30x30 [ 2005-05-26, 7:52 p.m. ]

In which I suggest 30 ways to celebrate a certain milestone birthday.

1) Wake up early and treat self to a leisurely shower. Take the time to dry hair straight and use expensive flatiron recommended by bitchy ex-coworker. Wear cute, flirty outfit and stroll out of the apartment feeling sassy, sexy, confident and pulled-together. Spend entire day feeling pretty and special.

2) Wake up twenty minutes late because of hangover, shave only to knees. Leave apartment with wet hair and wearing boots, wool turtleneck and down vest because even though summer starts in less than a month it is only 50 degrees out. Realize halfway to work that you have forgotten tissues. Realize this as snot drips onto upper lip.

3) Consider which celebrities are older than you and which are younger. Decide you rather like Drew Barrymore, Hilary Swank and Jennifer Garner because none are in their twenties anymore.

4) Get this card from husband and contemplate divorce (not really):

5) And this card from inlaws and SERIOUSLY contemplate divorce:

6) Get no card from own parents, but receive an email from mother instructing: Go to wine store after work as Part 1 of gift waits.

7) Go out drinking with girlfriends to celebrate last night of being a Twenty Something. Have wine, then whiskey, then beer. Notice that the bar is full of military in town for Fleet Week. Look at one guy in unfamiliar uniform and say - OUT LOUD - "I wonder what branch he is in, that guy over there, the one wearing a green beret..."

8) Go to gym and sweat booze.

9) Think about going to gym but instead leave work, shop for Milestone Shoes to celebrate Milestone Birthday and decide Milestone Necklace is also appropriate because how often does one have a MILESTONE birthday, after all?

10) Have lunch with adorable friend and contemplate getting bangs.

11) Plan to have cafe au lait and apricot pastry from favorite pastry shop on way to work, plan on listening to New Birthday Playlist on New Birthday iPod (WEEZEER!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!) on subway while drinking Birthday Coffee, and plan on taking sweet-ass time getting home after work, stopping at as many damn shops as possible, but instead drive to work because husband was unable to find Alternate-Side-of-the-Street parking and spend entire drive being mad at husband for ruining birthday. Ruining! Even though driving to work is more pleasant than subway by a long shot and even though driving up 10th Avenue is always fun because there are never red lights. RUINED!!

12) Bring classy yet cute stationary to work and spend inappropriate amounts of time writing letters to friends, letting them know how much them mean to me and enjoy using birthday as reason to be thankful for friends and loved ones. Realize there is no classy yet cute stationary in the apartment, so decide to bring plain personalized stationary and then spend lots of time writing thoughtful messages, blah blah blah. Get to work and realize that stationary has been forgotten, as have stamps. Curse office's location witch is very, very far from any cute stationary store.

13) Perhaps watch 13 Going on 30. Perhaps.

14) Get period. This is EXTRA special and fun. If had been feeling relaxed and calm about turning 30, suddenly develop wildly vacillating mood swings and decide that turning 30 is awful, that people who make a big out of turning 30 are awful, that people who say 40 is the new 30 are stupid and annoying and that anyone who says "blank" is the new "blank" deserves a punch in the neck. Then, read about puppy who needs a home on animal shelter website and weep openly at desk. Decide that you take it all back and that everyone is lovely. Listen to "English Girls Approximately" no less than four times in a row and wish someone wrote songs about you. Decide that Ryan Adams is clearly your soul mate. Watch him on David Letterman and realize that he would fail the Teeter Totter Test (he looks like he weighs 120 lbs and his ass would SO be up in the air) but still be fun to hang out with sometime. Remind self to tell Emilie about new plan for meeting Ryan Adams, namely to leverage younger brother who is touring with band that may or may not know people in Ryan Adam's circle. Eat cold pizza as frequently as possible.

15) Spend entire day at work emailing with friends and do not feel guilty about it, as it is nearly holiday weekend and work is slowing down as such. Isn't it?

16) Think about what to wear for birthday party, which is not for another week because of holiday weekend. Cannot be under-dressed for one's own 30th Birthday Party, so decide to wear strapless black dress.

17) Shop for fun shoes to wear with black strapless dress.

18) Suddenly remember writing list of Things To Do Before I Am 30 back when self was twenty and clearly in need of a beating. Tear apartment apart looking for list, but do not find it. Try to remember items on list, and cringe at memory.

19) Wonder if it is too late to arrange for a skydiving trip. Or to write a book.

20) Mani/Pedi

21) Champagne, from the good flutes. And sweatpants.

22) Remember that list of Things To Do Before I Am 30 also included get a dog, see a Broadway show, have or be in a healthy long term relationship and drive cross-country, all of which have been done. Toast self.

23) Buy something pretty, just because.

24) Eat whatever is desired and give absolutely no thought to cost or calorie count.

25) Learn how to say "I am 30" without making awful scrunchy apologetic face or using cutesy sad voice, because only a fool thinks being 30 is worth disguising, apologizing for or using as a punch line. What is the big deal about being 30? (Why on earth would I want to remain in the decade which saw me with unfortunate men, unfortunate haircuts, unfortunate outfits. When I turned 20 I was in college, dating the person I thought I was supposed to marry, wearing bad jeans and sneakers and applying to graduate school. When I turned 22 I had just moved to New York, was flat broke, living with two gay men in a Brooklyn duplex and working two doors south of the New York Stock Exchange. When I turned 25 I cut my hair into a pixie cut and moved in with my boyfriend and started working at the job which introduced me to Brit, Pastry, Beck, Em and Karen. When I turned 28 I had just gotten married and finally realized the best hair styles and makeup for me, finally learned what clothes fit me best, learned how to manage my time and balance my social life with my private life. I got a dog. I am turning 30 knowing who I am so much more clearly than I ever did at any stop along the way. I turned 30 with incredible people behind me and the knowledge that if I fell, I would be caught. And last night I got carded.)

26) Add new items to above-mentioned list, and erase the "...Before I Am 30" bit. On new "Things To Do, The End" list, add: learn to play poker, learn to apologize, learn to accept compliments.

27) Become suddenly overcome with love for husband who, despite his flaws, wants nothing more than a good life for us.

28) Call husband at work to tell him how much you love him, to thank him for being so thoughtful and for getting the iPod and for throwing the fancy party and to generally express love and adoration. Get his voice mail.

29) Fancy party! Have forgotten to mention fancy party!! But there will be excellent food, great music, lots of good wine and many, many good friends. Let husband and best friend arrange, then just show up and be belle of a little, intimate ball. Jay is flying up from Florida which warms my heart, and I am very much looking forward to it. You should all come.

30) Two words: gay porn.

(No, not really. Two other words: Thank you. To everyone and everything that has seen me on my way and helped me to get here. I would be nothing without you.)

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