Recently I learned that John Krasinski, one of the stars of "The Office," is my age, 28. This is dispiriting news. Like many people I've always assumed I was a child prodigy, or at least some kind of genius, and if my obvious talent hadn't emerged by now, well, I'm still young enough for some kind of brilliance to come tumbling out of me any moment now. Yet as I continue my voyage through my twenties, more and more people are starting to appear in our culture who are remarkably talented, intelligent, successful, charismatic, gifted, and younger than me.
I always tend to assume people on tv, and the writers I read, and the doctors I see, and government officials, and musical artists, are all at least two or three years older than me, which somehow perfectly explains the fact that they are where they are. Obviously I will be there too in a couple years. Unfortunately, this already shaky world view can't quite handle people like John Krasinski, who is my age yet is somehow also on my favorite tv show and apparently funny and decent. The worst thing of all, of course, is the people who are younger than me: Many R&B artists. Most Olympians. Everyone Diddy picked for "Making the Band." Those kids from "High School Musical." And the list goes on. Sometimes I think about Justin Timberlake, and the fact that I've actually had even more time on earth than he has, extra time when I could have been establishing my own wildly fantastic musical success, and it makes me want to puke a little bit. And I'm not sure if this situation is going to improve.