Deb: I am standing in the checkout line at the grocery store and it occurs to me that I do not recognize one single human being on the front of one single magazine cover. In fact it has been some time since I have known these cover-of-magazine people. In fact if it hadn’t been for John Travolta and their new baby, it would have been like the checkout counter on Mars. As it was, I was staring at a nameless tabloid wasteland.
I remember when I was younger and I would mention a random actor or musician and my Dad would famously respond with “Neeeeeeeeeeeever heard of him.” I remember thinking how odd it was that he was so out of touch, and worse, didn’t seem to give a damn. I vowed that I would always stay current and know the latest celebs and music.
And then something happened. I stopped caring. Took me by surprise that did.
I have been able to stay fairly current as the boy makes me mix-tapes and has done so for a long time. He calls them “Mother’s Mix” and I love them and listen to them often.
But the peeps on the covers of the magazines? Don’t know ‘em, don’t really wanna’.
Who are these cookie cutter creatures anyway? They all look the same to me. Different blonde versions of a skanky cyborg. And the guys all look like they were chiseled from the same rock. Six-pack, eight-pack, a dozen eggs! Geeze louise, do these guys live at the gym? Isn’t the point of “buff” to get some action for your efforts? And for the love of all that’s holy ... SHAVE! We get it. It’s that just tumbled out of bed look. But when the world is becoming overshadowed with five o’clock shadow, it’s time to break out the Gillette.
So, as a result, it has finally happened to me officially. I have decided I will spend more time living my life instead of reading the sordid details of someone else's. Plus it really makes me sad. I always think, “Man, what the hell must Martians think of us?” Then I get really embarrassed for humans and our rep in the Galaxy. Sheesh.
So as the US magazine shouts out to me that Brett Michaels has gotten engaged to Kristie Gibson, I can’t help but proclaim, “Neeeeeeeeeeever heard o’ them.”
Barbara: Oh, this so hit a nerve, Deb. I used to looooooove glancing through gossip rags as I waited in line at the grocery store. Why? Guilty pleasure, morbid curiosity, nosey snooping into how the other half lives? Sadly, all of the above. I didn’t actually buy the mags, but slurped up all my celebrity info via my 10-minute toe-tapping waits by the conveyor belt. It was intravenous gossip.
Nowadays those lines are no less boring, no less a seeming waste of time, but do I pick up those rags? No. Because the very thought bores me even more than the toe-tapping alternative. I too don’t recognize ANY of those people on the covers. And I’ve wondered countless times if it’s that fogey thing of being “out of the loop” or if the loop has gotten so ratty—with its Kardashians and its Snookies and its 16-year-old pregnant moms—that I’m loathe to imagine ANYONE actually interested in them. So:
IS MY MIDDLE AGE SHOWING?!
And then I hear myself say, Well, if they were showcasing Natalie Portman, say, or someone like that, maybe I’d be interested. She’s young, she’s fresh, she’s hot. But really I like her because she’s a nice girl with an Ivy League brain who’s actually talented. And I hear myself say: WHY CAN’T THEY ALL BE LIKE THAT? A nice girl like Natalie Portman.
So I ask you again:
IS MY MIDDLE AGE SHOWING?!