So it finally happened. After 30 years of life I turned 30. This was a terrifying prospect for reasons that I can’t really define beyond “old and death are closer now”. But since there’s no way around it other than dying even sooner, which really defeats the purpose of avoiding 30, I did it as scheduled. It’s only been 2 weeks, but I’ve had time to reflect on what indisputable facts I know for certain now. Here are a few observations from the other side:
I Don’t Miss Being a Kid Anymore:
Ice cream at midnight, stay up all night, jerk off in the living room. You can have this and more when you grown. I could do without stuff like rent and buying food, but my primary memory of shopping as a kid was getting bored out of my mind while my mom looked at “one more pair” of shoes like 15 times in a row. Now I can leave the mall whenever the hell I want, and that is what I call freedom.
Kids Are Cute at Times, Though Not Universally:
When I was little I wanted tons of kids, because I was a kid and therefore kids seemed universally good as long as they were like me and not this weirdo I knew in first grade who kept hitting people with his head. Then I saw a kid vomit on a table at Cracker Barrel when I was 18 and didn’t want kids anymore. I mean this was a ten-year old and he covered an ENTIRE FAMILY SIZE TABLE with vomit. If that were my son I would have had to just drive away without finishing my egg sandwich. Gross.
But after 12 years of finding children distasteful, I’ve decided that I could possibly raise one if I had a reasonable and responsible wife, enough money to cover the expenses, and the young fellow agreed not to become a ruffian or drug addict. That doesn’t mean everything they do would be cute. Snot bubbles are unappealing. And no “cake smash” party on his/her first birthday. I consider wasted any food a baby smashes all over itself, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to BUY a cake solely for that purpose. Should I have to buy a second cake just to eat fucking cake after I just bought a cake? No.
You Appear Clever if You Do Crazy Old Man Things:
I was in the airport and had leftover chow mein in my backpack. It was enough for a full serving and I’d paid $8 for the plate the day before so I’d be damned if I was going to waste it. But that stuff is greasy and those little cardboard Chinese takeout boxes weren’t designed with real life in mind. It’s Atlanta, so a wall of cuss-outs protected the little plastic forks from non-paying customers. I didn’t have a good ol’ Kroger bag, but I had chips. So I ate those chips, sliced the bag open with my house keys, and jammed the sumbitch in there. Didn’t really work. Backpack still smells like chow mein. But I felt pretty handy and my girlfriend said I was resourceful, and that’s my point.
Public Toilets Aren’t a Death Sentence:
For a very long time I was terrified of taking a dump in a toilet that didn’t belong to myself or a close family member. The thought of sitting where thousands of strangers’ asses were while dropping a load was a bit too much extra for me. But I came to embrace it once I realized toilet paper costs money. And since I’m not buying it I can just pile the stuff on the seat and pretend it won’t slip. Even more importantly than free paper, public toilets tend to flush like they mean it. I don’t know what the deal is with house toilets but there’s too much emphasis on making the water swirl. Hell with that, just get it out of here! Find you a good library dumper and you’ll have peace and quiet plus a flush so swift a horse couldn’t clog it.
At 30, My Priorities Have Changed:
I once wanted to be a mysterious mountain man rescuing lost hikers and then growling into my beef jerky and morphing back into the woods as they tried to thank me. But mountain men have to deal with falling trees, ungrateful wolves, and other nature-related hazards. Now I think I’d rather be a grumpy old man, stalking Best Buy and warning patrons against buying Apple products. Then I’ll growl into a piece of beef jerky and wander off when they try to thank me. I’ll be doing better work this way, since those damn MacBooks are an asinine scam cooked up by San Francisco hipsters to raise money for their skinny denim pants by charging double for the same Chinese-made crap but with fewer USB ports.
But in case you wondered, yes, I will always be haunted by the fact that I will never be in the Forbes “30 Under 30”. Unless the Trump era means NOTHING is truly impossible, I have my first eternal regret. I look forward to seeing which one comes next!