This is 40

As 40 looms, I am making an attempt at looking in the mirror and being honest about what I see. In light of this (and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but seeing as how nobody has stepped up to help out, I’m mentioning it again), I am asking for the following clip (:40 to :44) to be installed as my new ringtone:

Unless my wife is calling, in which case I want it to be this:


  1. notrelatedtoted says

    I’m a year and change out. And I can feel it……that itch to just…..give up.

    Or maybe I’ve given up already? If I had anything to give up in the first place.

    Thanks for this, on a Monday no less. Cripes.

  2. I’m 46 for crying out loud. Some of us are contemplating 50.

  3. Southern Expat says

    For some reason, I thought you were already 40. Maybe it’s because of your relentless branding of yourself as Grumpy Old Man.

  4. Jonathan Potter says

    And the ringtone for calls from Covington, LA:

  5. And Matthew, I’ve seen so many people starting over in their 50’s and 60’s, even 70’s as bus drivers. Whole businesses and careers totally disrupted late in life. And the way the demographics are going there will be a labor SHORTAGE when it is time for your to retire. You may not be able to retire. Forty is nothing, forty is young. Don’t be depressed. You look healthy as a horse and you’re young at heart. Your children are very young. Enjoy the day. Have a belt for me while you’re at it.

    • Jonathan Potter says

      Have y’all seen the movie, This is 40? It definitely resonated for me (48, ouch) and has one of the funniest scenes in recent memory.

      • The Portrait of Jonathan Potter says

        48? Really? You’re looking great. Which scene?

        • Jonathan Potter says

          The aging process is kicking in. It’s like the moment at the top of the roller coaster when God’s grace is withdrawn and historical forces take over — as Percy described at the outset of Love in the Ruins. Not really, though. I agree with Webb for the most part, even though there are moments of terror. It increasingly amazes me that old people are generally so serene and show so few signs of terror as Death draws nearer.

          The scene involves a mirror and a hemorrhoid. The Slate reviewer didn’t think it was funny but Ashley and I were rotfl.

          • The Unmarketable Atheist says

            Old people aren’t serene, they’re just exhausted. Death for them is just an eternal and ardently longed-for nap. It’s nature’s way of easing us out. But you? You’re old enough to feel Death coming, but young enough to want to keep on living. That’s where mid-life crises come from.

          • You come to see that Death truly has been swallowed up in Victory.


  6. That scene was filmed in Sea Cliff, NY, where my wife served as nanny for a couple for the summer. I would visit weekends between my work as a gas pumper at Craig Road Texaco on Route 9. It was a glorious slice of life on the other side of the tracks and full of that particular sense of early promise – a morning breeze that parts the curtains in a bedroom with a mannerly sway… a new lexicon full of spring and early summer and words like “halcyon” and “salad days” … when limbs were limber to lope across the stiles and hillocks of a cloudless day…and eyes and hearts eager for embracing the world….

    Well, we won’t have those days come along again, will we?

    But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at the bright side – the positives of going to seed and coming a cropper:

    a) We hold our liquor better.
    b) We know when to dangle participles and when they ought to stand up straight, and when we misplace our modifiers we damn well mean to make sure they stay misplaced.
    c) We’ve nudged that much further away from Edward Bulwer-Lytton – and therefore that much closer to Shakespeare.
    d) We now find our validation in furthering the species not in seconding guessing it.


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