July 2003

Jessa Crispin

letter

Letter from the editor

As my birthday lurks right around the corner, there are some sure signs that I am already turning into a old lady. It's not just that I am proud of my cholesterol levels (125 with the HDL at 60, thank you very much), the most obvious signs are in my changing tastes. I keep buying Blanco Sonalto wine over any of the usual reds. Red just seems so complicated and this stuff tastes like candy and makes me giggle. I've been watching a lot of Oprah. And agreeing with her. And I'm not even unemployed. We won't even explore the fact that I complained about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs being "too loud" the other day and I find myself listening to Willie Nelson a lot. The ramifications are disturbing.

But most alarming is my growing dislike for big, hulking books and enthusiasm for small, twee books. I used to buy books just because they were over 700 pages long. Now I reach for the tiny books in cute packaging. Every time I pick up a book over 300 pages, I think to myself, "I'm sure they could have cut 100 pages if they really tried." Instead, I'm constantly rereading around Anthropology, the cutest of books, with 101 short stories, each 101 words long. When review books come in I get excited about the small short ones when I used to reach for the thickest of the lot. Perhaps it's just the summer. Perhaps once that first Chicago winter kicks in, I'll be able to sit down with Demons and not huff about the hulk.

But I continue to fall back to the "old" explanation. It's a milestone birthday, and I'm not sure how to feel about it. People tell me this is a particularly difficult birthday to have, but I've felt pretty nonchalant about it, other than the general feeling of oldness. I now have hangovers. Cheez-Its no longer seem like a reasonable dinner. I'm definitely getting more crotchety. I'm only a few steps away from being the old lady on her porch, spraying water at the kids who step on her lawn with the garden hose. Honestly, the only thing missing is the porch.

-- Jessa