The Irremediability of Senescence in 21st Century Infirmiable Decrepitude

The falling autumn leaves. The harsh numbing of winter. The spring awakening that accompanies an annual tradition of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in which you realize you can no longer ‘hang’ with the man you used to be as your joints begin to creak. Broken down, beaten, demoralized, you yearn for the younger self through whom you once thrived. A lust for life, a yearning for the unknown, a daily feeling of boldness, discovery, and zeal that once accompanied your youthful vivacious young 20s person has been replaced by the aggrieved disposition of old age and the inevitability of your rapid descent into despair.

In 10 days, I will turn 24 years old. Just typing that leaves me with the jaundiced feeling of disenchantment upon recognizing that I’m a mere shell of what my young self once was. Ghosts of the past, both literal and figurative, haunt my inner soul as I approach the crossroads of life–Two roads intersecting with one another. One is the path of whom I was, the other the steep descent into loneliness and petulant solitude that life has thrust upon me. Long gone is the manic propulsiveness of our adolescence, the vivacious euphoria that injected such dubious elation into my gilded youthfulness. In its place is a more fragile sprightliness that so ambivalently yet effectively reflects the emotional, physical, mental, and sexual states of a man who is neither as insouciant nor spirited as his younger self. As the exhilaration of boyhood moves out, the faded bitterness and disillusion of old age have moved in.

As I sit here reflecting on my own misgivings, I am reminded of the Elton John record ‘This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore’ from his 2001 album Songs from the West Coast. “I used to be the main express / All steam and whistles heading west / Picking up my pain from door to door / Riding on the storyline, furnace burning overtime / But this train don’t stop / This train don’t stop / This train don’t stop there anymore.” Mm. These words resonate deeply within the inner fibers of my bones.

You see, as I slowly stumble out of bed each morning, fumbling around for my glasses and wondering how my I seemingly aged one year in one night, I try hard to avoid the mirror, as there are many things it would reveal I wish not to see. Still, in those early morning moments when I do accidentally catch a glimpse, I fail to recognize the man who looks back at me. With all too much frequency, my own evocation fails me. All the things my younger self once took for granted now cause pain: The physical, a response to a body that is simply running out of gas, and the mental, a sullen cogitation on whom we once were.

Lest you not doubt, my soul can still feel unbridled love, though all too often it is consumed by unheralded ache. In one instance, my heart is filled with joy, while in another it is broken into a million pieces by the world that continues to rush by as I slowly turn into a simple relic of the past. Although my spirit longs for still and clemency, all too often it is consumed by an overwhelming longing of emancipation.

So as I approach my 24th year on this earth that is simultaneously so astonishing yet redoubtable all at once, I recognize that although to many I am no longer attractive, my bones are weak, and my soul still feels nothing but rejection and ignominy, I’m still well aware of the inner beauty that pervades my soul, and in that consciousness my value will not be forsaken. Although old and gray, it’s true: I’m still here and I long to live with what little time I have left. .

Weddings and +1 Suppression: An In-Depth Look into the Totalitarianism of Modern Holy Matrimony

The Title Says it All, doesn’t it?

Well, February is here, and that means it’s wedding season. A time of great passion. A time of great joy. All sounds pretty nice, eh?

Hey folks, Quinn David Furness checking in here with our first ever installment in the ‘Beantown Blog,’ a new opportunity to bitch and moan about whatever’s on my mind at any point anywhere anytime. No longer will you the Friend of the Podcast have to wait for our weekly shows to see exactly what’s grinding my gears on a daily basis. Let’s jump in here.

So here’s the deal–I’m not normally the guy who gets invited to a lot of weddings. Surprised? I don’t know if it’s because people don’t want paparazzi at their special event, or what the situation is, but I accept it because I recognize that while many things are, not everything is about me. Long story short, weddings are not usually something I have a lot of material for due to inexperience. Well, in the past week or so, I’ve all of a sudden had multiple issues with wedding invites and +1s, and that brings me to what we’re here to talk about: +1s and their legal status.

Now I know what you might be thinking–“Oh man, Quinn, +1s? That’s pretty simple. You give your invitee a +1, and they get to bring whomever they want to bring. As long as there’s no weird bad blood or anything between the invitee’s +1 and the host of the event, it’s all good.” Well, you’d be wrong. There have actually been a couple of different instances involving +1s I could talk about here, but I’m going to focus on one specifically.

When you send out an invite and include a +1 for the invitee on the invite, you are giving up your right to control who the +1 is at that point. When you drop it in the mailbox or you send your e-card, BOOM. It’s done. I think there was some sort of Supreme Court law from the 50s that established this, but I don’t really remember. We’ll get someone from the writing team to check that out. Back to the bit here tho, I’ve got a female friend who’s got some weddings coming up this summer, and she wants me to act as her +1. Easy enough. I’ve done the +1 before. I know the +1. I was born to play the +1.

There’s only one problem. The hosts of these weddings [that’s right, multiple instances] is not sure if I’m a suitable +1 because they don’t know me well. Pretend for a second I’m that lawyer from Serial who botched the case (and she also died RIP in Peace): “WHAAAAAAATT??” My running buddy from grad school Elyse used to be a killer impression of her. She’s also getting married this summer! I’ll be there! No word on the +1 situation for that wedding yet…Feels like I’m jinxing it at this point.

So what’s the deal here? I thought this was AMERICA, where you could bring anyone you wanted as your +1 because it’s your God-given goddamn constitutional right. As a PSA to all of you out there getting ready to send out your wedding invitations: This isn’t the 1950s Soviet Union anymore. You’re not Stalin. Your totalitarian authoritarianism has no power here.

You might think I’m overreacting, but if this is indicative of a larger societal cultural trend, I won’t hear it and I won’t stand for it. Invitees should be free to bring whomever they choose! We all want the special day to be filled with joy, mirth, and happiness.

Has anyone ever read that novel House of Mirth by Edith Wharton? I read Ethan Frome once and I just remember feeling really depressed when it was over.

BTW Cristina Gutierez was the name of the Serial lawyer. She died in 2004, technically of a heart attack, but she had diabetes and MS too. Woof.

In conclusion, you don’t get to pick and choose your invitee’s +1s. That’s not what this country was founded on. You wanna know what America is all about? Liberty. Freedom. Passion. Fear. Greed. Obesity. Diabetes. Football. The TODAY Show. Howie Mandel. But it will never, and I mean NEVER, be about wedding authoritarianism.

Thanks again to everyone for reading. This was pretty fun, eh? Hope you’re having a good day, wherever you’re reading from. I’ll leave you with an inspirational quote

Fear is America’s #1 natural resource -Quinn David Furness