It’s that time for me as a woman. Thirty is a mere four months away. I can already taste the ashes of my youth in my mouth. Sure, people say, thirty is the new twenty (which, why would anyone want to be twenty again? Twenty sucked! Twenty, you were stupid and still a nervous teenager! 23 was the goddamn bomb). My generation is experiencing a renaissance of relevance. Most people’s careers at this point don’t get kick-started until they’re thirty. It could be worse, I could still live with my mom. And so on, and so on, comfort comfort back pat back pat.
But I can feel the change. It spreads over me as I stand, pensive in front of my wardrobe, realizing I don’t want to wear my novelty t-shirts. Much like the Game of Thrones meme Winter Is Coming, age is wrapping its cold, withered arms around me. I am getting….old. And these are the signs.
1. I want babies. I don’t SUPER want babies because let’s face it, babies are horrible, boring, shitting, crying, non-communicative wiggling piles of dictatorship who dominate your life and destroy your sleeping patters. For years, I’ve kept my secret OMG BABIES urge repressed by reminding myself that I can’t even handle the concept of pregnancy without cringing. I think those 3D ultrasounds look like parasitic demons have taken residence in your womb. Yet, I want. I want my own kid. I know that’s selfish and shitty. There are so many needy kids in orphanages. But what if I get one of those Russian babies with attachment disorder? If I’m going to get a fucked up, crazy kid, I want it to be because he or she inherited my fucked up, crazy genetics. It’s narcissism, I know. BUT anyway, stop judging me, fuck you. So let me go on with why this is worse than any other time when I’ve supplemented some creepy urge to parent with a pet. I am worried about my reproductive parts. Yes, we’re living longer and having babies almost disturbingly late in life, but my mother went through menopause pretty young. So the window of time for me is narrowed. Which, of course, puts an undo amount of stress on any future relationships I will probably continue not to have. So, after giving this careful consideration and putting it forward to a couple people, I concluded that by 35, I would request one of my very handsome, tall, gay male friends help me with this dilemma. As soon as the deal had been made, I looked at the mirror and almost screamed. Somehow, in the last decade, I have gone from aspiring to be Gloria Steinem to being Jennifer Aniston. Fuck my life.
2. The Youth Music Sucks: Okay, not all of it. I quite like some of the snazzy tunes, but for the most part, when I turn on the radio, I just hear a constant stream of derivative shit. I carefully combed through the Pitchfork top 100 and NME top 100 singles of 2011 and 85% of them were horrible. Mumford and Sons? GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. I mean, they make Coldplay sound like the Sex Pistols. Occasionally, I stumble upon the odd Jay-Z single, nod my head gently and say NOW THIS I LIKE, the way my grandparents would whenever a swing revival band popped up.
3. Speaking of youth music, I now hate Ben Gibbard: It occurred to me while letting my iTunes just do its thing: he annoys the shit out of me. His voice once registered plaintive pathos; now I find myself telling him to shut the fuck up. ‘Someday, you will be loved’? Really? That’s the most patronizing sentiment of all time. Fuck you.
4. Old guys are getting a lot hotter and young guys look like fetuses: I felt like a child molester when I was watching American Horror Story and ogling Tate (he was born in 1988, it’s safe!) For the most part, guys in their early twenties look like pretty little babies to me. I’m suddenly much more interested in the Jon Hamms and Michael Fassbenders and the guys with flecks of gray in their hair and scars on their faces.
5. I judge the way my dates live: This sounds bad. It sounds mean and bitchy. And honestly, I will say: you are exempt from this if you are a male under thirty. However, when a 35-year-old guy is living in a rundown apartment with no furniture but a mattress on the floor and his guitar collection, a kitchen sink overflowing with molded dishes, and a non-functional shower, I realize: this is your life. You really don’t see anything wrong with living in constant debt/fear of eviction and don’t care that the last show your band played was at The Cobalt three years ago. I can no longer envision dating someone who doesn’t at least aspire towards somewhat nice things. And I know a lost cause when I see one. And when I have children, they have to be of the non-adult variety.
6. I want nice things: I am no longer sated by cheap crappy furniture from Ikea. I want to own…antiques. I want things to be organized. I want a housekeeper who comes in twice a week because I admit that I loathe cleaning but want things clean. I don’t want to live like a college bum anymore.
7. I’m too old for Forever 21: Okay, I still shop there, because I’m kind of not rich, but I hate it. I want to be able to shop in nice stores where everything isn’t chaotically crammed into non-organized piles and a teenager isn’t following me around, asking if I need a dressing room/sort of making sure I’m not shoplifting. I don’t want to buy horribly sewn together, cheap clothing that dissolves in the washing machine. I want to afford Les Habitudes and top of the line vintage.
8. I’m patronizing teenagers: I always hated them a little, especially when I was one, but now I have become one of those eye-rolling assholes regarding youthful idealism. I know it’s their time. It’s their time, down there, and I’ve already ridden up Troy’s Bucket of Crushed Naive Political Notions. They need to march around in their Amebix back patches and shout ‘No Justice, No Peace!’ and really feel like they’re CHANGING THE FUCK OUT OF THINGS and pierce their faces and whatever it is that makes being a Super Liberal College Freshman so awesome. So I don’t pull over and point out they spelled college wrong on their signs advocating free education (although I suppose that would be evidence in their favor that it’s a necessity) or that they’ve incorrectly credited ‘The revolution will not be televised’ to Zach De La Rocha. Or lecture them on the idea that looking super punk rock may not be as important as dressing like an adult in order to get people to take their point seriously. Because hey, I was there. I used to be them. I went to Black Bloc meetings (and, admittedly, got into constant fights with everyone because I was a Debbie Downer pragmatist) got detained with anarchists, having many harrowing stories about almost getting maced in the face. So who am I to sneer at their ambitions?
9. I enjoy Frasier: There, I admit it. I find the bantering between Rozz, Frasier Crane, and his brother Niles to be absolutely delightful. Cheers still bores me, though.
10. I hate 90s Nostalgia: I now understand how the generation above me felt when everyone in the early 2000s started grabbing their neon exercise pants and grooving to Olivia Newton John, while waxing nostalgic about the eighties. Because now the 90s are back, and no one is old enough to remember that they mostly sucked. Especially the fashion and music. Sure, there were like two years where grunge and Brit pop were promising, but by 1995, the airwaves were dominated by plastic, shitty hip hop and Rolling Stone was predicting the death of rock and roll and the rise of rave/electronic “culture”. And by culture, I assume they meant “repetitive, shitty sounds played over loudspeakers in warehouses crammed with white people with no rhythm sucking on pacifiers and tripping balls”. The movie Go is not exactly the Fast Times of Ridgemont High of the mid-nineties, okay? And dressing like Stephanie Tanner or Kimmy Gibler on Full House is not ‘ironic’, it’s ‘ugly’.
11. I am out of touch with slang: I realize that the expressions I use now are as awkward, clunky, and dated as when my mother describes something as ‘bitching’.
12. Calling oneself an ‘alcoholic’ is now a depressing admission.
13. Realizing there are fundamental life skills I will never develop: I will never be magically good at gift wrapping or interested in cooking fancy meals or know how to/want to sew things. I want to pay other people to do those things.
14. I would rather die than work in retail ever again.
15. I refuse to learn any of the names of socialites more recent than Paris Hilton.
16. I can never have sex with anyone who has a mohawk again. Because, I mean, if they’re my age, they’re retarded, and if they’re younger, it’s creepy.
17. Realizing all the youthful things I’m never going to do in my twenties: Well, fuck.
18. Wait, Miley Cyrus isn’t the face of tween life anymore?
19. WHAT THE FUCK IS A TWEEN?
20. This is what I’ve been listening to for the past month:
21. I want to live in a house. My house. Where I can start collecting old news papers and slowly evolve into the elderly witch lady I’ve always wanted to be.
22. I forget a lot: Seriously, I have a touch of the Alzheimer’s. To start with, I forget where my keys are, what I did over a weekend, important dates, doctors’ appointments, where I’m going, and a lot of really good topics I had for this list.