Monday, September 11, 2006

On the edge of turning 30

I'm not preoccupied with my age. I've never talked about how other people at a bar look young, or looked at photos from college and thought, "Wow, we all looked young," because I think I look the same and so does everyone else.

I've successfully avoided material responsibility. I like that one day I could up and leave without having custody of heirlooms or valued items. (There's not much I own that I'd miss, so when my apartment was burglarized a couple years ago it left me unrattled. I did like that camera, though.)

By all accounts, I'm less mature (but probably nicer) now than I was at 14, 18 or 24.

In two weeks I turn 30. This crept up on me. A couple months ago it seemed like I might as well have been 19, but the numeric flip suddenly caught me like a fist to the eye, and all of a sudden I'm reading "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" a few times a week and the e.e. cummings Buffalo Bill poem about how do you like your blueeyed boy, Mr Death?

Item: Last week I was at a social function for work. Speaking to someone younger than me, I mentioned my age, and got the reply, "Wow, I never guessed that you're 29. You look so much younger." I felt pleased, then I felt sad that this pleased me.

Item: The next day I was at work. Speaking to someone roughly my age, I mentioned that I'm 29, and received the reply, "Really? I didn't know you were only 29." I think it was meant as a compliment. This startled me, then I felt sad that this startled me.

Item: I've been the same weight and height for a decade but I'm becoming self-conscious about weight. Visiting my parents' house last month, I saw a picture of my dad when he was 41, and felt reassured that he looked thin and youthful in the picture -- as young as a handful of people my own age. This reassured me.

Item: After nine years of Marlboros -- the last two having transitioned from manageable affectation to full addiction -- I stopped smoking at the beginning of August. Abruptly, and with no real withdrawal symptoms. It's getting close to a month-and-a-half now, and today I realized that not smoking is making me feel old. That I think this way shows that marketing has left me mangled and corrupted. I won't smoke because I know it will kill me, a conclusion that shows I acknowledge my own mortality and am, therefore, no longer young.

Item: I've become a bit paralyzed about planning the 30th birthday itself. I'm playing with numbers and locations. On the verge of reserving a private room, I decided that I didn't want to focus on numbers thresholds or introducing people to each other. This might just be an excuse. I'll do something, but I'm a poor planner, and the fact that this is a landmark year has pushed me to procrastinate.

Item: I am now nostalgic for landlines, which is the equivalent of our great-grandparents being nostalgic for telegrams. I liked having friends' numbers taped on the wall and being excited when there was a message on my answering machine. Because of Blackberries and cell phones, nothing is escapable.

And then thinking about this makes me feel like a lazy self-indulgent douche who should consider himself lucky that he doesn't have substantial things to worry about.

9 comments:

evil girl said...

also, your inability to decide is making it really difficult to order the strippers for this occasion, not to mention the balloon animal guy.

Ryan said...

I have a unicycle you can borrow.

CrimeNotes said...

You're both extremely helpful.

Unfortunately, strippers would probably just send Flop into some kind of Duke Lacrosse frenzy, leading to him getting his ass kicked by a stripper. And unicycle? I have enough difficulty just walking.

Flop said...

Here I was about to point out that you failed to mention your radiant, youthful skin and you basically imply that I'm a rapist.

CrimeNotes said...

I know. This site has become increasingly distasteful.

tommy o said...

He was only implying that you're an accused rapist with no DNA proof of a rape happening.

Ryan said...

Crimenotes,

My blog has been suffering from the same affliction.

My last few posts are simply uncalled for.

CrimeNotes said...

Yeah, I saw the post about the diet's effect on the girlfriend's GI tract. After reading that post, I don't know how I feel sorrier for.

Tonight's political obit will make things classy.

Flop said...

Cue the "Anchorman" quote in 3-2-1 ...