The Female Alan Partridge

I just read the dumbest, funniest article. Seriously, I needed this. Thank you, Vogue. The article in question is a list of forty things to know by the time you turn forty. The writer is someone named Molly Guy, who appears to be the female Alan Partridge (the Steve Coogan character, not the XTC frontman).

Why was I reading a Vogue article? Well, it was on Twitter and I spend a fair amount of time on Twitter. This article is from February but I’m only reading it now because I’m not in Vogue’s target market. I’ll turn forty next March and I’d like to discuss her points as someone who lives in flyover country.

Things to do every day: Meditate, call your mom, say thank you. Hold open the door. Help carry a stroller up the subway stairs. Give up your seat. Give a Clif Bar to a homeless person. Drink water. Have an orgasm. Do 25 jumping jacks. Write a postcard.

True story, my cell service went out the other day. I went to the post office to fetch a postcard (long lines, amirite?). I searched around for a homeless man and when I did I gave him the postcard with directions to my mom’s house and a Clif Bar (230 calories) for motivation. Then I took the subway home and orgasmed twice while thinking about the power I exerted over the homeless. By the time I got home, my cell service returned and I forgot to meditate or do jumping jacks.

That British rock star with the blond shag and blue Mustang from the Whiskey Bar who ripped your heart in half at the age of 18 will one day be a thinning-haired has-been who calls at two in the morning from his East Village walkup weeping: Come fuck me, where’d time go? I blew it, I blew it, I blew it.

Don’t blind item me, Molly. Spill the tea. Ooh and fancy you for getting into a drinking establishment before age twenty-one. You minx.

   Pressing snooze is never a good idea.

After that long day of taunting homeless men with Clif Bars I’m going to need to sleep in. Not only is the snooze a good idea, it’s necessary.

Learn to code. Learn Photoshop. Learn InDesign. Learn another language. Learn to play pool. Learn to change a tire. Learn chess and stick shift and American history and how to stuff a chicken. Learn to upholster a chair. Despite what your left-leaning liberal arts education instilled in you, reading, writing, and creating is a luxury not a right. Entitlement is thinking otherwise.

Choose life, choose a job, choose a career, choose a family. Choose a big fucking television. Choose a big fucking computer. Learn Photoshop, learn to code. Learn Ruby on Rails, invest in the railways, conquer your enemies, become Jane Galt.

Smoking cigarettes is the stupidest thing you can do.

Even worse than hitting snooze?

 Cocaine is not cool.

But it’s not as bad as smoking. Smoking killed John Belushi.

 A bar of goat milk soap makes a good gift.

Sure, if you want to lose friends. Otherwise, get “Goats Head Soup” by the Rolling Stones. That’s the album with “Angie”.

 When one of your friends from fifth grade develops stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma and spends Christmas in quarantine, quit bitching about your problems. You already have everything. Take stock. Give thanks. Real wealth is health.

If you have the time to count calories, then you have too much time on your hands.

I don’t know if you know this but everybody has a daily calorie needs, depending on whether they want to gain weight, maintain weight or lose it. Bodybuilders might want to gain mass, fat people like myself want to lose it. Counting calories is a smart thing to do. What are you burning when you do those jumping jacks? Calories!

I’m beginning to think you’re a bad friend, Molly.

When you laid out at Johnny Depp’s pool. When you were invited but declined (idiotically) to attend seder with Gwyneth. When Axl Rose said you had pretty eyes. When David Spade called you from the green room at Letterman. When Madonna, pregnant with Lourdes, looked you up and down at the Beverly Hills Barneys. When you saw the movie Trainspotting with Leonardo DiCaprio. When Julian Schnabel swung by to say hi. When you drank lychee martinis with Liv Tyler. When David Blaine levitated in the parking lot. It was all fun and games for a good minute, wasn’t it, and every old party girl has some stories up her sleeve. One day you can compile some in a small paragraph for a few people to read.

Oh fuck off already.

Wait a minute. . . how come you didn’t say the name of that British rock star from earlier? Is it because it might actually reveal something about you? “I almost went to seder with Gwyneth. I drank martinis with Liv Tyler. I got kick-fucked by a member of Def Leppard.” Not as glamorous, I guess.

I apologize to Def Leppard for bringing them into this debacle.

Contrary to what your mid-20s, intoxicated, star-fucking, smeary-eyelinered self might think, the warm, worn body you have now is beautiful. It has housed and fed two humans who like to lie on your lap and legs like furniture.

Wait a minute. . . you’re a mother? How do you have time to raise two kids with all this other stuff you’re doing. What with the helping moms up the stairs and totally avoiding cocaine! Have your kids ever tripped over the names you drop or does the nanny pick them up?

By the way, my mom called me and she said a homeless guy came by her house saying I had sent him with a postcard to give her but when she got it there was nothing on it. Drat, I forgot to put a note on it!

During Hurricane Sandy, nurses and doctors from NYU’s medical center carried 20 premature infants from the neonatal intensive care unit down nine flights of pitch-black stairs, each one swaddled in blankets and a heating pad, manually squeezing bags of oxygen into their lungs. The floor slippery and wet beneath their feet. Secretaries and security guards lit the way with their cell phones. Not one newborn was hurt on the way.

Seriously this is a heart-warming story but I don’t know what it has to do with what I’m supposed to know by age forty. Perhaps this is part of a bigger list of bad things that Molly has scratched out.

  1. Smoking
  2. Babies in ICU wards dying
  3. Cocaine
  4. Snooze buttons
  5. Counting calories

Is everyone on board here?

 

 

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