I had some concern that I would wake up on Friday (my 30th birthday) and all my hair would be gone or gray, or I would need to start popping some little blue pills, but so far so good for the start of my 30s. As Kate mentioned, I have, at times, gotten worked up about birthdays. I remember a period of a few years where I seemed to always end up in tears on my birthday (I was even dumped once at a birthday party in high school); but I think I have gotten over those years. Sure, I had high hopes of being a household name by this age, or being rich enough to never have to work again, but frankly, I am pretty content with where I am. A good friend of mine (who has more than a decade on me) once told me: “Your 20’s are for figuring out what you want to do with your life and your 30’s are for starting to put those goals into motion.” Luckily, I feel that I have a jump start on that with my personal and professional goals, so I can cruise into my 30’s with a plan already in motion. And this year I will be half my father’s age, so it seems fitting that this is the year that Kate and I are trying to have our first child (although I was the second child… my Dad was 26 — Kate’s age — when my sister was born).
Anyway, my wonderful wife threw me a perfect birthday party on Saturday night. Mother Nature delivered a perfect present with July weather in April; it was in the 80s and sunny. We celebrated the weather and my birthday with a perfect outdoor bbq with 15 of our friends. Kate made an impressive amount of delicious food, there were great drinks, and we ran out of propane in our grill just as the meat was cooked. It was so nice to be outside and enjoy our house. After the cookout, a bunch of us headed a few blocks from our house to go candlepin bowling at an old place we had never been to before. Turned out to be very cool and retro (although do you still call it retro if it is all original?). They have no bar, but turned a blind eye to our Nalgenes of “Gatorade”. For those not in the Northeast, candlepin is small ball bowling, straight pins, and 3 balls per turn. Most people find it very hard compared to big ball, or “normal” bowling. I am one of those people. I am notoriously bad at candlepin (and quite good at big ball). In my inebriated state I seemed to improve my skills, but still could not beat Kate (who is a surprisingly great candlepinner). It was a great end to our night, and we all stumbled home in the psuedo-summer air.
I will end by quoting a friend who wrote me a funny email the day before my birthday.
“Happy Almost Birthday. The last day of 29, I would imagine, is a tough one. Although, I guess having a house/wife/dog/stable work you like gives you a leg up on probably 90 percent of people who are our age and hopefully spares you the obligatory “I’m 30, what the fuck am I doing with my life” existential crisis. Good on you, Mr. American dream.”