The day has arrived. For months I’ve been stressing over it, worrying myself to death over it, preparing myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually for it. The day is December 9, 2014 and it’s my 30th birthday.
I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’ve scoured the internet for the last few weeks seeking out articles, blog posts and even scientific studies regarding the moment when a person turns 30. There’s a part of me that was hoping to find some insight or advice for how to deal with the stressful date, maybe some witty quips about getting older and crossing that threshold that is 30 years of age. Some reflections of life, youth lost, responsibilities that are on the horizon. What I ended up learning is that 30 is no different than 29 and I’m apparently the only man on the planet that is stressing about it. Neither of which were things I wanted to find out.
In preparation for writing this post I decided to take a look back at some old photos I had and even went back to my very first posts on Facebook. The latter produced very little except that on December 31, 2008 I said “Facebook keeps telling me I know Adam Hall but I don’t. If I were him, I’d change my name to ‘Adam Hell’. That would be rad.”
And I still think that’s true.
So rather than reflect or be cutesy about my age I’ve decided to take a page out of Alton Brown’s book and assemble a list of things I know are true. These involve music, life in general, love, relationships, food, health, being a decent person, and yes, even punctuation.
- Your taste in music can and will change.
There once was a time when I thought if it ain’t AC/DC then it ain’t music. That eventually morphed into “if it ain’t heavy metal” and then “If it ain’t heavy metal or country” and then “if it ain’t heavy metal or hip hop” and then “heavy metal and ska” and then…You get the point. Currently my attitude is “If it ain’t classic metal or Lana Del Rey…”
- There’s a reason certain musicians / bands are considered classics.
They really are that good. Just in the last year I’ve finally embraced Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Woody Guthrie and Iron Butterfly among others.
- “Cos” is not, never has been and never will be a valid short form of “because”…
…and neither is “’cause”. See also “Kewl”, “werd”, and “prolly”.
- The Oxford Comma is actually more necessary than I wanted it to be.
It still pains me to admit this.
- Owning multiple pairs of dress socks are a must for any man that wants their fashion game to be taken seriously.
Even if you’re not, it’s a must for any man that has any respect for himself. I recently upgraded my stash of dress socks and you wouldn’t believe how much better they make me feel even if you can’t see them.
- It’s important to have style icons.
For the longest time mine was David Beckham but the older, bearded Justin has decided that he looks up to Ricki Fuckin’ Hall.
- Faith and religion are things that aren’t meant to be understood and it’s okay to admit that you don’t “get it.”
- Getting into arguments on Facebook or Twitter about said faith and religion is bad for the soul and sanity.
- Reading the news is disheartening, disturbing, and disappointing.
And I’m not even mentioning how most news outlets are really bad and what they’re supposed to be really good at: reporting the news.
- Reading the comments on news stories is worse than reading the news.
Seriously. News stories make me lose faith in the goodness of a few. The comments make me lose faith in all.
- Having a loving, kind and understanding mother and having an equally loving, kind and understanding relationship with her is what separates “men” from “gentlemen”.
My mom has done a lovely job if I may say so myself.
- Women make better friends than men do.
- If you treat your wife like a girl you’re trying your hardest to get a second date with forever you’re going to have a happy marriage forever.
We’re only 5 years in but I know this is fact.
- Tipping your pizza delivery guys, waitresses, hair dressers, and tattoo artists well above and beyond standard fare is going to make them loyal to your needs, will often end in good deals, extra swag or even extra mushrooms and will often lead to long standing friendships worth more than any percentage you could ever leave.
- When it comes to getting your health in gear there’s nothing that can be bought or sold than can beat good old-fashioned hard work, discipline and routine.
- Prosciutto and sun-dried tomato pesto can come together to make your grilled cheese sandwiches go from “Yum” to “OMFGYUM”.
- It definitely takes more than blood and relation to be considered family.
Also: just because someone is family doesn’t mean you owe them anything or are required to be familiar with them.
- Tattooed women are unbelievably gorgeous.
Non-tattooed women are, too.
- “Craft beer” is very good but so is your standard Kroger staples like Newcastle, Red Stripe and even PBR.
Coors Light and Michelob Ultra are still bad, though.
- A lot of women think men that can cook are sexy.
Men, I’d advise all of you to get in the kitchen right now.
- Denying the rights of any human being no matter their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, creed, opinion or past evil deed is wrong.
- Sparking up a full-on conversation with a total stranger in a public restroom is incorrect.
- Most good television comes in cartoon form.
See: Bob’s Burgers, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and King of the Hill for valid examples.
- Dropping an F bomb on a Verizon sales rep is impolite and not very gentlemanly but it sometimes happens and it’s okay because he’s probably ripping you off in some way.
- There is nothing embarrassing or demeaning about being scared publicly by the cheapest possible scare outside of a haunted house.
It’s funny to everyone else but you so why not laugh about it, too?
- Home ownership is oftentimes difficult but is well worth the effort when you remember those days you came home to moldy, soggy biscuits on the overhang above your front door, the stomping from the apartment above yours, the nosiness of your apartment neighbors or the shit your neighbor’s dog regularly left by your back door.
- Sleeping in is way overrated.
Early birds FTW!
- Choosing to not have children is a good thing.
Choosing to have children is as well.
- Sometimes you prepare for a big Halloween and nobody shows up to your house.
That’s a bummer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for an even bigger Halloween next year.
- You are alright because you’re not them.
I’ve spent the last few weeks worried that I hadn’t accomplished enough in my life to be 30 years old yet. I hadn’t fully traveled the world, hadn’t learned another language, hadn’t seen enough concerts, eaten enough foods, drank enough beverages, watched enough movies or simply experienced enough of life’s simple pleasures to be hitting such a milestone birthday. But then I realized that in doing so I’m going against everything I stand for when I suggest that it’s harmful to compare yourself to other people, your marriage to other marriages, your goals to others’ goals. Despite not thinking I’ve done “enough” to be celebrating this day today, I’m also fully aware there are folks that feel the same when comparing themselves to boring 30-year-old me.
In the end today is the same as yesterday and the day before. The alarm goes off at 5am, I put my shoes on and I’m running in the park by the lake. I’m going to work like I do every day, I’m coming home to my much-too-gorgeous and supportive wife like I do every day and I’m going out for dinner at I Love NY Pizza like I do…every birthday :-)
You’ve come along way, baby. Let’s do it again only this time, better!