Today, I’m thirty.
At the risk of clinging desperately onto any modicum of self-worth, I’ll rightly declare that actual act of turning thirty has had no conceivable effect on me. Health-wise, I’m fine, at least for anything age-related. (I am assuming that my inability to sleep for any period longer than forty-five minutes is directly attributed to the fact that I absorb close to the GNP of China in caffeine on a daily basis.) Certainly, there’s a nagging thought in the back of my mind that I’ve kind of hit the halfway mark of my life, and the trajectory of my life at this moment points towards a singularly dreadful and soulless future based on self-loathing and trying to eke out moments of solitary pleasure from the casual and irregular highs from cough suppressants and expired percocet. But, I mean, besides that, it’s all cool.
While I can’t say that I’ve learned any particularly unique lessons in thirty years, I think I’ve earned a little indulgence into a few reflections. (I deserve this, of course, since I am the first person on the face of the earth to ever turn thirty.) Sure, sure, sure, I’ve learned the exact same things that everyone else on the face of the planet have learned, but there are a few things that particularly stick out. So here are a few aggrandizing sweeping oversimplifications of dubious merit to think about.
Music Gets Degeneratively Worse. Every generation claims that the previous generation’s music sucks donkey crank. This has been scientifically proven in laboratories across the globe, but it bears repeating. For instance, I think the music of the Greatest Generation pretty much blows. Now, I’m talking about the sappy 1950’s-early 60’s drag racin’ surf’s up prom night car-crash cookie-cutter novelty doo-wop love songs. I mean, sure, one or two stand out as exemplary examples of a genre, well-orchestrated and cleverly written. But as far as I’m concerned every single piece of music released to the public during that era included the exact same score with only a few words and shifting of emphasis enough so that the lawyers would not be able to claim plagiarism, such as changing “Alice died on the railroad track on her way to the snowball dance as I waited at the park with her engagement ring” to “Betty died on the railroad track on the way to the snowball dance as I waited at the park with her engagement ring.” And there weren’t enough songs about defeating the communists for my taste.
Not to worry, of course, because as far as I’m concerned the music of my generation is just as bad. Well, not quite; the music of my early school years were the tail end of the overly synthesized glam rock poser period of quote-unquote rock and roll, when MTV made sexy outfits and sweat-leather jumpsuits more important than crafting a song that doesn’t sound like someone dropped Roget’s Rhyming Dictionary into a boiling vat of the stuff they put in glo-bands and stamped with the portentous word “Casio.” There is a brief, shining window while I was in college of what I estimate to be approximately six to eight weeks where music released by the major recording studios didn’t suck, in addition to Steve Earle and Bob Seger.
High School Never Stops. Certainly, you eventually stop showing up to class and you don’t have to worry about the cosine anymore (although I would like to point out you still pay property taxes), but all the squawking gossipers will remain with you for the rest of your life, standing idly by ten feet out of earshot where they could just be as easily talking about the last episode of Lost as they are about what you do with your tongue and how much you charge for it. Whether it be church, work, college, the local DAR chapter, or the blonde clerk at Wal Mart with her cute redheaded friend, someone, somewhere, is irritated that there’s something they don’t know about you and will either try to find out what that is or else make something up, and then tell someone. This is, in my estimation, the single greatest driving force behind all social activity since the beginning of time with the possible exception of FHM magazine spreads and bingo night at the fire hall.
The Important Things Never Change. The ranking of Important Things in Life for men has always pretty much been Sex, Money, and Food. I’m pretty sure as men get older the standards for food go up and the standards for sex go down, but otherwise rarely change. And, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong about that. Me, I prefer my food smoking hot with revealing dressing and my women enhanced with a seasoned dry rub. OK, that didn’t sound nearly as nondisturbing as I thought it would.
Women Don’t Really Ever Change, Either. Far be it for me to make grand overgeneralizations about an entire species for once, but women never really change. Neither as individuals nor as an entire gender. I can only assume that this statement will be greeted with an indecisive conclusion based off of irrational emotion using otherwise forgotten events that transpired ten years ago as a force multiplier. I’m just sayin’.
All Jobs Suck In Their Own Particular Way. You know full well that someone, somewhere, is saying, “You know, I may be making $10,000 an hour, but filling out this expense report is a pain in my ass.” These people should probably die. I’m just sayin’.