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Guest Post: The Mid-Thirties-Crisis, Carson Daly, and Me

June 22, 2016
male aggression
lindy west shrill

Please enjoy this beautifully written, wildly hysterical post from my sister cousin Geanna on the relationship between Carson Daly (whose birthday is TODAY!) and ther mid-thirties (which began last week!). xo – J

It is a widely-agreed-upon fact that science and millennials everywhere have separated the 10 years of your 30s into three main sections:


The Early-Thirties (Ages 30 to 33):


You’re still young, you still have time to figure shit out! But now you have a greater sense of self and can make generic decisions without questioning every little thing. The hangovers are worse, but you learn to only have them on the weekends. Mostly.

The Mid-Thirties (Ages 34 to 36):


Time is ticking, but you’re still young! All your friends seem to be making important, weighty decisions and procreating, but that doesn’t mean you have to! You can still try and go out during the week, it’s okay! EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY!

The Late-Thirties (Ages 37 to 39):


Here comes 40. Fuck.

As you have probably surmised by the above, I am currently balls-deep in my mid-30s, having just celebrated my 34th‘Palooza and survived with flying colors. A lot has changed since my optimistic, ‘Mary Tyler Moore Ode to Thirty-One,’ but truthfully most of the changing has happened around me. I’ve been to about 600 weddings, watched my friends have 200 babies, and been privy to the acquisition of 125 homes* (*these numbers have been grossly exaggerated for emphasis). And here I am, employed in the same field (which I am thankful for!), in the same city (which I love with all my heart!), and nowhere near making ANY decisions that will affect the rest of my life (which is currently okay with me but what if I regret this later?!)

Oh, hello Mid-Thirties-Crisis. I’ve been waiting for you.


While it’s tempting to wax philosophical about what it means to not be on the same life path as your peers, 1) it’s old news and 2) it will make my mom cry. So as we often do in such times, we need to glob onto a piece of pop culture nostalgia that can easily explain our current state. Globbing is the only way.

As a creature of habit, every morning I wake up, hit snooze 25 times, roll out of bed and turn on The Today Show. I don’t particularly like the hosts on The Today Show, but sometimes they demonstrate how to grill corn on the cob and direct me towards which Neutrogena product is best for crow’s feet (can we as a society think of a new name for this, please?). More recently, however, I’ve been watching particularly to see what Carson Daly is up to. CARSON. DALY.

Did you guys know that Carson Daly is on The Today Show? Like, regularly?



Proof that Carson Daly is on The Today Show


I first saw him one morning doing a spot about Red Nose Day (can we as a society think of a better way to fundraise money, please?), and now I literally cannot stop watching because it boggles my mind to even think about how he ended up there. That scrawny, awkward, nail-polished boy from TRL is now a slightly less scrawny, awkward, suit-wearing host of The Today Show. What. The. Fuck.

As part of the MTV generation, I was home after school every day watching TRL (or, Total Request Live, for you unfortunate kids out there). With his casually painted black fingernails and weird spiky hair, Carson’s fashion choices were questionable and yet we all thought he was somehow attractive enough to make out with. He dated still-relevant-at-the-time Jennifer Love Hewitt, one of my least favorite characters on Kids Incorporated (note from Jessie: WHAT?!?!?!? How rude). She was so perky and he was SO “alternative” (again, black nail polish), the perfect couple for my confused, self-loathing, angsty brain. He represented everything that a screaming idiot teenager could want.

Into our college years and early twenties, Carson was given his own late night show, Last Call with Carson Daly, primetime for college students who wanted to procrastinate and/or stay up late to see if they would finally hook up with that boy from down the hall. We all made fun of him and called him a tool, but inside we were kind of happy for him to still be on tv. And also that he had lost the nail polish.

And now, in a timeslot once again perfect for my schedule, Carson is on The Today Show. As my life has required him to be present at specified times during the day over these past 30 years, he has been there without fail. I know I can count on his overly white grin and baby blue eyes to usher me through every phase of life, providing me answers to the most important questions at key stages during my personal growth: Which music video has been voted best today? Which new band is most underground today? What washed-up act is performing on the plaza today? And so on.

My patron saint of the mid-thirties-crisis is Carson Daly, and he will be yours as well.


He has been with me always, telling me that it’s okay if you don’t follow the chosen path of your peers, as long as you end up on The Today Show… er, end up content with how you are living, right now. Yes, he slips and falls and wears a red nose sometimes, but don’t we all? There is literally no other person better equipped to lead us into the unknown, and I look forward to someday watching him become a correspondent for 60 Minutes so that he can answer my questions about which retired bands are touring via hologram, thanks to science and the CBS Corporation. Carson Daly keeps me current, because he will (somehow) always be so himself.

Two years ago, in a vodka-induced-diatribe describing my career trajectory, my intern at the time looked at me puzzled and said, “But I thought you were like 25…?”

Straddling the line between early-to-mid-thirties is no easy feat. For this I say thank you, Korean genes. Thank you, vodka soda. And thank you, Carson Daly.


For More On Aging Gracefully From My Sister Cousin Geanna Check Out:


Older, Wiser But Still So Youthful: On The Eve Of 31

I Survived My 10 Year High School Reunion And Learned Nothing

1 comment

  1. Wait, what about the voice? I’m smack in the middle of the early 40’s and also have some attachment to Carson Daly. I thought I was the MTV generation? Unfortunately, I remember when it started. Took over my life.

    Anyways, the early 40’s are all about realizing that you are not going to be a rockstar, and so you don’t have to care about what anybody thinks about you anymore. Very liberating, yet easily falls into the what could have been. And then there is Carson Daly on The Voice trying to show me that there is still hope!… Noooo, just let it go, man (talking to myself).

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