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December 22, 2012


This is 40. At Times Tidy. At Times Tangled.


There's a restlessness in the air. For me and other 40-something friends, the restlessness is so intense and so thick that some days, some nights, it feels suffocating. Cat on a hot tin roof is a good way to describe it I think ... as we wrestle with the tangles, annoyances, joys and challenges that this season of life brings.

Last night, I watched "This is 40." There's a scene where Leslie Mann's character (Debbie) points out that according to research, the happienst time in a person's life is usually during the ages of 40 and 60.

This is 40(Photo by Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures)

In the movie, Debbie is married to Pete (played by Paul Rudd) and they are entering this happiest period of life with lots of things that make them unhappy. They are both like cats on hot tin roofs ... and we wonder if they're gonna slip off that roof or if things will eventaully simmer down.

What I like most about the movie is that it points out how little things can become big effin deals. Like cupcakes. Cigarettes. Sex. iPads. The season finale of "Lost." Personal trainers. Birthday parties. Dads. Moms. Your kids' friends. The parents of your kids' friends. Business ventures.

When little things make us feel like exploding, there are people in our lives who remind us to count blessings and gain perspective. Blah, blah, blah. Even with such wise counsel, my friends and I know one thing for sure: the roof remains scorching hot. That's what this movie honors ... that even the "little things" in life are actually big things. And no amount of perspective can make things better. At least in the moment. And sometimes, moments are L O N G.

Maybe in another decade or two my friends and I will truly have perspective and laugh at the restlessness of this season. Maybe our footing on the roof will be solid. Or mabye we will have swapped out roofs for different foundations altogether. That's what I'll wonder about Debbie and Pete ... certainly in the movie's final moment, they were happy. But sometimes, while moments are indeed L O N G, they are at other times short. Sometiems neat and tidy. Other times messy and hopelessly tangled. 

PS: I loved that the movie started with Yoko Ono's "Yes, I'm Your Angel" as its opening track—the song that used to annoy me to no end in 1980 but wasn't half bad in 2012. I also loved seeing comedic genius Phil Hendrie's cameo in that short but fantastic scene.  

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