All week I’ve been in a low-grade bad mood about my upcoming birthday. Normally I don’t mind aging; I consider my age a badge of honor in that way that 18-year-olds lord their senior status over freshmen in high school, and I’ve happily anticipated the stylistic and intellectual freedom of the self-realized space crone. But this has been a challenging year full of problems I’d hoped to have outgrown by now, and it’s given me a case of the What’s-It-All-About-Alfies. Anyway, last night I had to pay to see a movie whose press screenings I’d missed–a movie I was ambivalent about reviewing even when seeing it for free–and I decided to take back the whole situation. So I requested a senior citizen discount from the snotty-looking 19-year-old in the ticket booth, and, without blinking, he gave it to me. I know, I know. Members of the AARP would justifiably bludgeon me for such deceit but in that moment I needed a tangible payoff for getting older. The universe, g-d love it, gave me one.