Thursday, June 23, 2011
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.