Thursday, June 23, 2011

Turning Thirty


Thirty doesn’t feel like my age.

My neighbour’s age....maybe.
A good number for a fun party...definitely.
Number of shoes in my wardrobe...yes.
Vacation days back home...surely.
Minutes of exercise per day...the experts say so.
But my age...no, sir.

It seems like a serious age. Almost like you’re not supposed to feel excited about your birthdays anymore. Almost like you cannot wear the T-Shirt that says “There's too much blood in my alcohol system."

It’s the official age where you turn from “two-sugars-in-your-cappuccino” to “skinny-flat-white”. It’s when “holding your drink” should give you more pleasure than getting drunk (!!). It’ s when you cannot use the word “awesome” in any context...even if that is exactly what you want to say. It’s when you are expected to be fussy about your wine glasses...and not drink white in red or red in champagne flutes.

You’re supposed to set up the perfect dinner table for your guests...with table mats, shiny cutlery, coordinated drink glasses...the works (not grab your plates and sit on the floor watching TV). It’s when people start asking you how your investment properties are doing...or about the median price of a house in your suburb. Serious stuff, you see.

It’s when you no longer practise your cough and weak voice before calling in sick....but simply send a text saying “Not feeling too well...will take the day off.”

And of course there are things you cannot do anymore. “Cannot”...as in, physically/literally “cannot”. Like do “bottoms up” at a friend’s party...leave home without the anti-wrinkle sunscreen...fall asleep as soon as you hit the bed...run up the stairs without panting (or for those like me...even run to the toilet).

It’s when parents start taking you seriously and expect you to become parents soon. And of course, you’re expected to have “savings”, not just a “savings account”. Maybe even time to think of your child’s college fund...and not invest your entire pay in retail therapy (no matter that the child isn’t born yet).

It’s like you’re supposed to see the world differently...because the world believes that you must have grown tired fooling around.

So I was expecting great things when I woke up today. I lay awake for a few minutes...for some kind of epiphany. But the only call was one of nature. So I ran to the toilet (and panted).

After a close inspection of my morning face in the mirror, I decided I would walk differently from today. Hold my head higher...and my stomach tighter. The latter wasn’t easy, even in an empty stomach.

“Grace” is what I’d aim for (“maturity” could wait). But my phone rang with the birthday text messages from friends round the world. And my SMS ringtone...that of a cheeky boy whistling at a sexy girl on the street (what we call a “ci-ti”, back home) reminded me that even “grace” could wait.

16 comments:

Madmax said...

Spot on !! Bloody spot on !! .. I passed this milestone (for want of a better word) a few summers back and apart from what you have mentioned, I find that the number of white hairs growing exponentially in my beard and hair. Wifey says 'salt & pepper look ... Groovy' .. But I get conscious when a particularly pretty 'young' thing walks past the aisle in the office and I try to invoke eye contact ...

Amit said...

Happy 30th Bdayyy..
Welcome to the "30" club.

Patricia Torres said...

Happy Birthday... Good luck.. Its only a number.. and not important at all.. Trust me!! I've gone post it.. and survived.. *wink*

Debanjana said...

As usual for me, missed ur birthday....happy belated birthday...

Scribbler :) said...

@ Madmax - :)

@ Debanjana - Thanks!

@ Patty - That's reassuring to know :)

Anindita said...

Happy belated birthday, Scribbler. Loved the post.

Mitul said...

Very well written! As for me, pushing 40 almost, I didn't even notice when 30 whizzed past. But I bet I thought the same thoughts on my 30th as I did on my 20th and I know I will on my 40th: "Gosh! So little time and so much to do!"

Hope your birthday was happy! :-)

Scribbler :) said...

@ Ani - Thanks dear. And muah for the guest post. Will be up soon.

@ Mitul - It's only a person with a fun life who says "I didn't realise when the years whizzed past...". For me, I yawn...I check the watch 40 times a day...and take a toke on the sepia-toned past. Present is a yawn :(

Neha @ All things beautiful... said...

My first time to your blog (thru colors dekor)and I totally enjoyed reading this post...very well written! Belated happy birthday...but let me tell you this...I have been told (and I believe it)that 30s are the new 20s and 40s the new 30s. Enjoy life...have fun...and as many have said here...its just a number:)

Anonymous said...

super..I too turned 30 in may and couldn't agree more wid u!! B-) keep posting babe.. u rock!
damu here.. this damn thing doesnt let me add comments.. so thot of posting as anon...

Scribbler :) said...

@ Damu - Thanks!And a very belated happy birthday to you too :)

It should allow you to post if you are signed into your email account. Don't know what the problem could be :(

Scribbler :) said...

@ Neha - Thanks for dropping by :)
Yes it's just a number...and a scary one (just like my weight) :)

ritika said...

Happy belated birthday... and with a post like that, maturity, grace and everything can wait.
and dare i say.. Awesome!!!
n.b. and man those baby talks.. phew!

Sushmita Bhowmick said...

Well...well....well...pushing towards 46 (oh God, I pushed 45 away, too), all I can say champagne flutes, shot glasses, etc etc just hold the stuff that gets me high. but nevertheless guess u got to start living the way the world expects you. But just take that one single chance, sit on the floor with ure dinner plate at a formal do...and see the reaction. U can always say u were not able to hold ure drink:-) do it once debu, get that high:-) Apart from that, wonderfully written. Loved it through and through. Remember, long back, I had said 'do not lose that style of yours' and you replied 'I do not know if I have got one...' Baby u sure do.

Shweta Sharma said...

Very well written. Never thought that actually I am trying to live a life that the world is expecting me to. You write really well. I feel if words can touch your heart then, as a writer, you have done a good job.

:) Also thanks for pulling me out of a sucky mood.

Scribbler :) said...

Thanks for dropping by, Shweta. Yes, as I am getting older, it seems like I am living for others...not so much myself :(.

Miss those carefree childhood days when the only expectation from us would be to do our homework :)