I begin to write this on what is now the last day of my 30s (but finish it 4 days later). I can't believe I'm here already! Officially middle-aged! Equidistant from 20 and 60. People are coming of drinking age if they were born in June of the year I graduated high school and started college!
I could write endless pages about the meaning of all this and woe is me this is not how I envisioned the future blah, blah, blah. Instead, I will impart to you the lessons I have learned thus far. I've tried to put them in chronological order. So for you, in honor of my birthday, a little wisdom.
1. It's sometimes hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. At this age it's OK to make noise if this is bothering you.
2. Crawling is fun, but walking is power. I can then knock things off the living room table and take sips of the drinks. What do you mean I'm not supposed to have "Scotch juice?"
3. The reason Grandpa Vic couldn't play ball today was because sometimes, even if someone has a good heart, it doesn't work so well and it just stops. This is no one's fault. Treasure the memories of silly faces and newspaper hat parades.
4. Life's Cruel Joke Lesson Number 1: Boys don't like to be kissed till their teens. But they don't get good at it till their 20s. When you are in your mid 30s and considered too old to date them and the available ones closer to your age still act like they're 4.
5. Tony Orlando is one person and Dawn is two people. It's not Tony, Orlando and Dawn.
6. Letters form words. Words form sentences. Sentences form ideas. Ideas form books. Books form information. Great teachers form enthusiasm to read and learn. Thank you, Mrs. Safran.
6a. Boys will like me more if I see Star Wars as many times as possible. Just don't try and kiss them.
7. My next door neighbor is lying when she tells me she gets x-ray vision from eating peanuts. I know this, because one day after eating peanuts she is surprised to find a toad in her shoe.
8. Karma is a bitch. It's too bad I didn't know that the people who make fun of you at school end up fatter than you'll ever be.
9. There is more to Chinese food than spareribs.
10. So I got a little obsessed with Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. And what did you do over the summer, ride a smelly horse?
11. Don't run in the house with only socks on your feet.
12. The scent of pinecones, the filth of manmade lake water, the lack of bug spray, chlorasceptic cures all, the pianos out of tune, sleeping and waking up to the sound of a trumpet, peanut butter fights, writing letters with actual paper and pens. Just don't call it "band camp."
13. There is more to music than top 40 playlists. Seek out new music wherever you can find it. Find your own WLIR.
14. John Hughes.
14a. John Cusack.
14b. Trash and Vaudeville, Revolver Records, Little Ricky's, Postermat, 99x, Unique, Antique Boutique, Zoot.
15. Laughing at myself preempts others from laughing at me.
15a. (This is when I should have learned to walk in high heels.)
16. So I can't use magic markers instead of semi-permanent hair dye?
17. Boys suddenly like kissing! Too bad they aren't very good at hiding who else they're kissing.
18. My social security number.
18a. David Lynch, Forbidden Zone, John Waters, Werner Herzog, Evil Dead II, The Coen Brothers, Wong Kar Wai, Chinese Ghost Story, Dolomite!
18b. New York City is best on foot.
19. A loud street and my own room is way better than sharing space with someone crazy.
20. Taking a year off school and getting a job will motivate me to finish what I started.
21. (This is where I should have learned that one should never turn down an opportunity to stay in a rock band or study in a different country because of a boy).
22. That magical elixir of tequila, triple sec, simple syrup and lime. And chili con queso.
23. (This will be the first and last time my major came in handy for employment.)
24. Did I learn nothing from number 19?
25. Seriously, NOTHING?
26. Lots of stress can be channeled into using a tool that can solder an elbow joint as well as it makes creme brulée.
27. Home is only 4 more stops on the F train and worth the extra effort.
27a. There is a reason that train starts with F.
28. I have very understanding and loyal friends.
29. When driving across country and listening to Fleetwood Mac's Rumors, it's a definite sign a marriage is ending when you wish you were already broken up like Stevie Nicks and Lyndsey Buckingham. Or wondering which field to dump the body in.
30. The ones with fur are the only kind of crazy roommates who are enjoyable to be around.
31. It's more fun to sit at the bar.
32. Aaaaaaand see item number 4.
33. But wait! You can be friends with your ex!
34. That was a lot of Jameson.
34a. Flowers do not open door locks.
35. It's never too late to learn a new skill set and switch careers, make new friends.
35a. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Mencia, Cab Franc, Cot, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Uva di Troia, Aglianico, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, etc, etc, et every delicious cetra.
36. Going to sommelier school would have been a better idea if I already worked in restaurants in my younger years.
37. See number 23.
38. Throwing a going away party for a part of your body you have to take out is a very nice gesture, considering all the trouble it's caused.
38a. After being given Dilaudid intravenously, I know I must never try heroin unless I am certain the world is ending within the next hour.
39. "You have failed at more things than most people have tried."
40. So why not do more things?