Monday, November 8, 2010

Reflections on Turning 30 . . . Something

This weekend I celebrated a birthday.  I'm not sure why, but this particular birthday caused me a bit of an existential dilemma.  In short, I was feeling old.  Now, I realize you're only as old as you feel, age is just a number, and you shouldn't lie about your age, you should defy it, so say the great philosophers (and at least one cosmetics company).  But for some reason -- perhaps it's my increasingly creaky neck -- I'm acutely aware of aging.

All day I was feeling gloomy.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but I was sour.  Eventually you reach a point, I think, where you've got more years behind you than you've got ahead of you, and I was lamenting this all day to WH.  He, of course, told me to shut it, as that would mean that I would be dead by 70.  I'm not sure why I was reflecting on my mortality, but I was.

Wonderful Husband, in his usual wonderfulness, organized a gathering of my nearest and dearest to celebrate the passing of another year.    In attendance were childhood friends . . . friendships that span more years than the Jonas Brothers (all three of them!), Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera have been alive.  Some newer friends, who were just meeting my long-time friends for the first time, marveled at the longevity of our friendships.  It's something I think we take for granted most of the time . . . when you've known someone all your life, they become your second family, and you know they'll always be there.  And spending time with old friends, the people who remember my awkward phase (73-pounds, 5'4", braces, perm and 1987 bangs), reminded me that there are some definite pluses about getting older.  So, I decided to compile a brief list of reasons I'm glad I am the age I am and not any other age:

1.  You can look at the "youngsters" and scoff, "When I was your age . . ." and fill in any appropriate blank.  For example, "You think you've got it bad?  When I was your age, we had Crystal Pepsi, Brett Favre couldn't even imagine retirement, and George Bush (the old one) barfed in the lap of the Japanese President" or "When I was your age, I had to print my papers on a dot matrix printer, do you know what that is?"

2.  Betty White's career resurgence is evidence that you absolutely do get better with age (but please put me out of my misery if I'm still working in my 80s). 


3.  Toys. WH has waxed philosophically about the toys he loved as a child, and I think he's right. A little friend of mine is attached by a cord to every toy she owns. But when I was a kid (which can be used interchangeably with "When I was your age"), our toys were awesome. Favorites of mine include the hippity hop, that horse on springs you could ride back and forth, the Sit and Spin, and Hungry Hungry Hippos.

sit n spin
Image courtesy of kramerwalks via Flickr
  4.  No more 20s! Don't get me wrong, I loved my 20s. A lot.  But I wouldn't go back for anything in the world!  Case in point, Linsay Lohan.  Poor child still has most of her 20s ahead of her.  Can you imagine having gone through all that rehab and court dates and bad movies (I Know Who Killed Me, anyone?) and still having another 7 years left before you turn 30?  My 20s were exhausting, what with all the graduating from college and pretending to be an adult and social events and such.  Mostly the social events.  You have to do that stuff while you're young, because if you try that shit in your 30s, your head will explode.  But, on a side note, if you happen to run into me on the street and want to tell me that I still look like I'm in my 20s, that'd be okay.

5.  I've never had to live in a world without Saturday Night Live (even in the years we all may have wanted to). 

And as I sat there on Saturday night, surrounded by friends and family, I realized just how lucky I am.  Even if later that night someone took my bar stool the minute I stood up, so that when I went to sit back down I came crashing to the floor bruising my tailbone.  And even if, because of that, I've been walking like a 90-year-old grandma for several days.  Because when I went crashing to the floor, I looked up and saw the faces of people who love me (and who love to laugh at me) and realized that as long as you can laugh, at yourself and others and along with your very best friends, it doesn't matter how old you are.


  1. I'm flattered that I was able to celebrate your birthday with you and your loved ones! I have friends who I've known for 10 years now and at 25, that seems like forever. It was awesome to see your childhood friends!

    And your WH is definitely wonderful.

    Happy birthday love! I hope I'll be here to celebrate many more with you :)


  2. Happy birthday girl! I thought nothing could top my 20s. So far, I've been proved very very wrong and I am really cool with it.

    I'd love to see you do a post on letter to your 20-something old self too. These have been inspirational for me.