"Should I be concerned that you are watching the Anna Karenina preview on youtube?" asked B.A.
"Noooooooooo," I said. "I am checking to see if I still think Vronsky's dye job is funny."
Vronsky's dye job is still pretty funny. Dear me, how I laughed in the cinema. There must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of book-loving women who sat on the edge of our seats dying to see what the new Vronsky would look like and then all shrieked with horror or amusement when we saw the pretty powder-blue uniform, the deep blue contact lenses (I suspect) and the curly blonde hair. Someone please tell someone that women are not gay men.
I understand that the idea must have been to contrast Keira Knightley's dark eyes and hair with the blonde and blue-eyed looks of a made-over Aar*n Johns*n, and although in general I approve the aesthetic vision of the film, I think that was a pity--unless the whole idea was to make Anna's and Vronsky's mad passion somewhat ridiculous. I see that director Joe Wright is a married man. Hmm...
Out of curiosity, I next looked up Aar*n Johns*n to see what he really looks like, and he is a terribly good-looking, dark-haired young man of 22. He has also changed his name to Tayl*r-Johns*n since he married the mother of his children, a talented film director with an OBE. She is a striking blonde woman who was born in 1967.
"Holy cow," I said. Actually, I said something other than that, but I won't put it on my blog. I rechecked my arithmetic because, really, I am very bad at anything involving numbers, and Mrs Aar*n is still older than me.
Excuse me while I go stare in the looking-glass in the bathroom.
Okay, I am back. I am not too depressed. I had a good night's sleep and the miracle of Grandma's good genes blesses the skin of another generation. It is not beyond the limits of my own imagination that were I a talented divorced film director I could attract my...let's see now...2009...nineteen-year old star.
Excuse me while I go pour some Bailey's Irish Cream into my coffee. It's still Christmas, after all.
How did a nineteen year old convince a forty-two year old woman to enter a romantic relationship with him? I'm asking you because if I asked friends nearer my own age they would say, "That's disgusting. Why are we even talking about this? Let's pray a novena."
When I was nineteen, a six-foot-something blonde Bavarian-Canadian of fifteen used to lurk me around me at my summer job, and I was, like, "No, thank you." I am not sure why, as he was really cute, and I would not have contemplated anything immoral or illegal, so I think it must have been convention. And it's not like he tried that hard, so actually there may have been some good sense involved, too. Adolescents are so volatile. Tattoo that to your brains.
Could it have been because Aar*n was playing a teenage John Lennon at the time? John Lennon was born in 1940, but surely that would have made the real John Lennon too old for a woman born in 1967? On the other hand, as she was 42, I would say no. After you are 40 there really isn't any such thing as "too old" for you if you love the person. But when you are under 30...
I suppose isn't any of our business, and we wouldn't know about the marriage if the married couple were not in the Arts, and people in the Arts are different from you and me, unless we are in the Arts, which I sort of am, in my small way. And so I know that one of the big questions that governs the Arts is "Why not?"
However, one answer to this is that although in the Middle Ages seven was considered the age of reason and teenagers were considered adults, in the 21st century most nineteen year olds in the West, despite having the rights to drink and vote and drive, are still children. Women are supposed to guide and protect children, not get involved with them. However, once a man has children, he is no longer a child, and the married man under this scrutiny now has two, so I will shut up...
...after I observe that quite obviously life does not end at 42. Whoo!