Monday, July 30, 2007

mr.whipple is 91 today

Somedays I question the inclusion of NPR in my life. Sure, I'm exposed to interesting new music and authors, and they try to include positive stories to counter all the nastiness in the world. But then I forget the names of the bands and can't make time to read the books, and the "This I Believe" essays & StoryCorps interviews leave me bawling in the shower (insert Debbie Downer wah wahhhh sound here).

And now I hear it's Mr. Whipple's birthday and he's turning 91. Of course I know he & I are not in the same demographic, but still. I remember his commercials vividly and am suddenly reminded that I have been a TV viewer for more than 30 years. I'm not in love with the idea of being an anything for more than 30 years. I pretend I'm okay with my age, but really the impending end of my thirties is kind of freaking me out. And just as I hate the twentysomethings who lament their "oldness," I hate myself for this. Intellectually, I know gaining years is nothing to stress about - there are far more important things on which to expend brain energy (NPR sob stories, for example). But if I get into a nostalgic mood (movies do this to me, especially the John Hughes so unreal-but-totally-cool ones) or if I find myself surrounded by people not old enough to remember details of the Challenger explosion or a "Welcome Back, Kotter" episode, I get maudlin. And if I realize my mood is 'maudlin,' I feel even more ancient. That's a dumb, old people word.

I want to be completely okay with all of me - my age, my hair, my knees (they're weird; don't look). Because I should be, and I routinely pound this philosophy into my kids & students. Why is everything so hard lately? Somebody bring back the easy (along with my youth, please).

And happy birthday, Mr. Whipple - may everyone keep their frickin' hands off your Charmin today. (Unless you kinda like that...I'm not judging).