Birthdays might be only a day, but certain privileges linger. The left over cake relaxes my rules on sugar. The gift cards allow for a little extra shopping. And control of the television, usually a 50/50 proposition, tilts in favor of the birthday celebrant a few days before and a few days after.
Last night, all that ended.
Jaimie has been more than accommodating. For days she’s let me watch the Cubs, Mission Impossible, The Death of Stalin. Last night I sensed the tide begin to turn. She had had a long few days a work, and I figured starting The Americans was out of the question. So I said that I would watch whatever she wanted as long as it wasn’t scary, and after scrolling the annals of HBO and Netflix, one of the truly stressful activities of modern romance, she decided on a title.
“You’re going to hate me,” my beautiful girlfriend said.
“I highly doubt that.”
“I want to watch 17 Again.”
I smiled and paused.
“You were right the first time.”
17 Again. Released in 2009, which surprised me because it feels like it’s been around forever, is the story of a high school student, played by Zac Efron, who gives up basketball stardom to be with the girl he gets pregnant. He takes a job in pharmaceutical sales and slowly turns into Matthew Perry. Over the next 17 years he bings to hate his life. He passively aggressively attacks his wife for his decision. His wife, played by the beautiful Leslie Mann, gets fed up and wants a divorce. Through sheer movie magic he gets the chance to be…wait for it…17 again, and realizes that he loves his family, that his wife is hot, and if given the chance he would do it all over again.
I would have said SPOIER ALERT at the beginning of that paragraph but it’s 17 Again, you should have seen it now.
Full disclosure: I throughly enjoyed my evening. I made veggie burgers, a Greek salad, and made Jaimie pause the movie every ten minutes to unpack the themes from a female perspective. What I learned is that, from a female perspective, watching movies with me is annoying.
Leaving my 30s and entering my 40s has given me the impulse to take stock. It’s only natural. What I’ve realized is that I really wouldn’t do anything different. Maybe make some better hair choices, but none of us are perfect. I’m pretty happy most of the time. I love the work I do, I love the people I’m with. I wake up every day happy to see Jaimie and excited about the work I create. I get annoyed along the way. I would love to own a house. I’m not thrilled about spending next week throwing up. But what 17 Again teaches us is that changing one thing changes the whole.
nothing I would change.
My whole is pretty good.
David reads last line. Realizes he wrote, “MY WHOLE IS PRETTY GOOD.” Laughs. Hits save on document.
End of play.