Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thirty Something

Somebody...may or may not...
be turning...30.  
Somebody who loves a good ellipsis.
Just saying, it's a possibility.  

I've noticed a tendency for each birthday to hold less and less excitement for the birthday boy or girl, after the legal drinking age milestone.  Not much of a drinker,  21 meant nothing more for me than the opportunity to order wine and have my cheeks turn a bright fushia inside restaurants, rather than at the occasional apartment party.
Oh wait.  I did go buy beer with my roommate Brenda, who was a youngin' in our little circle of music friends, and underage.
We thought we were so bad.  Sorry, Brendy, blew your cover.
I still only like Yuengling though. :-)
Yeah, 21 was not so monumental an occasion as was depicted in made-for-teen movies.

So, flash-forward 9 years...

"What do you think of turning 30? Big deal?"
"You still haven't told me what you want for your birthday!  Do you want a party, or do you want to keep it quiet?"
"Your birthday is coming - big 3-0! You and Bob going to go out?"

The usual interpretation of "going out", the "party" thing, is so 100% not me that I'm starting to wonder if it's being asked in jest.  It seems that once upon a time, 30 was a big deal too.  However, Americans in our generation are marrying and having children later than was done a generation or two ago; for women, the average age to be married is 25.  27 for men. Bob and I were 22 years old.

30 used to mean that you probably had work, wife, and children figured out.  Used to.  Nowadays, your thirtieth birthday could easily mean that you are just starting to think about maybe considering sorting it all out...next year.  And that's cool too.  It seems like one is expected to spend most of one's 20's in a bar. Yes, I realize I formed this perception mostly from sitcoms and friends' big talk. And no, I'm definitely not one for temperance.  Whatever those margarita-colored things the girls below have look wonderful! But come on! Go out? Party?
Not exactly a "Woo!" girl over here.  I do, however, love that episode of "How I Met Your Mother". 

I'm married with two kids, a minivan, and I teach elementary school.  
I've been 30 since I was in my early 20's.  

We lead pretty quiet lives, handsome hubby, Miss M, the Little Project, and me.  "Quiet" being a subjective term, seeing as most of the time someone in our house is either dancing to loud music, storytelling with Barbies, or screeching. I don't know, pick one of us. When I'm told that I need to go out with "the girls" and "live a little", I call on my arsenal of "no thanks" decline lines.  Using these excuses, I explain away the obligation to be somebody I'm not because my age starts with a two.  I maintain that we're still coming out of 2nd-baby-with-a-heart-thing fog.  Hubby isn't the social butterfly his elder daughter is, either, and he'd be quite happy hanging out at home or with a few friends.  E still wails for a solid hour when you leave her at church nursery;  calling a local teen to babysit so we can go "Woo" it up on weekends doesn't sound worth it...or even fun. 

Definitely already 30-somethings, we are. Hell, I think we act like 40+ somethings on weeknights.  So. Tired. Can't. Get. Off. Couch. Ooh! Let's watch last night's Colbert!  Well hey, YOU go to bed late, get up at least once with small people who don't understand that you like sleep better than them at that moment, and then get up at 5:30AM the next day.  I have to not lash out at small children be pleasant as part of my job.  Me likey sleep.

So, "what do I think of turning 30?"  Um, been there, done that. 

This life is busy and occasionally overwhelming, but sweet. I can't imagine being in this exact spot in life, but ten years later, when I supposedly will have 10 years' less energy to my name.   I hereby raise those with the patience and energy to do so to deity status.  It ain't me.  And besides, there are the LOVELY perks to being where I am on my 30th birthday.  Babies' laughter, comfortable stability, partner who adores me, career figured out, blah blah blah.
The perks I'm talking about would fit in my response to Bob's inquiry regarding what I want to do for my birthday:

"I want to sleep till I wake up.
Then I want to go eat something ridiculously unhealthy for breakfast.
Then I want to go shopping without carrying a diaper bag or pushing a stoller, and buy stuff only for ME. Then I want to come home, have coffee, and curl up with a book.
Then I want to go out for Mexican with the family and not have to feed anybody tiny cut up pieces of anything.

Then I want margarita as big as my head."

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