Middle-Age Awards

I’d be remiss if I forgot to thank my three herniated discs!

Choreography: Most Pathetic Location for Throwing Your Back:  Rachel Nash, for throwing her back while literally just standing there doing nothing.

What an honor!  Thank you to the Middle-Age Academy!  The first time I threw my back, squatting over a toilet after rigorous exercise, I was still a starry-eyed ingénue.  I never dreamed of the increasingly less-challenging roles time would bring, like throwing my back while briskly walking in medium-heeled boots (early 30s), or jumping up from the couch to let the delivery guy in (early 40s).  Yet, here I am, proud and humbled to have thrown my back while just standing there while trying to remember something. Just.Standing.There.Doing.Nothing.

I want to thank my agent; my family; Netflix, for making it acceptable to spend weekend nights lying in bed with your neck at a weird angle to watch Wine Country on your laptop; my sacro-iliac joint; that thing I forgot; and my three herniated discs! 

To my fellow nominees, wow. Throwing your back while opening the OsmoPrep for your first colonoscopy! Throwing your back while just thinking for a second of that one time you had sex last year!  You inspire me every day.                

Drama and Comedy:  Most Cringe Moment to Realize That Everyone is Younger than You, and Knows It:  Kristina Caudillo, for her haunting interaction with her 401(k) advisor. 

Thank you Academy, for this humbling recognition!  What’s that?  You want to see the clip? 

“Me:  Don’t I need a more growth-oriented investment strategy – aren’t I, like, over-allocated in safe products? 

401(k) advisor: Christ, no. [Soft chuckle]”     

I have so many people to thank.  So, so many.  I want to thank the individual who administered my shingles shot, my local congressperson, my dermatologist, the chief judge who was in the introductory video at jury duty, the person who sold me the emergency travel tweezers, as well as my former 401(k) advisor, for all being younger than me.

I want to thank my talented fellow nominees and to say how much I learned from their craft.  Unfortunately, one of them is home watching Wine Country after some random pain in her foot prevented her attending tonight, and another is frantically researching a new therapist after her current one asked if Y2K was a bitcoin exchange.  To quote my dear friend Jenny–also nominated tonight, for asking a colleague if a third person was “their age” only to have the panicked younger colleague respond with “well, your age”—this all sucks so bad.  THANK YOU!

Costume Design:  Stephanie Wu, for an outfit that can only be worn to a cheese shop, a third wedding (or a fourth if she is the bride), or a grim parent/teacher conference when her kid had fucked up. 

Oh, Academy, I’ve always dreamed of this!  I want to thank my family and the word “sensible” and France and all the assholes at Facebook who figured out that the clothing-tailored-for-mature-women ads both seduce and repel me! When I was younger I might wear a slightly longer dress, or try a scarf, or clunky jewelry, or wear muted colors, or something in the tunic family, but never all at once, and always a little ironically.  Now I wear it all together, plus a little extra layer of some piece of cloth that could be anything from an escape parachute to a weapon. 

I want to make sure to thank my group of women friends from law school for our comforting text thread that is mostly selfies of us in turtlenecks looking inadvertently austere. 

Screenwriting:  Most ‘A Little Off’ Thing to Say that Portends Sounding Completely Out of It Fairly Soon:  Beth Caplan, for shouting “very well done! Hooray!” at a kids’ soccer game, then feeling as exposed as if she’d farted.

Oh my gosh, thank you!  This was a surprise, really.  Then again, so many things come out of my mouth that sound a bit off, and especially at soccer games because my eyesight is terrible.  A surprise, yet also an honor for this moment in time to be captured, as I journey helplessly toward ancestral stuffy comments like “hip-hip-hooray” or “whoops-a-daisy” or “young lady/man, don’t fuck with me.”

I know other phrases are cooler.  “Defense.” “D.”  “Pressure.” “You got this.” “Nice.”  Yet somehow I’ve been alive too long to open my mouth to just say one letter, or to scream the title of a Billy Joel song ca. 1982.

My advice to all of you starting to reach middle age: sounding uncool will come very naturally.  There are so many places to be in a position to say the slightly wrong thing.  The workplace.  In front of your kids’ friends.  When talking to a barista.  When remonstrating with yourself when a hot flash woke you up.  You have got this.

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