I’ll Have What She’s Having (Not)

I'll have what's she's having

I’ll Have What She’s Having (Not)

Before most millennials were born, the iconic line from the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally still resonates but what about the food?

And why am I suddenly hating on millennials?

I found out a couple weeks ago and no, I did not follow in the footsteps of the thousands of patrons of Katz’s Delicatessen who have reenacted the orgasm scene from the film, starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The film, which paved the way for contemporary rom-coms, explores the concept of men and women being “just friends”.

If you somehow missed the film, Sally (Ryan) tells Harry (Crystal) that all women have faked an orgasm at some point. Over a corned beef sandwich at Katz’s, Harry doesn’t believe her, so she demonstrates, loudly, the big “O” in front of dozens of patrons.

After her uncomfortably long performance, the camera cuts to a patron who tells the waitress, “I’ll have what she’s having.” The customer is none other than director, Rob Reiner’s mom, Estelle. See the video clip for fun and fast forward (if queasy or ADHD) to the end for the classic line. The deli hasn’t changed a bit.

Like anything classic, it stands the test of time. There is something cozy and reassuring visiting a place where you can sit at the same table as Harry and Sally 27 years later, knowing the deli hasn’t changed much since opening in 1888.

I can’t say the same for the neighborhood, the Lower East Side in Manhattan. It’s transformed over 100 years from slummy tenements packed with Jewish and other immigrants to its current hipster chic vibe known as LES, swarming with millennials drinking Bullet-Proof coffee on their way to yoga.

Like the middle-aged mom in the film, wondering if she’s missed out, I felt a pang for lost youth. I’m old enough to have seen the film in the theater in 1989.

And like most baby boomers, refuse to go gently into the night. We’re the game changers, the forever blue jean wearers and leaders of the pack.

But something changed after my dinner at Katz’s and a stay at a hipper than hip hotel, a hop and skip away. Invited to an amazing all expenses paid conference at Indigo I had a blast with fellow bloggers, but the pervasive vegan-scented hipsterdom of beards, tattoos and PC eco-friendly goodness got under my un-inked skin.

It’s been marinating to an unholy stench since. It’s not an “us against them” complaint but the painful realization that I’m not part of the “it” generation any more. Like the hubby who dumps the wife for a younger model, it compounds the reality of the invisible years. The truth is, gradually the millennials have out-numbered us baby boomers Their 87 million to our 76 million, according to CNN Money.


At the rooftop bar of the Indigo hotel, it felt like everyone was 22 but it wasn’t my imagination. In the U.S. there are more 22 year olds, than any other age group. And “middle age”? Looking at a true median shows the middle age in America is 37.6 years old. Oh my fucking God. How did this happen?

In my age-denying brain, I’m still middle-aged, permanently crazy glued to 39 or 49 on a bad day. But AARP is sending me membership offers. I feel ageless but the mirror doesn’t lie.

I joke with fellow boomer blogger friends about everyone in PR that we deal with is 22. The reality is it’s not a joke. I’m surrounded by 20 to 30 something entrepreneurs out the save the world. I love their earnestness but envy their social media klout and 6-figure Instagram accounts. Not to mention superhuman speed texting making me feel dial-up login old.

What’s at the root of my blood slowly boiling is a “I’ll have what she’s having” combo chopped liver moment. Don’t worry, it’ll pass. What’s astounding is discovering a shocking number of millennial spiritual gurus on Instagram with massive numbers spouting their mumbo jumbo secret sauce. They have carefully curated photo quotes and programs synthesized from every self book I’ve read and experienced for the past 40+ years (yeah, my seeker life started young).

I may have more wisdom than these freshly minted gurus but numbers speak louder than truth. The 22-year- old YouTube star with millions of fans or the 32-year-old Instagram favorite are the new gurus as brands.

One woman, half my age offers mentoring programs. Um, don’t you need life experience before you can mentor in any field? Is this sour grapes? Whoa is me and why don’t I have a show, book, waa waa waa? It’s clearly their destiny, karma to have this experience at this point in their lives but I still have to wrestle those green-eyed monsters. The lessons never stop.

I’ve always said, you can only teach what you know. Knowledge can be accumulated in a Google search but there is no app for wisdom.

Millennials grew up online, tethered to their devices and many are comfortable worshipping their mirror selves in teachers the same age. Not all, thankfully. My millennial step-kids are insightful pragmatists.

Where does that leave old crones like me and maybe you? I’d like to see a bridge uniting boomers and millennials. Analog and digital. We have much to learn from each other, but…

my inner anarchist is rebelling at the healthy hipster lifestyle. I’ll dig deeper into why a treehugger like me is triggered by vegan food at cocktail parties and events or having to hear about the endless dietary fads and restrictions.

Been there done that. I was vegan for a spell and vegetarian for seven years for all the popular moral and environmental reasons but my body is happier with a little meat. Call me a hypocrite, but I love a juicy organic, grass-fed steak. I don’t eat meat or fish more than twice a week but when I do, there is zero guilt.

And don’t get me going about tattoos (or maybe I will do a proper rant in another post if I’m not run off my meager platform by militant vegans. Why is everyone getting inked? A small, meaningful tattoo I understand but full body tattoos speak of something else. This piece from Vice bridging tattoos from circus freak shows to reality shows explains a few reasons, but before I turn into a crankypants curmudgeon, let’s dig into some meat.

My friend Caren from Cat Chat With Caren and Cody joined me for dinner at Katz’s along with a charming Frenchman and a delightful millennial dude from the Netherlands. Both Caren and I love Reubens but at $23.00 for a stringy, cheese-not-melted sandwich did not melt my heart. The corned beef should’ve been like butter. It wasn’t but the boys’ pastrami was big O good.

If you have any opinions, I’m all ears. This way too long post was long overdue but once the Black Cats Tell All book is out, I have plans for this blog.

I'll have what's she's having

15 thoughts on “I’ll Have What She’s Having (Not)

  1. ConnieMarie Poulson says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I’m with you 100%. You couldn’t have said it better! I’m so very relieved I’m not the only one who feels this.
    I’m only on Facebook, I never did start blogging, so I escape from some of what you’re talking about.
    I don’t understand where human contact became a text only. It’s disheartening actually. Oh well, life goes on. Just not with me in it so much.

    • boomermuse says:

      Thanks,I wasn’t sure how this would be received. It’s risky speaking your truth but what’s the alternative? The older I get, the less I care about pleasing others 🙂

  2. mistletoeandhitch says:

    It’s a relief to know I’m not alone. The next person asking if the pasta is gluten free, without knowing what gluten is or why they might need to avoid it may see this Crone have a small boomer melt-down…and yes the cheese is full fat. Why waste the time chewing anything else?. Of course I contributed my own beloved millennial to the World so I suppose I can’t complain overly much about them. For all my complaints, I should admit that besides their odd food practices, the Millennials I know are bright, open, loving individuals who have enriched my life….even if they have no idea who Harry and Sally are.


    • boomermuse says:

      Ha, I forgot to mention gluten! I had a boyfriend 20+ years ago diagnosed with celiac and had to go gluten-free. This was so hard then but when a gluten-free bakery opened near me, it felt too too. Yes, to full-fat, butter and listening to our bodies and not what’s trending online 🙂

  3. ConnieMarie Poulson says:

    I for one am really gad you did. I have a relative who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, she had to go gluten free, but why it’s become such a trend is beyond me. My brother looked 10 years older going totally fat free. I’m all for REAL food! I look 15 years younger than my brother too, sad to say. One other thing that now trends is carbs. I’ve come to really dislike that word. You look young too, so we’re doing something right. Also, the new trending cat food, could be people food for all they now put in it to please this generation. Look it up and lots of those ingredients aren’t goid for cats!!

  4. Hallelujah! I have been a grumpy old fart for awhile now..i have embraced though the fact i can pretty much if i want walk into any shop and steal pretty much anything as i am now invisible! This is my new Super power..i do have the odd tattoo and don’t mind the ink art but please if i see one more ‘kid’ espousing their gluten free diet when they have not even been diagnosed Coeliac i will ram their stodgy fare down their heavily pierced mouth. I am all for young people making their way in this world but this selfie driven obsession is a joke..my grumpy answer real selfies..me sick..me dirty..me as i am..i wonder at what will become of them all when they soon become middle aged..most likely at a younger age even than us.
    Yes sounds like sour grapes but grapes make wine..so i am happy to pffft at the self indulgences and wander from store to store..invisible 🙂 xx

  5. Ah yes the 20 to 30 something all thinking that they know everything thing there is to know about everything and everyone of us wishes we were the same age…..not me I’m happy being 40 something….so much easier to live,no bullshit,just saying like it is!Ain’t Life Grand when you’re 40+ !!!!
    I actually only eat fish,eggs and dairy and veg I change my diet to that because I found eating chicken,Turkey,Pork,beef and lamb actually makes my period pains worse ,I have no idea why but I have gone from popping loads of pills for my cramps and pain to taking nothing and its only taken me 30 years to figure this out….hahaha,xx Rachel

  6. Beverly says:

    I am picking myself off the floor, wiping tears from my eyes. This is hysterical! And I thought I was the only one! On my own private (DeadJournal) blog I renamed myself Ghost because of the invisibility quotient in my life. I make no claim to wisdom, indeed, I find the older I get the less I know (but I study hard to remedy that). But the idea of 20-somethings setting themselves up as mentors and arbiters of taste just chaps my hide. . .maybe I need to quit watching HGTV decorating shows. Or maybe I just need some pastrami. 😉

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