It's May 25th and that means it's time for another celebratory birthday blog entry for a certain someone. Truthfully, I'm sort of making myself post this entry -- in part because I posted entries two and five, but it is this one in particular that calls out for an entry (yet one I had to force myself to write it because, well, I just don't care anymore; indeed, this entry is more just a general commentary than to any one specific person).
This birthday is the BIG FOR-OH, 4-Zero ... also known as FORTY.
Yes, that milestone relentlessly approached and came right on schedule. Yes, "time and tide wait for no man." Alternatively, "time is a harsh mistress" indeed.
Coincidentally it's also the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie (later retitled, "Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope").
That being the case, I have come up with what I think are a suitable mélange of videos to commemorate the event of a person of his caliber and character. They follow below.
As for turning 40, welcome to middle age.
It's not really a joyful time, all the more so as a gay man cut off from the standard arc of a middle class American straight male who is married, with children. In that trajectory of life, the wife turns the man, in a manner of speaking, into a buccal-pumping frog on a suburban lily-pad, but all the systems and structures of society are in place.
For a typical gay guy, that option at least culturally doesn't really exist as a viable option -- the exception being those gay men who marry some guy and settle down and end up morphing into a single blob (again, in a manner of speaking).
This is problematic for the "A-Gay" types, though, who basically just marry versions of themselves -- such a problematic course of action seldom works out (not because of the "marrying version of self part" itself but because the type of person "self" is).
(My working assumption here is that in the straight world, men marry versions of their mothers and women marry versions of their fathers. In the gay world, gay men marry themselves. As for lesbians, I have no idea.)
(Some of the comments to this one on the YouTube page are kinda funny.)
Gay middle age marks that long decent out of youth and -- no matter how much you go to the gym and try to eat right -- for the erstwhile A-lister into moobs, general sagginess, ever-more-leathery and crinkled tattoos (if one was dumb enough to get a bunch of them), not to mention that natural scent of Cheez Whiz and perfumed ass.
OK, maybe I exaggerate a bit -- and I added those last two parts after a friend texted that to me because I found them hilarious.
What is true is that the next awful generation of 20-something gay sorority boys -- gay mafia, indeed -- will take your place at the top of the vapid urban, upper middle class gay social hierarchy and, if you spend anytime in their presence, will look at you as though you're only good for the bone yard or glue factory (in England, the knacker's yard).
For the self-absorbed A-lister turning 40, think of the last 20 years of the first 40 as the climb to "Peak A-Gay," and know that the first 20 years of the next 40 is all about the loss of all that and, in the process, necessarily becoming something very different.
What that different thing is -- well, who's to say, that's up to the person within the contexts of ability, place, and time. Obviously, that's wide open.
The main effort should be to develop values, relationships, structures, and supportive resources that give one ability to navigate perilous time and tide. If not, then the journey will be a difficult and unhappy one. ()
It may also mean getting rid of relationships including friends that you previously though sacrosanct. Of course, some people are just inherently much more unhappy than others with life difficulties, so there's that to consider, as well, but that doesn't change the relentless pull of time and tide and the need to adapt (on your own terms as much as possible but not foolishly so -- fighting everything is a sure way to lose).
Have I done all of this at age 47-1/2? Hell no. But I think I'm beginning to see, perhaps, how to do it and within my own life context.
Onward, time and tide ...