In 1994 film, Dumb and Dumber, the two main characters, Lloyd and Harry, have travel to Aspen and in spite of their stupidity and ineptitude, save the day. Lloyd, who had persuaded Harry to travel with him, had crossed the country having become smitten with Mary after a brief encounter as her driver. Unfortunately, Mary is trying to save her husband after a ransom demand and is reunited with him in the end. Meanwhile, Harry’s potential love interest turns out to be an undercover FBI agent, who is only in Aspen because of Mary’s predicament.
Thus, in the end, Lloyd and Harry are left lonely and broke, not knowing what life has got in store for them.
In the final scene, as they walk along the highway, a coach pulls up alongside them. Several bikini models lean out from the windows and the doors open, three more models coming out to encounter Lloyd and Harry. The flirty ladies inform them that they are on the look out for a couple gentlemen to administer tanning oil to them as they travel around the country. Lloyd directs the perplexed ladies to a town two miles down the road. As the coach pulls away, Lloyd turns to Harry, a moment of clarity dawning. They chase the coach down, stopping it. As the doors open, Lloyd informs them that the town is in the other directions. They wander off as the coach departs, wondering if they will ever get as lucky as the two guys who eventually get that job.
As I get older this scene, though still very funny, becomes increasingly poignant.
In your teens and twenties, the world is your oyster. Mortality, though aware of it, is not something that punctures the dreams of career greatness or making your mark in history. As the thirties come and responsibilities dilute dreams, there is still a notion of one’s moment arriving; that chance or opportunity that has so far eluded you. Obviously it’s coming. You were meant for great things. Obviously.
Forties. The body aches more, life is a bit more tiring. The dream, that moment that will change your life is looking fanciful now. But isn’t forty the new thirty? Will we not cling on like the revolutionary generation of the sixties, trying to remain relevant, even as time consigns us to history? Maybe.
The vision of a career, punctuated by an upward trajectory, culminating in a handsome pension, that keeps you comfortable in your dotage, is no longer applicable.
It is all about change. Change and self; self promotion. It is not what you can do, it’s what you say you can do. Proof is not necessary. Boldness is.
If you are hoping for that opportunity, your “models on the bus needing a tan assistant” event, you had better add it to your CV or LinkedIn profile, otherwise that moment may well never arrive, or if it does, you will not believe that you’re meant to take it.