Saturday, February 9, 2008


I'm turning 30 soon.

In June.

I'm turning thirty in June.

In June, I'll be thirty years old.

Typing this is more for me than for you - I'm guessing you understood the first time. For me, though, it seems a little weird.

I'm getting old, man.

I'm sure somebody reading this is thinking, "Quit whining, kid - I'd love to be thirty again." True, but there is probably some young mo-fo thinking, "Dang, Father Time - go get your Social Security check and quit bugging me."

I understand that 30 years isn't that big of a deal, but it is a pretty significant milestone for anyone. Just like 18, 21, 25 (for dudes, when their insurance rates go down), 40, 50, 60, 65, and probably more after that.

So, I've been thinking about milestones lately. Seems like a lot of other people are, too. Of course, you only tend to notice the stuff going around you when you can identify with it. It isn't like folks haven't been dwelling on this type of shit, well, since forever, but I'm only sensitive to it when I'm dwelling on it myself.

Milestones aren't just birthdays, but also important events like transitioning from college to a first real job, getting engaged and married, buying a first house, having a baby, opening your own business, making your last student loan or mortgage payment, watching your kids achieve their own milestones, and many more. Recently, Alexa at Cleveland's a Plum posted about this phenomenon in an intriguing way. I had my own experience recently, too.

I went over to the bank to deposit a check and the bankteller dude asks me how I'm doing. "I'm doing, man. How about you?" I responded, apparently possessed by Jeff Spicoli. He replies, "I'm surviving...considering I'm turning thirty in a month." He then goes on to spill how he's really freaked out by that and has been doing all sorts of reflecting as of late. I say, "I know how you feel, man. I'm turning 30 in June and it is really freaking me out, too." He hands me my balance, we exchange the types of sincere, keep-it-together nods that only two men that don't know each other can give, and I take off.

Another friend of mine sent me an email recently, wondering what to get her husband for his own 30th birthday. In that case, someone else's milestone prompted self-reflection and anxiety.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. Maybe I'm just trying to work through these things in my head. Maybe I'm priming my audience for early-summer gift-giving. Maybe I'm not-so-subtly seeking affirmations of my youthful spirit.

If you are thinking about how to respond, forget about the last option and just spend some money and buy me something cool in June.

You know how people say, "I don't want anything, it isn't that big of a deal." I say fuck that - it is a big deal. If you give me a gift, I promise to like it.

Or at least to pawn it.

Either way, it'll make me happy.

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