Yesterday I decided to make a healthy, delicious breakfast. I got out the kale and three eggs, then began a short pre-cooking pep-talk, “Yes. You can cook. You can make this kale egg white scramble and by God, it will be delicious. “
About 4 minutes later, 2 egg whites were in the sink, while an egg yellow and 3 bits of shell made it to the mixing bowl. I grabbed another couple of eggs and was somehow able to get the damn egg whites separated out as I originally intended. As I was egg shifting and picking out shells, the burning kale got my attention. Quickly I shifted my efforts in a last ditch attempt to save this dish. About 3 minutes later, I had myself something that resembled my original intention. Voila..!?
A little ketchup and a dash of pride in knowing that I was the one who pulled this creation off was reason enough for me to enjoy it. I don’t know, it just sounded fancy, and a little better than the ole banana and bag of cheerios I barely have time for as I normally stress eat my breakfast at my desk. I instead made time for myself to prepare a meal, and sit down at my own dining room table by myself to eat breakfast.
And you know why? Because that’s what 30-year-olds do. That’s right fuckers. I am turning THIRTY on Saturday – I have only a few more days to go before I can officially say I have successfully passed one of the most challenging decades in human existence.
I wish I could say I’ve been cool about it. As though I have some sort of Katherine Hepburn-relaxed-nonchalant attitude about it. “Sure everyone, I am happy to report the past few months I’ve been trendy in embracing my age and rocking it because it doesn’t bother me at all.”
Welp, sorry, I’m not that cool. I’ve never claimed to be cool, and here again is another circumstance of my overthinking and control-freakish true self rearing its ridiculous head. “Wait a second….I’m going to turn 30, and there’s nothing I can do about it? Why didn’t anyone ask me if I was ready?? Where is the stop clock on this thing?”
Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where they all turn 30? The episode is set on Rachel’s 30th birthday, and the episode walks us through everyone’s 30th birthdays. Monica gets super hammered, Ross irresponsibly buys a new red convertible, and Joey just screams at God, “Why God?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US!?” Rachel in the end breaks up with her 24-year-old boyfriend, realizing she needs to think about baby-making and marriage-doing. It’s basically an episode of panic and chaos over one of the worst things that can happen.
I first watched that episode probably when I was 19 or so. I’ve probably watched/listened to hundreds of ideological shows, films, songs, advertisements professing to me, “30 is old. Don’t turn 30 if you still like fun having. The second you turn 30 no more playing with boys and by god you may not look sexy any more.” Now you tell me, how the hell is any honest 29-year-old supposed to beat back all that?
30 is horrifying for 3 reasons:
1) 30 is the mark of an adult
2) 30 is too old to have fun
3) You’re going to stop looking good
Let’s think about how birthdays go in our first 29 years. Getting older always meant one more step to more freedoms.
16 – yes I can drive!
18 – yes I can…buy porn? Uuuh, cigarettes? Hurry up 21.
21 – YAHOO! Beer!
And that’s it. Around 22 you finish college, maybe hit up grad school, but after 25 the birthdays start getting scarier. It no longer becomes a number of fun and new freedoms, it starts becoming a countdown to other things. Looking worse, retirement, and death, namely.
Sorry to be so grim about it, but it’s kinda true! And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of TV shows telling me that men my age prefer 18-year-old girls. Maybe some pervs do, and to them, enjoy those Girls Gone Wild reruns in your creepy basement. For the rest of us, I’m pretty sure all the decent dudes in my age range are perfectly happy with ladies in their 20’s as well as 30’s. So there’s one attack, 30 = no longer beautiful. I call bullshit on that, 30 is a great age – just because we aren’t little girls or boys, we are men and women with confidence and some sort of success, and that’s beautiful.
Now for the no-fun assumption slapped on 30-year-olds. Yes I have a job and pay my bills, but that doesn’t make me lame. Have you ever been to karaoke with me? I’m still really fun, even the hippest of hipsters crack a smile and can figure out how to have a good time. That and now I’m not quite as stressed out because you know what? I pay my bills and have a job.
I completely disagree that there is a direct correlation of getting older to less-fun. For example, I have been to tailgate parties. And while college kids are having a blast, I’m not sure they are having the most fun of everyone. It’s the old people with their season passes, who have all their gear well prepared, plenty of food and friends. They have always been the nicest, laugh the loudest, and are more willing to share their wealth and joy with anyone who will cheer for their team. Plus, they play the craziest beer games I’ve ever played. Seriously.
I don’t think life and fun stop at 30. Or when you get married. Or have kids. In fact, I think life gets a little more fun, because you know better who you are and where you’re going. The ambiguity of the 20’s was exhilarating in some respects, but frankly I love knowing where I’m going and am stoked to get there.
My high school class is all turning 30 this year, and one by one we are crossing that line. I’ve seen several take that step already and noticed that none of them exploded or developed instant wrinkles or bulbous sores all over themselves.
Therefore, I’m going to make the choice to ignore the bullshit surrounding 30. I’m not going to lie about it, I’m nervous and realize I’ll never be cool, but I’m going to make that effort to not care and get over it. At 30, I will be a badass, will have fun, and will continue to wear what I want, ignoring what society tells me a 30 year old is supposed to look like. I will behave as I please, and feel confident in who I am.
Here is to all of us turning 30 this year – you did it!! You survived your 20’s. Here’s to holding our heads up high and approaching it like any other fun birthday – being silly, joyful, and celebrating the blessing that is this life.