Thirties not necessarily a time of depression


My husband celebrated his 36th birthday recently. I say “celebrate” to mean he grilled a steak and then went to bed early – like any good geezer should.

Meanwhile, if he is 36 then that makes me… let’s see here… still younger than him! But not by much.

Although I like to look at him and shake my head while repeating in awe-struck tones, “I can’t BELIEVE I’m married to such an old, OLD man…” It’s that kind of humor that keeps a relationship fresh.

Age discrepancy. Recently a 30-something friend of mine lamented that she’s not sure how old she should feel.

Her mother-in-law treats her like she’s 6, and her children act as if she’s 600. With the result of both being that she could not possibly know anything.

I know how she feels, I’m caught in limbo myself. Existing in a dimension somewhere between people exclaiming that they have clothes in their closets older than I am, and being referred to as “ma’am” by earnest teenage boys.

Denial. Enmeshed in what used to be referred to as “middle age” before everyone began assuming they would live to be 102 and the baby boomers refused to budge on the aging issue and ruined it for everyone else.

All of a sudden, 40-somethings are bearing children, 50-plusses are bungee jumping, sky diving, and salsa dancing, and people in their 60s are embarking on secondary careers and world cruises.

It’s nice to know that due to the selfless denial of the same generation that brought you “never trust anyone over 30” and the pet rock, I could stay active well into my early 100s.

Although I suspect I have to become active first.

Not that knowing I can maintain my grueling 1,200 clicks per minute on the remote control well into my elder years isn’t a comfort, mind you.

Meanwhile, the 30s are the age when we face the fact that while in some respect, all things are still possible, they are not necessarily plausible. I mean, sure you might still break into pro ball or become a super model or neurosurgeon, but honestly now, what are the odds here?

In my day. I’m old enough to be a parent, but too young to have anything really good to berate my children with.

I didn’t walk five miles in the snow uphill both ways or eat dirt sandwiches to get by. All my “in-my-day” stories are pathetic. So we didn’t have microwave popcorn when I was a kid – big deal.

More pressing a problem is that I have finally reached the age where I forget my age.

Seriously. I used to think you had to be a special kind of stupid to forget your age. Now when the question arises I’m forced to resort to advanced arithmetic and sometimes even counting fingers AND toes, to answer correctly.

Sure I could look at my driver’s license but at this point most of that information beyond my address is lies, all lies.

Space aged. Back in the Paleozoic age of my teen years in the mid-1980s (for you younger readers that would be when techno was cool and Prince still had a pronounceable name and Party like it’s 1999 seemed a loooonnnnggg way off), I was assigned an essay to predict where I would be in the year 2000.

Like most of my classmates, I envisioned myself in a space suit, flying around in a hover car and being, it goes without saying, wildly rich and successful.

I never imagined having to use advanced arithmetic to recalculate my age, or when a good lineup on HBO and a toddler who went to bed early would constitute a happening Saturday night.

Whether I feel 6 or 60, however, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m happy, I’m healthy, and when I consider the alternatives, things could be a lot worse. I could be 13 again.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is 34 years old and plans to stay that way for a very long time. She welcomes comments c/o or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)


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