In a little more than a month. I will turn 32. Although you would think I was ready for this–32 not being a particularly poignant milestone–I’m not. For some reason, most of my life has been spent as the youngest person in the room. I’ve always worked and played above my age. This is starting to change for me.
Interestingly enough, this is not to me complaining about getting old. I don’t mind getting old. What this article is actually about, is that strange thing that happens in your early 30s.
Your early 30s are a second adolescence. You’re not quite an adult, you’re not a kid anymore either.
I think that part of the stems from the fact that in your 30s, the nature of adulthood changes. See between 18 and 29, I don’t it is defined as the ability to make decisions for yourself. Or, for legal purposes, the ability to legally imbibe alcohol.
After 30, being an adult means being responsible.
I don’t know who decided that–it wasn’t me–but are culture generally accepts it as fact.
Which is what makes being in your early 30s weird.
So without further ado, I give you my incredibly click-bait titled article:
Five Ways Your Early 30s are The New Puberty
#1 – Your Younger Friends Are Incredibly Annoying, You Older Friends Don’t Understand You
Remember when you were 19 and he thought it was cool to go out and party every night? Then, the next morning you come back into work, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. You would take the first 15 minutes of the day, still hopped up on whatever goofballs he had the night before, and explain to your much older coworkers how awesome everything is.
Back then, you thought there less than enthusiastic response was because they were old and tired.
Now, as you are trying to add enough sugar to your coffee to make it not taste like rancid go ass and the 22-year-old kid from the cubicle down the hall comes in to tell you about how she was snorting lines of coke off an Instagram only 20 minutes before work, you want to stab her in the throat. But you don’t, because you also learn that that’s not socially acceptable.
On the other hand, when you are more reasonable coworkers stumble in to inject caffeine directly into their pupils with that funny little syringe, and you happen to mention that thing use on twitter or YouTube, they look at you like your speaking gibberish. They just don’t understand the vocabulary you are using. They literally don’t speak English. They speak some sort of old Germanic tongue resembling English. Possibly whatever language it was the child’s are used to write the Canterbury tales.
You should really see the look on their face when you use terms like WYSIWYG. Even Dragon naturally speaking knows the term WYSIWYG.
Then they’ll ask you to explain how to use insta-twit-book-space-gram-tube.
I have developed a canned response to this question. “I can, but that’s how the hackers steal your kidneys.”
So far, no one seems to think I’m joking. This might be related to my office reputation of being slightly insane.
#2 All Sit-Coms are Targeted At You (As Long as You are an Architect/Museum Curator/Lawyer/Suspiciously Well-Off Kindergarten Teacher)
When you’re between the ages of 28 and 35, you really have it made with television. Apparently, someone decided in the late 80s that we are the target demographic for all sitcoms. Seriously, check out any sitcom from 1987 forward. During the first season, most characters will be either 28 or 29.
This, of course, sets up the “Oh my God! I’m turning 30!” episode.
This might be annoying to some people–people who watch television–but I find it comforting.
The last time the majority of television shows was aimed at me as a target demographic was when I was like 12. You know, at the height of puberty when Dawson was learning about sex and drugs and stuff.
In fact, if you spend much time watching television, you start to notice there are really only four age groups:
- Rebellious Grandmothers
That’s pretty much it. That covers the entire gamut. If you are between the ages of 25 and 60, you are treated as if you are in your late 20s or early 30s. As far as television is concerned, there is no difference.
#3 It Feels Like Everyone Around Us Is Having More Sex Than We Are
There is a really good chance that you are having more sex than I am. Mostly, because I’m not having any. This is a personal decision, in no way brought on by the fact that I live with my parents.
At the same time, despite the fact that everyone I know is married with children or spends more than a few hours a day wearing a diaper on their head, they appear to be constantly boning.
I’m not talking friends with one kid, I’m talking friends with armies of offspring. Like, nine, ten, kids.
Of course, having an entire tiny clone army is probably a pretty good indication of the number of orgasms in that household. But, you would think the nature of having that many children in the house would slow down some of the banging. But, no, like rabbits!
Then, of course, you have my single friends. I don’t actually know how they can possibly fit this much sex into their lives. I’m like, “Dude, when you sleep/eat/work/poop?”
It has been at least 15 years since I felt concerned about the difference between the amount of boinking I’m involved in and the amount of boinking I’m not.
This might just be me, projecting. But I have a feeling it’s true for everyone. Once you hit your 30s, life seems to crunch. There aren’t as many hours in the day, and one of the things to go is the hardcore monkey love.
#4 Everyone Offers Advice You have No Interest In Following
It seems to me, that every few days someone in their late 30s and early 40s decides to give me some advice. Similarly, every couple of hours, someone in their late 50s or early 60s decides to give me advice.
Don’t get me wrong, I will listen to good advice when I hear it. Unfortunately, most advice is not good advice.
Maybe I’m just being pigheaded and stubborn, I definitely was it. 13. But, here is a short list of things I do not need your opinion on:
- Real Estate Agents
- Finance Brokers
- AFLAC Insurance
- The Best Sexual Positions to Ensure Potential Offspring Are Male
And yet, I get inundated with these regularly. My younger colleagues do not. I think the old people are just ready for me to settle down, buy a house, ensure my future, and produce an heir.
So, despite being an American in 2015, everyone around me seems to think I am a 16th century British noble.
I know I’m fat and have a beard, but seriously.
Conversely, unlike when I was 13, there is some advice. I am willing to take:
- The proper way to fistfight a bear.
- Which dealership is least likely to rip me off for a trade in my car.
- How many times a day I have to pee before I should be tested for diabetes.
I’m just joking. I don’t accept advice.
#5 Your Body Goes Through Changes
I swear to God, three months ago, I can stay up all night long and still be rated in the morning. These days, I can barely stay up past 10 PM. I live in Montana. The sun stays up past 10 PM in July.
That thing old people warn you about—where your body starts to deteriorate rapidly after you turn 30—that’s a real thing.
These days, my joints are rice crispies. I snap, crackle, and pop as I walk. My muscles regularly ache for no apparent reason.
That joke about the number of times I pee each day, not really a joke.
Despite my best efforts, my body is obviously failing me. Google is also failing me. They promised me a robot body. This weak meat sack is decomposing around me rapidly. There is nothing I can do to stop it. It blows.
So there you go, turning 30 is basically puberty in reverse. The first time around, you are rewarded for your bravery of completing the awkward physical and social changes you experienced with the biological upgrade. Let’s face it, basically everything about your body is better after puberty. This time, you will face the same stigma, awkward silences, and sticky fluids, but you’re only reward is a slow, painful, descent into death.
But hey, I heard the 40s of the new 30s. Maybe I’ve got some time.