Wednesday, June 18, 2008

50 is 50, get used to it


Nominee for the biggest lie of the modern era: "50 is the new 30." This whopper is right up there with "I am not a crook," "I did not have sex with that woman," and "Mission accomplished."

I think there may be whole legions of writers working for fashion and lifestyle magazines who sit around all day coming up with "blank is the new blank" comparisons. They are the Typhoid Marys who spread the "is the new" virus. It may have all started when one of these savants came up with "pink is the new black." This appears to have been spawned in the 1980s, and ever since, we can't get enough of it.
  • "Iraq is the new Vietnam" is an easy one.
  • "Small is the new big" was a line to sell little cell phones.
  • From Wikipedia, we get: Carson Kressley from Queer Eye once declared, "Gay is the new black."
There's an entire chart of "is the new"-isms here. It includes even the painfully obvious statements like "Slovenia is the new Switzerland." Well, duh. Everybody knows that about Slovenia.

Once you start down this path, it may be inevitable that someone comes out with "50 is the new 30." Oh yeah? Tell it to my liver. Tell it to my sacroiliac. Tell it to the supersized bottle of ibuprofen that's never out of reach. Falser words were never spoken.

But this seductive lie we're trying to tell ourselves fits right in with the basic boomer attitude - never grow up. And to admit that 50 is, well, 50, is to admit you're more than likely past the halfway point to a dirt nap, the big sleep. Not a cheerful awareness, so better to say "50 is the new 30." Yeah, sure, the check is in the mail, right? I will accept that 50 is the new 30 in terms of milligrams of blood pressure medicine needed, or number of minutes to complete a 3 mile run, or inches around my waist if I'm not careful. And, oh, yeah - 30 is the age when you start getting mail from AARP, right?

Pull the other one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was unaware we needed a new 30 ... is there something wrong with our old one?