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Dear Luv Doc,

Me and my wife used to go out to clubs and see live music regularly back before we had kids. Now the oldest is out of the house and the other two might as well be. They are both in high school and spend a lot of time with their friends, so we have been going out more in the past year or so. At first we were having a lot of fun, but recently my wife says that she is “feeling too old” at some of the clubs that we go to and says that she would rather stay home than feel like “the oldest person in the club.” I think she is exaggerating. I see people our age in clubs all the time, but I will admit that I have seen some of the younger people in clubs give us sideways glances. Unlike my wife, I don’t care what people think. I just want to go have fun. What can I do to get my wife to go with me?  – The Old People Up by the Stage

The most adorable thing about young people is that, in general, they share the belief that other people care about what they do and how they behave. They’re sort of right. Those people actually do exist. They’re called marketers. Old people, of course, know that marketers are Satan’s minions and can therefore suck a bag of demon dicks. Old people are hep to life’s dirty little secret: Other than marketers and your mother, nobody is paying attention to what you do or how you behave unless you’re hearting their Grams. Ever it has been thus since time immemorial – and by “time immemorial” I am of course referring the pre-pandemic years, the memory of which for me has been decimated by at least three official bouts with COVID. The bottom line is that since late 2021, my mind is basically a tabula rasa. Sorry if I owe you money or borrowed your lawnmower. On the bright side, I am mercifully unburdened by uncharitable pessimism or rhetorical restraint. I feel free to say what I think – much like Emma Stone’s character in Poor Things, although perhaps without the libidinous compulsion to masturbate while doing so. I’d say that’s a big win for everyone, wouldn’t you?

Other than marketers and your mother, nobody is paying attention to what you do or how you behave unless you’re hearting their Grams.

But the youth? Yeah, they can be judgy – probably because they are in such good practice from judging themselves. The criticisms they concoct in their minds are always much worse than the ones they encounter in the real world. That’s why it’s extra important that people like yourself and your wife – people … shall we say … with a lot of “life experience” … walk bravely amongst the youth and make things super awkward. Fuck it. Wear something extra sexy … with a plunging neckline. Otherwise, what will Austin become? Some thoroughly homogenized, milquetoast, bottle-serviced, selfie-popping, dress-coded, plastic-surgered, eternally youthful douchetropolis? I mean, arguably Austin already is that, but we can’t just roll over and let the weirdness die simply because we’re feeling judged. Gross. What is this? Dallas? We need to mount a resistance – like the French. They didn’t just roll over for the Nazis (OK they sort of did), they went underground and were super annoying – like even more annoying than the French normally are – for the remainder of the war. Eventually the allies retook France and the French Resistance felt like they contributed. That’s called a win-win.

Look, I know you – and more importantly your wife – are not solely responsible for keeping Austin awkward, but we have to start somewhere, and the youth are way too self-conscious, smooth-skinned, and attractive to be effective freak flag standard bearers. Hell, they can barely find their asses with both hands – and they probably won’t even try because people are looking. Also, I know it’s not easy being a lightning rod for scorn, derision, and judgment merely for the sin of having survived longer than just about everyone else in the room, but that’s precisely why you’re most qualified. Lastly, there is strength in numbers, and I bet you have some similarly aged friends that you could invite along to take some of the heat off your wife. I think even old people would agree that the only thing more awkward than a couple of old people in a young people’s nightclub is a whole group of them. Smells Like Teen Spirit? No, smells like Gold Bond.

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