I was talking to a goyish friend of mine (albeit with an estimable Yiddish vocabulary) yesterday and found out something interesting about the gentiles: when you turn 33, you're supposed to furrow your brow and say something like, "Look at everything Jesus did by 33, and what the hell have I made of my life?" I suspect rather few of you do this, in fact, and "you" might be a hasty choice of pronoun anyway considering my regular semi-conscious efforts to alienate the devout. 33, said my friend, is your Christ year.
It just occured to me what the opera queen's analogous crisis must be: as of half an hour ago, I am older than the Marschallin. Die Marschallin Furstin Werdenberg, Resi to her friends, was described by Hoffmansthal, as no older than 32--I think that's how he phrased it. One does at certain moments feel ganz alt, but thank god for Oktavian. Thus ends my Marschallin year.