On Being Twenty-Seven

Twenty-seven is the best year of your youth. This is an absolute fact, according to the Huffington Post articles I’ve been getting from another 27-year-old friend, so I know it must be true.

Twenty-seven is when your career is skyrocketing, you’ve finally grown into yourself, you’re at your most beautiful (or handsome), your physical peak, your sharpest, your brightest, your most scintillating, and your greatest desirability. There’s a bit of a suicide bump at the end of 27, when people realize that this is it, it’s all downhill from here, to beer-gutted mediocrity and cat-ridden obscurity.

Clearly, Robert Herrick was speaking a universally acknowledged truth when he said:

That age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse and worst

Time still succeeds the former.

I can’t say my experience contradicts the venerable Huffington Post on this matter. Twenty-seven has treated me very well. In fact, it’s been a fantastic trip so far. Being asked to list what I’m grateful for at a Thanksgiving feast was a struggle; how could I narrow it down to a few key items, when everything in my life is so amazing? I almost feel a bit sorry for all those married people who never got to experience 27 with all the breezy freedom of being single. (To be fair, they probably reflect the sentiment back at me with a “what-do-you-know” comment about committed relationships. Ezehu ashir? Truce, my MFs. Truce.)

That said, twenty-seven doesn’t usually last for more than 365 days—366 if you’re lucky. And it’s all downhill from there. So if ever you’re going to have an optimized shot at avoiding a houseful of cats, twenty-seven is it. Not that your chances take a swan dive after, but this is the peak—or so they say. I mean, you’re probably just as desirable at 28 as you were at 26. Unless the drop-off is steeper? Does the Huffington Post has any of its deeply scientific articles analyzing this?

Well, let’s not worry or be stressed out about it. Let’s just finish off with a final, relaxing stanza from Mr. Herrick again:

Then be not coy, but use your time,

And while ye may, go marry:

For having lost but once your prime

You may forever tarry.

…You know, he never does say exactly how to manage it. In fact, Herrick sounds a whole lot like the MF who says “Well if you want someone to go on vacation with, get yourself a husband.” Gee thanks. Didn’t think of that one. I guess I’ll go out and propose to the first interested commenter on Trip Advisor.

Oh well. At least I’m still twenty-seven.

And it rocks.

The Love Poem of J. Alfred Einstein

You know those soppy sonnets about how her eyes are blue as the sky, her lips as red as a rose, etc? Well, it’s about time someone updated the concept, don’t you think? This poem was inspired by two separate comments regarding my hair both made by geeky types.

Geek: I would love to calculate the Hooke’s Law constant for your hair.

Me: Awwww…. I think. (Well, at least it’s a step up from “Can I pull one? Please?”)

Why stop there? A romantic geek could keep going, putting all his love into scientific and mathematical metaphors. I know this sonnet isn’t quite at the level of John Donne, my poetic hero, but it’s a start. I hope it inspires a new wave of geeky love poetry for the age.

 

The Love Poem of J. Alfred Einstein

I love to gaze at your beautiful eyes

Reflecting wavelength 754

I cannot maintain a realistic guise

That your hair’s cysteine bonds hold no allure.

The Hooke’s Law constant I would calculate

For every curl that you’ll ever grow

But Oh! I simply cannot concentrate

For you define the golden ratio.

Around you time passes at the speed of C,

And matters compress to Boson size

The answer’s always 1 for P(A&B)

Because I have already won the prize.

You be a charm quark and a strange I’ll be

And we’ll match our spins through eternity.

Yep, That’s Why I Blog

From a young friend, recently back from seminary, first attempting to land a date, and finding it less than intuitive:

“I wasn’t fully prepared for it at all. I mean, I’ve lived independently for two years now, go to college, make my own meals, I’m responsible for my own health and other important decisions, but I can’t assert any measure of control over my dating life? It’s just so weird and unsettling. And it isn’t romantic at all. Not that I’ve been on any dates yet, but still. It doesn’t feel nice at all.”

Tell me about it. It’s an odd feeling to be a highly capable human being, trusted with life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, drinking, gambling, voting, and huge responsibilities at work, but unable to get a date on one’s own power.

Effort is commensurate to return in so many aspects of your life. And yet, on this very key subject, you’re entirely helpless.

You pay the rent to live like you’re grown

You’re never behind on payments for your phone

But you can’t pick out a date on your own:

You must wait for an idea from the shadchan.

*

At work you spend $40k before lunch

Your boss calls for you when he’s in a crunch

But you can’t get together with a boy for lunch

Without the suggestion of a shadchan.

*

You sock cash away in your 401k

You pack healthy brown bag for lunch every day

You attend a shiur and live the right way

But you can’t get a date without a shadchan.

*

You can drink alcohol responsibly

You can vote for the leader of our country

You can buy a ticket for the lottery

Which is like waiting for a date from the shadchan.

*

Your life is your own for 365

Only you control the things that keep you alive

But if you want a drone to help in your hive

You’ll have to wait to hear from a shadchan.

…okay, okay. Not a drone. But I was running out of rhymes, okay?

Tis the Season to be Sneezy

It’s finals, and finals go tissue-in-hand with colds. In the spirit of last year’s post, I present an ode to those brave defenders who keep us healthy in this cold, cold weather:

 

Sonnet #1: To My Leukocytes

 

A monarch besieged, I toss in my bed

While through the castle they spread the alarm.

You stir in your barracks and lift your head,

Rise and seize proteins that serve you as arm.

You hasten through blood-soaked halls to the fight

And seek the enemy where he does lie

in my cells to battle him through the night,

Engulfing the foe, you kill and you die.

In the morning I rise to your victory

But I cannot toast you with a parade,

Award a medal for your bravery,

Or even knight you for your aid.

We shall never meet, for you are in me

I can only reward you with vitamin C.

 

Shidduch Haiku

Call from the shadchan

With the perfect boy for me:

We go out one time.

 

 

In the restaurant

The waittress whispers to him,

“Last one was better.”

 

 

We enter the lounge

I glower across the room:

She is in my seat.

 

 

The tubs of ice cream

Are in the garbage, empty:

Last night was a date.

 

 

The Women in Black

Shake their heads and smile sadly:

My hair’s in a pony.

 

 

 

 

I have imbibed

Every flavor in Starbucks

And never paid once.