30 Facts About 30

“Age is just a number.” False. If that were true my knee wouldn’t make a popping sound when I sit down.

Here are 30 undeniable facts about turning the terrifying thirty.

  1. 30 sucks.
  2. 30 is awesome.
  3. Your perception of turning 30 depends entirely on where you are in your life and how much you’ve “achieved.”
  4. “Achievement” is entirely based on your gender. If you’re a 30-year-old woman, you should be married/engaged and have a child/plans for children very soon.
  5. You’re no longer allowed to be “figuring life out.” You should have your shit together.
  6. You’re expected to have a good job, have a good relationship and own a suit.
  7. Most 30-year-olds are still “figuring life out.”
  8. If you’ve done life right, your alcohol tolerance at 30 is far greater than it was at 25.
  9. Your Facebook feed becomes overrun with pictures of babies… and you post a few yourself.
  10. There are athletes younger than you that can realistically have competed in 3 Olympic games.
  11. You’ll never make a “30 Under 30” list.
  12. You’re not the youngest in your group of friends anymore.
  13. You’re not the youngest at work anymore.
  14. You’re not the youngest anywhere anymore.
    You lose all ability to perceive the age of people younger than you.
  15. You refuse to accept the age of people only a few years older than you.
  16. You remember how OLD 30 sounded when you were a teenager.
  17. You’re not allowed to complain about being 30 to anyone in their 40’s.
  18. Your memory starts going and you often tell the same stories to the same people over and over.
  19. You’ve known your friends long enough that they won’t hesitate to tell you that you’re old, and forgetful, and have told them the same story over and over again.
  20. You notice that a lot of things matter a lot less. Things that would have ruined your whole day at 22 don’t even affect you at 30.
  21. You notice a lot of things matter a lot more. You know life is short and precious and you start to get your priorities straight.
  22. You are much better at standing up for yourself and people who mess with you better watch the hell out.
  23. If you’re lucky, you can officially say you’ve been friends with someone 10 or 20 years. That is an awesome feeling.
  24. When you think of the mid-1990’s, you still think of them as about 10 years ago.
  25. When you were a kid, Nick at Nite was I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Taxi.
  26. You’re horrified that Nick at Nite is now Roseanne, Full House and Friends.
  27. You’re even more horrified that Marge and Homer, and Dan and Roseanne were only a few years older than you are now… and they each had three kids.
  28. You used to think it was impressive that you knew every word to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. You now realize everyone your age knows every word to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.
  29. You can honestly say you know yourself better than you ever have.
  30. You’ve convinced yourself that with modern medicine, 30 is the new 20. And if you look at pictures of people your age from the 1950’s, you might just be right.
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“Fulfilling My Potential Would Really Cut Into My Sitting Around Time”

I’ve watched a lot of standup comedy over the years. Comedy Central was a main source of entertainment for me starting at a young age. Obviously this was before TV Parental Guidelines were put in place and immediately ignored by everyone.

Without Comedy Central, who’s to say if I would have developed my signature sparkling wit. ~Because if there is one word that best describes Comedy Central it would be “witty.” I certainly don’t think they should just change the name to Dick and Poop Joke Central.~

There are very few standup routines that I actually remember with any detail. I can have a decent recollection of Louis C.K.’s hilarious account of his daughter being bitten by a pony or Jim Gaffigan’s… uh… story about how Hot Pockets are hot. Obviously my ability to recall routines doesn’t directly correlate with the actual quality of the material.

The one piece of standup that sticks most vividly in my mind is a single punch line by comedienne Maria Bamford (now best known for her Target ads). I can’t even recall the exact setup of the joke. I believe that, as with all good stories, a cult may have been involved.

I did an online search to make sure I was somewhat close on what I remembered of this punch line. It has been about ten years since I saw this particular special, after all. According to the always accurate internet, the exact line is:

“She said I was afraid of success, which may in fact be true, because I have a feeling that fulfilling my potential would really cut into my sitting around time.”

Now why, oh, why would that one piece of comedy resonate with me so deeply? What possible reason would my increasingly forgetful brain have to retain this joke? My mind has gone through hundreds of information/data purges by now and somehow this line stays clear as day.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that this line has stuck with me. I’ve never been bitten by a wild pony or had the inside of my mouth scalded by a molten hot Hot Pocket and I pretty much remember those bits. Or perhaps…

In an odd way this joke has kind of become my life motto. What? “Making a punch line your life’s motto isn’t a great idea,” you say? Well, bite me. I didn’t ask for your opinion.

I have actually used this joke to laugh away missed opportunities in my life. If I  skipped an audition or didn’t get around to applying for a job it was because it would have “really cut into my sitting around time.” Ha, ha I’m a slacker, ha ha. It’s been how many weeks since I posted to this site? You get my point.

Fear of success and fear of failure are one in the same. No one is really afraid of succeeding, they’re afraid of the possibility that they’ll fail at being successful. Read that sentence slowly about five times and it will start to make sense.

People just say they’re afraid of success because it sounds better than being afraid of failure. No one has ever not tried something because they were afraid they’d be too awesome at it.

I’m much older now than I was when I first heard that punch line. I’d like to say wiser, but really I’ve just been through more crap. However, that crap has made me realize it’s time to drop this particular life motto.

One perk of having been through more crap is that you genuinely care less about what other people think. I am slowly easing into this new concept called “trying.” I think it originated in China. It’s a foreign idea to me, so we’ll see how it goes.

So what’s the point that this snarky self helper is trying to make? Most of the good things in life will cut into your sitting around time. Get off your ass and don’t worry about who’s watching.

Until I can find a good replacement life motto, I think my interim one will be “We call our act the Aristocrats.” What do you think?


I’m Not Old, You’re Incompetent

The horror. Oh, the horror!

Sorry, I got ahead of myself. Let me take a moment to set a scene for you.

You’re in the checkout line of your local grocery store getting ready to purchase your adult beverage of choice. You’ve carefully thrown some additional items into the mix so it doesn’t look like you went to the store just to buy booze. Everyone knows that you want your shopping selection to have that “I just noticed the alcohol while I was shopping for my groceries” feel. It’s just the classy thing to do.

As you begin to check out, the pimple-faced 12-year-old working the register asks you if you found everything alright. You answer politely “yes,” even though you’re thinking “why the hell would someone wait until they started checking out to ask where to find something?”

Since you’re a courteous shopper, you politely get your I.D. ready to hand to him. The sign does say that they card anyone who looks under 40-years-old after all.

The adolescent cashier finishes ringing up your items, looks at you and says “Your total is…”

Oh… no… he… didn’t.

In a humiliated panic you try to subtly put your ID back into its slot in your wallet. You attempt to cover this catastrophe by pretending that you’re getting out your credit card, but you can tell everyone is looking at you and laughing. Laughing at your smug delusion. “Ha! She thinks she looks 19,” they think to themselves.

There has to be some reason for this blatant oversight. The explanation is not an easy one to accept, but there is only one logical answer: he’s incompetent.

Here’s a little tip from this snarky self-helper to all the cashiers of the world: always ask a woman for ID. Trust me, it’s for the betterment of society as a whole.