Five years ago, when my friend AJ Daulerio turned 30, a friend of his wrote him a letter on Blacktable titled HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO EXPECT AFTER YOU TURN 30. I remember reading it at the time and thinking, "Oh, ha! That's funny! But it doesn't relate to me!" Well. It's still funny, at least.
HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO EXPECT AFTER YOU TURN 30
Somebody we know told me you're turning 30 tomorrow. I'd congratulate you, but frankly, I don't have a goddamn nice thing to say about it. I do, however, take perverse delight in telling you what you can expect or should keep in mind:
1. Lest you forget, everyone you know will remind you that you indeed are fucking old. They're not just giving you a hard time. This in fact is true. You are old.
2. You are now officially too old to be characterized in the press and in critical circles as a "rising star" of avant guard journalism or cultural commentary. That plaudit is for young guys -- guys in their 20s -- whose genius is so precocious they actually develop a sphere of influence all to themselves. College co-eds -- English majors and journalism students -- secretly doodle in their journals about fellating those guys just to be close to the genius. They also make notes in their journals about how guys like you creep them out. They wonder why you're not married.
3. On the upside, you needn't be too concerned about those co-eds anymore. As you progress from 30 to 31 and on to 32, your desire to actually sleep with them will drop precipitously. The healthy post-college-aged guy you once were -- cruising Manhattan any night of the week on booze-fueled sex junkets -- is now the cautious, chronically tired guy of Rolaids commercials and NPR call-in shows. I would tell you this change happens gradually, that you still have 18 months of Wednesday night beer specials and post-2 a.m. bong hits with Kelly and Christina, but in fact you should start feeling the effects by Tuesday.
4. 401K. These four characters were nothing more than unique keys on your Dell yesterday. Tomorrow they will take on a daunting significance that clouds your creativity like charcoal-grey cumulonimbi threatening the Merry Retirement Trailer Community in western Pennsylvania. Overnight, financial desparation switches from sexy artist cachet to a mark of blandness and failure. Is it true you don't yet own a condo?
5. You're only 5 years away from your first prostate exam. Let's get fired up!
6. Speaking of doctors, start scheduling more time for them in your Microsoft Outlook calendar. Organized sports are out of the question at your age, and yes, it's true, you really have been smoking for almost two decades now.
7. No, what you're hearing on that kid's radio in Washington Park is not some Outkast B-side. It's actually a whole new breed of hip hop/trance fusion that you had no idea exists. Yes, I agree, it does sound awfully loud.
8. Remember when you laughed your ass off at Chris Rock's "old guy in the club" bit? (No seriously, I'm asking you... do you remember that? I mean it was quite some time ago. Sometimes those things slip.)
9. Hangovers: they're more than just myth.
10. Starting in 24 hours, you are officially closer to 40 than to 20. How're they hanging now, kid?