This is a rather presumptuous meme, no? I wouldn’t call my disdain for Thought Catalog “fashionable.” I’m not a fan of Thought Catalog primarily because I don’t find the writing to be all that original, or exceptional. But since you asked…
Envy? Hardly. Status Anxiety? I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. Ageism? Mmmmaybe. OK, probably.
Honestly, I think another reason I’m so irked by Thought Catalog is that it’s clearly not meant for someone like me. I’ve worked at the same company for 20 years, I spend most of my day analyzing data instead of text messages, and I’m well past the point of obsessing over whether or not my “relationship” with Coombsie is “headed in the right direction.” I’m not launching my wee raft onto the turbulent ocean of my twenties. I’m halfway across the bay. I can see the shoreline, and I’m pretty sure there’s a subscription to Reader’s Digest and a MedicAlert bracelet waiting for me once I get there.
In other words – I’m old. Old old old. I’m not jaded and/or disillusioned before my time; I’m a pragmatist. If Thought Catalog’s countless listicles are any indication, I’m living the dream, man, since apparently the dream includes being able to run around my house stark naked in front of the person I married. Of course, a lot of times that’s because I’ve been rousted from my bed by the telltale hrk hrk hrk sound of a cat about to expel something wet and flocculent into the shoes I’ve left in the living room, BUT STILL. LIVING THE DREAM.
Christ, I’d LOVE to be able to go back to wondering What It’s All About. I’d love to have the luxury of beating my past relationships into the ground in list format. Thought Catalog – alas – is not interested in my postmodern Bombeck-ian musings on age spots or why I insist on bagging my own groceries. I’m not in the throes of a constant existential dilemma; I don’t have time for it anymore. My immediate concerns revolve around when we we’re going to have to remove the knobs from my mother-in-law’s stove, what’s for dinner, and whether or not I bought trash bags.
In other words, I have come to a grudging acceptance of the fact that most twenty-somethings don’t want to hear what it’s like on this side of my forties. They don’t want to read about how I know Coombsie is “the one” because he laughed at the song I made up while I was cleaning the litterbox the other night (it was to the tune of Duran Duran’s “New Moon On Monday,” and let me tell you, it was some of my best work as a satirist). And they certainly don’t want a lecture about why ceaseless, insufferable navel-gazing is just not an attractive trait at ANY age.
And this is not to say that I am living a better, more fulfilling, or “grownup” life than Thought Catalog’s readers and contributors. I’m not so old that I don’t remember feeling those feelings, even if the circumstances which prompted them are on the fuzzy side these days. I will say this, though: thank God it didn’t occur to me to use the internet circa ’96 to chronicle those feelings, in real time, any time I may have felt the urge to share them. Because I’m fairly certain that would’ve looked an awful lot like Thought Catalog. In fact, it would have been more accurate it to call it “Tripe Catalog,” or “Dreck Catalog.”
Because I’m not going to pretend I was anything close to a deep thinker at 25, despite what I may have felt about myself at the time. Shit, I’m not even particularly sagacious now. At band rehearsal the other night we spent an embarrassing amount of time between songs coming up with increasingly terrible and puerile euphemisms for my Lagoon of Mystery. And I’m FORTY TWO YEARS OLD.
And so, since nothing I write will ever make its way into Thought Catalog, here’s my own Thought Catalog:
8 Things That Make Me Realize I’m Too Old For Thought Catalog
- I’ve been getting mail from the AARP, and I’m starting to consider opening it.
- Pondering the state of my relationship usually goes no further than: “Am I going to yell at him for leaving that dirty pint glass on the counter?”
- I have underwear in my drawer from the Bush administration. And that’s the “sexy” stuff.
- I graduated college the same year that the average Thought Catalog contributor was being potty trained.
- I have a Pinterest account. I use it for recipes.
- I am regularly addressed as “ma’am” by baristas.
- Was that a hot flash?
- I remember a world in which Jabba never appeared in Episode IV, and Hayden Christensen was nowhere to be found in Episode VI.
Now pass the Postum, and get out of my yard.