I turned 30, which is really not that old. A lot of famous people have turned 30, and then gone on to accomplish things anyway. For example, sometime after he turned 30, Benjamin Franklin managed to get hit by lightning. So I would say my options are still open.
Sometime after he turned 30, Benjamin Franklin got hit by lightning. So my options are still open.
But I do see some signs of aging. For example, sometimes, when I bend down to pick something up, I decide that I’ll tie my shoes once I’m down there. Also, I’m actually proud of myself when I eat a fruit. I don’t just do it for my mother. Also, I find myself saying things like, “How do you know you hate asparagus when you haven’t even tried it?” Also, I find that I organize my stuff more – not because I’m more mature, but because otherwise I forget where I put it. Also, sometimes I will say, “What?” and then forget to listen for the answer. Also, I notice that I tend to notice things more. For example, I have noticed that the dry-cleaners keep shrinking my suits almost every week. Which is strange, because I only bring the suits in twice a year.
Furthermore, when you get to a certain age, people expect you to stop making such a big deal about Lag Ba’omer. When you’re a kid, Lag Ba’omer is almost like a second Purim. You get to blast your music, you go on class trips, and you get to make huge bonfires and roast hot dogs and shoot suction-cup arrows at each other. But when you’re an adult, Lag Ba’omer means you get to take a haircut. You could also listen to music, but it has to be at a reasonable volume, and you can come to the bonfire, but you have to stand on the sidelines and say things like, “Careful!” and, “You’re gonna put an eye out!”
On top of all that, I have noticed that if I do anything active, I feel it the next day. Like the other day, when my wife asked me to help her camouflage our ladder. A few years ago, when we moved into our house, we found that our contractors had left a 30-foot ladder in our backyard that went all the way up to our roof. We took it down and left it laying in our backyard, because it was way too long for our garage, but now it’s been almost five years, and we don’t think the contractor is coming back for it. Nevertheless, its very presence makes my wife nervous, because she thinks that someone is going to come into our backyard in the middle of the night and decide to use the ladder to climb into our upstairs windows, which I personally think is silly, because we have plenty of downstairs windows. So when my wife decided to put in a vegetable garden, she decided that “we”, i.e. “mainly me”, would dig a trench across our entire backyard, and we would bury the ladder on its side sticking out of the trench, so that whoever saw it would think it’s just a really short fence. I spent hours digging the trench, and the next day I could barely move.
See, that’s the difference between being thirty and being really old, like 40. When you’re old, you can’t dig the trench at all. When you’re 30, you can still dig the trench – you just feel it the next day. I bet I’m going to regret that comment when I’m 40. Or maybe it will just be a great excuse to ditch the ditch digging.
So I’m not that old. I still can’t tell the difference between a $30 pair of pants and a $300 pair of pants, and I can taste the difference between 41 flavors of jelly beans. That’s actually one of the good things about being 30 – I still can eat kids’ foods, like Laffy Taffy, but I also like adult foods, like avocadoes. That might help explain why my pants are shrinking.
Nevertheless, there are a whole bunch of things I used to be able to do that I can’t do anymore. For instance, I can no longer eat an entire cow in one sitting. I’ve finally discovered the reason for signing songs on Shabbos, and that is to push off the next course so that you’ll have a chance to digest the last few. I also find myself occasionally considering serving the soup AFTER the main course, so I could actually enjoy the chicken. And before Shavuot, I overheard myself telling my wife that we should make, “light meals for that time of the night.” Wow.
There are also some things that I technically can do, but I no longer really have any desire to do. There was a story in the news a couple of weeks ago about a bunch of teenagers in California who were at a party, and of course they were bored. So they decided to pass the time by seeing how many of them they could fit into the elevator. They managed to squeeze in 24 people, shoulder to shoulder, and then someone thought it would be funny to ride the elevator up to another floor, so an entirely different group of people could see 24 teenagers emerge from an elevator. Unfortunately, all of the kids together exceeded the elevator’s maximum weight capacity, so at some point between floors, the elevator pooped out and refused to carry them any further. The kids were stuck in there for over an hour, unable to move, until rescue workers were able to get them out, possibly using a really big shoehorn. So my point is that, now that I’m 30, I no longer have a desire to climb into a tiny elevator with 23 of my really close friends. Except maybe for a column.
Anyway, that’s enough complaining about my age. I’m 30, so I’m entitled to do it once. Thanks for helping me get it out of my system. The thing is that when you’re in your twenties, you think you’re going to live forever. When you’re thirty, you still think you’re going to live forever, but you start to realize that maybe it won’t be as pleasant as you thought. Anyway, I assure you that, in my next article, I will try to be just as immature as I was before.