Turning 30 is a huge milestone. When I was a kid, most of my friends’ parents were all in their 30’s, leading me to believe that 30+ is old. My own parents were in their 40’s and 50’s when I was younger, so they were obviously ancient. Not to mention my grandmothers, one of whom was in her 80’s and the other in her 90’s. They were one step away from being living mummies.
Obviously as I’ve gotten older I’ve had to readjust my thinking a bit, especially as I have many single friends in their 30’s who still go out and have fun. In fact, there are some advantages to being 30. For one, I’m old enough to not have to take anyone’s crap anymore. If you’re talking nonsense, I now feel that it is acceptable for me to let you know that you’re talking nonsense. Also people tend to take you more seriously when you tell them you’re 30, as opposed to being in your 20’s. But basically, those are the only advantages.
I guess having some actual life experience is nice too. My sister asked me on my birthday what I had learned in my 30 years on this planet. My response was to not walk down the stairs while holding something in the dark. In hindsight, there were probably many other answers I could have given her. So after some serious pontificating, I have come up with a list of things that I have learned over the years.
1) Never make anyone tell you a secret if they don’t want to tell you, and if they want to tell you the secret, don’t let them. There’s a good reason why it was a secret in the first place. No one wants to get whacked because Tony couldn’t keep his big mouth shut in Sal’s Deli and blabbed to everyone where the money was hidden.
2) People are resistant to being dissuaded from their own opinion, even by a thoughtful, well stated, logical argument. This is why I mostly don’t argue with people about stuff like politics, religion, and social issues. And when I do, I generally regret it because neither of us has changed our opinions and we both now think the other is a complete idiot.
3) Your mother is always right. Even when she’s wrong, she’s still right. Case in point is this story:
I was walking with my mother... We argued about which direction to take. She took the long way and I took the short way. She got there a few seconds after me, but I got pooped on by a bird on the way. So she won that round.
4) Most modern art was probably made by accident. Like when someone dropped something into or onto something else and instead of chucking it, they made contemporary art out of lemons. For example, this sculpture was actually a lab accident. Apparently many types of plastic melt when you run them through an autoclave.
5) Never wear flip flops outside. They will invariably rip at the most inopportune time. Like, 2 hours away from home by foot in the middle of nowhere. Flip flops are the shitty roommates of shoes- totally unreliable.
6) There’s no manual on being an adult and no one really knows what they’re doing. However, paying your bills and having clean underwear are a good sign that you’re doing a passable job at the whole “adult” thing.
7) Life is too short not to be weird. Surround yourself with people that entertain you. Otherwise you’ll have to take up drinking out of boredom, like me.
8) Fashion is a social construct promoted by a bunch of old French guys who I’m pretty sure are just sipping champagne on the Riviera and laughing at the rest of us that we actually fell for it. Like seriously, what the hell even is this?!
9) If you are unhappy about something in your life, you have 3 options- a) do nothing and continue suffering b) change your attitude about it and learn to accept it c) change whatever it is that you’re unhappy about. Either way, don’t keep complaining to me about it. Unless you want to pay me 200 shekels per hour.
10) Animals are way better than humans. With animals, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. Unconditional love (on the condition that you feed them of course) and companionship. I’ve never had a cat ditch me to hang out with his other friends or break up with me because “it just isn’t working.”
So these are the things I’ve learned. Thank you all for letting me share my wisdom with you. If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear it.