I turned 30 this weekend. I am officially no longer a spring chicken.
Thirty is one of those ages that seems to have (or at least had) some importance, but is not one of those hallmark birthdays that require large parties like ages one, sixteen, twenty-one, or forty (15 if you’re a hispanic female.) I had long thought of 30 as the second major pillar of adulthood, the first being 18.
Of course, I had a 30th birthday party anyway. Any excuse to grill and drink beer with friends certainly necessitates doing so, at least in my book.
When my parents were 30, they had been married for a few years and I was already born. In my early twenties, I didn’t think of 30 so much as a goal to be married and have a child, but rather (at least) where I would be mature enough to be married and have a child. Let the record reflect that I squeaked in a month before turning 30 one of the two.
In the period of reflection leading up to my having attained three decades of life, I am of the view that 30 is no longer regarded as the second major pillar of adulthood that it once was.
Times have changed. Or maybe they haven’t and we’re just led to feel that way by changes in popular culture.
Adolescence appears to have been stretched out. After all, 50 is the new 30, and Orange is the new Black. Right? At least that’s what some people think and what we’re told by Madison Avenue-types, and in the media and movies.
Who to blame is up for debate. I cannot say for sure which group is stretching out adolescence. Is it adults who, like Toys ‘R Us Kids, never want to grow up and live in Geoffrey’s world of toys or like frisky seniors in a Cialis commercial? Or is it the young-ish millennials trying to live out movies Old School or any movie by Judd Apatow? (I have opted-out of the term millennial, for I am a member of the Pepsi generation.)
Back when my parents were young, you could drink 3.2 beer at age 18. That is, until Elizabeth Dole felt the need to get involved and ruin things. Now, you can stay on your parents’ healthcare insurance until age 26.
Maybe 26 is the new 18, and 30 the new 21.
No matter who is to blame, I don’t like it. I’m 30 now, and I am here to complain.