So I’m going to be thirty in about a month. I’m not depressed; I’m not freaked about being single and childless, without even one cat to my name (I FAIL at being a stereotypical dried up old spinster, I know); I don’t feel like the sands of my life are slipping away grain by grain. I swear it doesn’t cross my mind more than once in a while that my own mother was married with two children by the time she hit thirty. (I’ve got a whole less-interesting-than-it-sounds story about a well-meaning cashier at a restaurant asking if I was a mom so she’d know whether or not to add a free dessert to my meal. I said no; she said, “okay, so not a mom yet” and pointed out the survey on my receipt so I could at least get a free cookie. I somehow refrained from rolling my eyes and held back the tirade about reproductive choice and not being Less Than because I don’t have and don’t want kids, while mentally flicking her on the nose, because that was not the best way to phrase that, okay?)
Anyway. It’s just really freaking weird being almost thirty.
Like, how in the name of everything holy did I get here? Last I checked I was careening through my mid-twenties, trying to extricate myself from one scrape after another—pretty much all of those were my own damn fault—so I could settle down to the business of Being An Adult. Precisely what Being An Adult entails seems to be anyone’s guess.
Side note: it’s vaguely unsettling that when the media and pop culture reference “young people” they don’t necessarily mean me any more. Soon, demographic analyses and pundits will start shoving me into arbitrary “middle-aged” boxes with all their might. Thirty feels like some sort of huge, arbitrary milestone, like it’s the point where I’m supposed to have my life mostly sorted out, if not completely together.
I think getting my student loans consolidated and having more than one credit card that I actually use responsibly totally counts. Right?
Plus, if I’m reading the prompt right, I’d run the risk of pointlessly playing Cassandra; plus PLUS, if many people can do this, what if my predictions counter someone else’s? Which future is it going to be? Will the universe pick a side or split the difference? And if I see something, is it going to happen naturally or is there some action required on my part to help it come to pass? Could I seriously screw with that future by inadvertently trying to make it happen? Mostly the whole idea reeks of suddenly having a knack for astrology or something like that–potentially really cool, but just too open-ended and subjective to be useful or worth it in the end.
I’m not crazy about the cost of the whole endeavor, either. Yes, life is precious and I shouldn’t waste a minute of it. But I’ve probably got some bad habits that are knocking off days left and right without my even being aware of it; no need to knowingly do so just for the chance to see who’ll win the World Cup in a few years or at what point we finally hit the big red button and cease to exist as a species. Yeah, I’ll definitely pass. There are more fun ways to lose a day or two.
Pain’s a funny concept; you’re supposed to objectively quantify to a completely separate party, how much/where it hurts.The medical authorities offer you a rather inadequate system of various faces and numbers. Granted, the system is for kids, who (mostly) lack the proper vocabulary to describe pain. I wouldn’t put using it past some adults, though. Frankly, I think “it feels like Jigsaw is dragging barbed thumbtacks up and down my arm for being too clingy” describes things better than oh, say, “four”.
As it turns out, Allie of Hyperbole and a Half apparently feels the same way. Her modified pain scale includes all numbers 0-11 and even includes a super-handy “Beyond Numbers” option. They probably won’t want to display that in emergency rooms—it’s kind of graphic—but why not put it on the back of the kiddie version? That way a thirteen-year-old boy can pick the appropriate option and not feel dumb about using a visual mnemonic. Including a face that’s bleeding from the eyes has to increase its street cred, right? Right? Not being a thirteen-year-old boy, I wouldn’t know; my brother doesn’t count, either. Dad’s convinced that I sissified him when I made him play barbies and tea party with me all those years. Can any other teenage boys check it out for me? Kthnxbye.
*inspired by the linked blog post. Check it and the rest of her stuff out. Hilarious. Seriously, if you’re not even chuckling by the end of it, I weep for humanity.