malibu, so it gives you that apres beach vibe that's just everything. I can't wait to bring it with me to beach week in July. So gorgeous and smells so good and soaks right into your skin. Claims to help with stretch marks and firms skin too. Gorgeous.

So maybe you're in Cannes reading this and wishing I had written this before your trip. Or maybe you're stateside in a sweat. Either way, summer is here and so are all these divine products to help you get through it. Cause that's what's up this sunny beauty roundup of a Monday in the unsunny 212. Yours, in frizz and sweat, be gone. XO






Strike a pose, New York

Good morning, Monday. I hope you had a wonderful weekend- the weather here in New York was just too perfect. And Khan even got to see an old friend and hang out in the park with the sun on his fur face. All in all, a lovely couple of days.

So last week I did some more binge-watching, this time the entire first season of FX's "Pose," the brilliant look into the trans world of New York in the late 80s. Created by Ryan Murphy of "Glee" fame, this show is absolutely hands down one of the most touching and entertaining shows in recent memory.  And the acting is transcendent- I now know why Billy Porter goes so big at awards shows. 

The show focuses on the uptown ballroom culture depicted in movies like "Paris is Burning," but examines the family dynamic, which is the most tender part of the show. As crews or "houses" perform at the balls with a theme, they also live in houses together as a family. The "mother" of each house keeps her children safe and provides a stable environment for them. Understand that many of these kids are found on the street, kicked out of their homes for merely trying to live their truths. The story also follows the often sad dynamic of finding love as a trans woman. These are not easy lives, and to live them with the AIDs crisis as a backdrop is even more heartbreaking. 

As a member of a generation who sexually came of age during the AIDS crisis, it's hard to explain how terrifying and horrific that time was. I lost my cousin to AIDs, and I can't think of many people who don't know someone either close to them or somewhat more distant that lost their lives to this horrible disease. And because I grew up in a family where there were gay men, I felt strongly from an early age that acceptance was an unnegotiable right. And that being free to love who you want to love and be who you want to be meant everything. How could you deny anyone the right to love and be loved? And why must I still ask the same question I was asking a million years ago?

But lest you think the show is super sad, it's not. There are tear-jerking moments for sure, but there are also happy jubilant ones. It shows the critical relationship of what it means to be a mother- to protect, to nurture, to accept and love unconditionally, which got me thinking. That New York City is the mother incarnate. For many people from all walks of life and persuasions and preferences who come here looking for acceptance, to live their dreams, and to live fully out loud precisely as they are. And even though this city has become more of a hedge funded theme park than a place where originals are born and raised, it's still in the ether.  And I hope that never changes. And sure, mothers can be cruel sometimes. But tough love is often part of a life well lived. So we deal. 

When I moved from Philadelphia to New York, I too felt loved and nurtured in a way I never had before. I always referred to New York City as a giant womb state. I somehow feel safe, protected, and warm. I know that may be strange to some who find city living anything but, but that's the way New York has always been for me. And as someone who never felt entirely at home growing up in the 215, I felt great joy and relief when I moved here way back when. 

And as I took a walk downtown on the way to a meeting last week, I saw those Pride flags flying and felt a deep sense of relief. That I live somewhere where we can be the best versions of ourselves, which is who we want to be.  The second season of "Pose" starts tomorrow night, and I'll be tuning in and laughing and crying and loving all the dance moves and incredible looks. But today, I remain grateful to a city who mothers us all and keeps us motivated, inspired, and alive.  New York is not just a city. It means so much more to so many of us who came here in search of something better: the tired, the poor, and the fabulous. 

Cause that's what's up this lifelong love affair kind of Monday in the best city in the whole damn world. Yours, in living your dreams and being perfect just the way you are. XO




Maven pick: A can do jumpsuit if you've got some curves

Good morning, Thursday. I'm worked out, worn out, ready to pass out. And it's not even 9 am. 

So quick style shout out. (You know you want it).

I'm a fan of Universal Standard and its wide array of sizing. It's a chic line with plenty of styles and options to suit many ages and body types. It's brilliant, and I'm still so utterly obsessed with the tux I got from their collaboration with Goop. It's just right.

And you all know how I feel about a jumpsuit, and judging from all of the women I see around the boroughs rocking them too, it's a bonafide movement. I'm talking about the utility take in particular. It's so comfortable and confident all at once. And strangely sexy. Or at least I feel sexy when I wear it because I always add a little bit of something feminine to it- even if it's a pretty sandal or a beautiful bra underneath.

But those boiler suits have some issues. And number one is fit. Because even if they are supposed to be oversized, for women who are not boyishly built, they can be challenging. Boobs, hips, and bellies are not often invited to this type of jumpsuit party. But I spotted this one, and I'm quite sure the fit is going to be great. I have not tried it, but I know this brand is all about fit and I'm hoping to get to their store in Soho to try one of these suckers on. So good. It comes in black and olive green and has that industrial vibe I'm all about. Plus its 150 dollar price tag is a reasonable fee for something you'll most likely wear all the time.  PS I know the pic I posted looks like a winter look, but you're more imaginative than that, aren't you darlings? Rock it with some rubber slides for a bit of Summer cool.

Jumpsuits are the new one-piece wonders of our time. Having been a dress girl for a minute now, I appreciate a new take on easy dressing. So have at this jumpsuit and please report back. 

Cause that's what's up this zipped up Thursday in the 718. Yours, in one and done. XO


Old dogs and some new tricks

Good morning, Wednesday. I'm hanging out waiting to get briefed on a new project but here's something to chew on.

Yesterday I lied about my dog's age. To a total stranger. I have no idea why I did it, but I said he was six and he's more like nine or ten. Perhaps I want him to be forever young and never leave my side (absolutely). Or maybe I wanted to make myself appear younger by having a younger dog (probably not). In any event, I lied about my dog's age (pic above), and it threw me a bit, which got me thinking about what it means to feel your age and this whole thing about telling everyone your age.

First up- what does "feeling your age" even mean?

I feel many things in life. Ranging from fear to sadness to happiness and back again. But do I feel my age? Don't know what that means. Mostly because I have never been this age, so how would I know how it feels? I can say I don't feel old in my mind or my spirit or my style. As for my body, sure. There are wears and tears. There are days when my knees hurt and days when I wish I looked better in my jumpsuit. But for the most part, I don't feel my age. Because mostly, I feel like myself. Sure, there are situations where I may feel like I've been in the oven for too long. One of those is working in ad agencies, so I put a stop to that. Another is participating in a lot of nightlife activities.  I tend to avoid situations that make me feel old. Or at least the negative connotation of whatever that means. Silly as it seems. 

Also, I don't have children of the human variety. And I have always felt this kept me feeling young. But people with kids stay young through them, of this I'm sure. For instance, do you know who Lil Nas X is? Not Nas Nas, mind you. Lil Nas X. Yea, me neither. But if you have kids, you know who he is. Because he's got one of the most popular songs in the country with "Old Town Road." And he was on the Today show, featured in a story on how he surprised a classroom of adoring children who knew every word. I had never, ever heard of him. But a friend on Instagram posted about it and said how much his young son loved him. So there's a ding. As a childless person, my access to Top 40 tuneage is slim to none. Needless to say, "OTR" never made it to my Discover Weekly.

Second- this whole admitting your age thing. I'm cool with it. But I don't think it's for everyone. You can all figure out how old I am. It's not a secret. But if age is just a number, why this urge to shout it from the rooftops? Yea, I know. Because age is only a number. For me, I look at my age as a context for the life I live, the references that make me laugh and cry, and the lens with which I see the world. And I don't lie about my age. I don't necessarily feel the need to say it to anyone and everyone. But I did lie about Khan's age yesterday.

For no reason other than I love him more than anything. I remember a woman I knew in the neighborhood who was a screenwriter with a sweet little dog called Norman. We'd often see each other in the park, surrounded by nannies and stay at home dads and then there we were- two chicks in black with little dogs we loved like our blood. Norman appeared to be quite geriatric, a wizened old gent with a similar disposition to my Khan- tolerant but not enamored with other members of dogkind, and a bit of a charming curmudgeon. Smitten with his owner. I once asked my friend how old Norm was, to which she replied, "Four and a half."  Alrighty then.

At the time, it gave me pause. But now I get it; I get it. Because my pal just wanted her fur baby to be around forever too. I haven't seen her or Norman in some time, and rumor has it she left the neighborhood in search of cheaper accommodations. I hope dear sweet Norman is happily ensconced in a new nabe and ignoring other dogs as his mom talks to other dog owners in a new, leafy setting.

I just wanted to throw down with all of that today.  The big takeaway? I'll lie about Khan's age because I love him and I won't lie about my own because I love me too.  But if you ask me my age or feel a burning need to know, whatever. It's my choice to share the number, or not. 

Cause that's what's up this age is not a thing, but it's a thing kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in old dogs, pop songs, and keeping it real when it comes to the feels. XO