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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

30 Signs You've Busted 30 Wide Open

I hit the big 3-0 on October 11th, and I must admit I'm having a hard time with it. I know I won't get much sympathy from you 40+ people (since you're only a few candles away from dentures and Depends), but this getting older stuff is for the birds! I still want to spend a day at the beach without worrying about fine lines and wrinkles! I still want to browse in American Eagle on occasion without people assuming I'm shopping for my daughter. HA! I still feel young, right? Although I am somewhat in denial about entering another decade, I can't ignore the undeniable evidence that it's time to let go of my twenties and embrace this new chapter of life. 

Maybe you can also relate to these "30 Signs You've Busted 30 Wide Open":

(1) Your eyesight is getting worse. I visited the eye doctor a few months ago for my yearly exam (only I haven't been since 2008), and I was seriously straining to see the letters on the chart. There's nothing more horrifying than not being able to read past the "E" on the top of the chart. The doctor's last words to me before I left were, "Please don't drive without your new glasses." 
(2) Minivans are starting to look like the answer to all of life's problems. I spent my twenties as a staunch opponent of The Minivan. Although I have many friends who ROCK their Odysseys and Siennas and Quests, I personally couldn't bring myself to trade my SUV for a Mommy Mobile. Car companies have made noble efforts to jazz up the minivan and increase its cool factor, but for me, buying a van has always been the precursor to mom jeans and outdated sunglasses. But lately, I've found myself sneaking a second look at minivans as they whiz past me. What's not to love about automatic doors and comfortable seating for your kid's entire Little League team? The simple fact that I'm starting to see minivans in a new light can only mean one thing: I am getting older (and tired of having to manually open the doors to my SUV). 
(3) Young people start looking even younger. Fernando took me to Outback for my birthday dinner, and as we sat and waited for a table, I couldn't believe the young couples who kept arriving for date night. I kept looking around for signs of a mom dropping them off at the front door, because most of the young men didn't look old enough to hold a driver's license, much less to be dating. I mean, were they paying for their date's dinner with their allowance? And the girls? They looked like they could still (legally) order from the kids' menu. I almost threw a bread knife at a love-struck couple who were ignoring their cheese fries and holding hands across the table. Maybe they were truly in love or maybe they were just trying to avoid getting food in their braces. Either way, I was reminded that I definitely ain't a spring chicken anymore.
(4) Eyebrows are starting to get tricky. Wax? Pluck? Trim? Wear my hair like the girl from The Ring so that no one can see my eyebrows? I'm at a total loss as to what to do with these puppies that seem to get thinner and lighter with each passing year. In fact, I've started using an eyebrow pencil for the first time. I think I need a hug. 
(5) You catch yourself talking like your mother. Remember those phrases that your mom used all.the.time. that made you roll your eyes as a kid? Chances are you'll start hearing those same phrases come out of your own mouth once you hit 30. 
(6) Tanning beds are icky. If tanning salons rewarded their customers with frequent flier miles, I would never have to worry about paying for airfare again. A frequent fake-baker while in my twenties, I enjoyed spending a few minutes cocooned in warmth and emerging with a glowing, golden tan. (Who was I kidding? I looked like a TANgerine.) Now that I've had kids and hit thirty, the smell of burnt flesh has lost its appeal. I'm not saying I won't ever step into a tanning salon again; however, I am saying at this point in my life, as far as indoor tanning goes, AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
(7) You'd rather stay in on Friday night. Flannel pj's and Netflix > anything Goldsboro has to offer. 
(8) You lose interest during a movie. I hardly ever watch movies anymore. Two reasons: (A) I can't stay awake and (B) There are always dishes that need to be washed, clothes that need to be folded, toilets that need to be scrubbed... Kinda hard to focus on a story line when there's a To Do list to take care of. MEN DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS! 
(9) Your idea of "clubbing" involves visiting Sam's and buying 1100 rolls of toilet paper and five pound blocks of cheese. Also, SAMPLES!!! 
(10) You become more career-oriented. Starting a new decade in life makes you reflect on what you've accomplished in your career, and it's a good time to set goals for the next ten years. Or better yet, lose yourself in a half-gallon of Haagen Dazs and lament all the wasted opportunities from your 20s.
(11) You are more excited about your kids Halloween costumes than they are about getting candy.
(12) Wearing high heels just ain't happening. The only time I wear high heels (and by "high heels," I mean my pair of black pumps with sensible heels that I bought at Sears for $14.99) is on Sunday morning for church. And I can hardly wait to kick them off when we get home. If I'm feeling real adventurous, I'll wear them again to Sunday night service. When you're out and about with two little boys, you must be prepared to break into a run at any moment. And if you've ever had to chase your child across a crowded parking lot while wearing high heels, you'll agree with me that flats are a much more practical (and safe!) option. 
(13) Your four-year-old is beating you at Memory. True story, bro.
(14) You are more worried about your health. Hitting 30 makes you start wondering and worrying about what's going on inside your body. That piece of Bubblicious gum that you swallowed as a pre-teen... is it causing issues for your small intestine? And moles and sun spots on your skin will start to look very, very suspicious (another reason I've decided to steer clear of the tanning bed). 
(15) You're starting to get bold in the kitchen. By age 30, you've had a little time to experiment and evolve as a cook. You've cooked enough meals to realize that a can of Cream of Mushroom soup covers a multitude of meat sins, and that it is possible to botch up Kraft Mac. But you've probably also started channeling your inner Barefoot Contessa, and trying new things... like substituting applesauce for oil and making fondant (AKA- Icing from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks). 
(16) You've abandoned Victoria's Secret for whatever's on sale that doesn't pinch, itch, or require special washing instructions.
(17) You've tried hot tea.
(18) You no longer make Christmas wish lists.
(19) You haven't been into American Eagle or Aeropostale since...............
(20) TV shows from your childhood are now being played on Nick at Nite. Back in the 80s and 90s when I was a kid, I remember Nick at Nite running old shows like "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "I Love Lucy." Fast forward a couple decades, and those old black and white shows have been replaced with "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "The Nanny."
(21) You can't even remember what you did on your 21st birthday.
(22) You've stopped buying graphic tees. Maybe it's just me, but now that I'm in my thirties, I'm finding it a tad difficult to wear anything (in public) with corny sayings like "Beautiful Disaster" or "Set Me Free" emblazoned across the chest. In fact, I just donated two huge bags full of Old Navy graphic tees to Goodwill. This is more than a tad bit depressing, especially when I remember how much I begged my mother to let me wear graphic tees when I was a young lass. But graphic tees like this one? I just can't.

(23) You're learning to be a little smarter with your money. When you're in your twenties, retirement seems like an eternity away. But there's something about hitting 30 that makes you wake up and smell the 401K. Unless you want to spend your golden years slurping Ramen through your dentures, now is probably a good time to start saving for the future. 
(24) You've been around long enough to see trends come, go, and come again. I totally remember my mom rocking flats like these in the 90s. Although hers were not embellished with gold studs and most certainly did not come from Old Navy.... And let's talk about how burgundy is all the rage this year. BURGUNDY!!!

(25) "Fun" is now defined as anything that doesn't interfere with sleep or require extra clean-up. You probably have to be in your 30s in order to enjoy the total elation that comes with alphabetizing your CD collection on a Friday night.
(26) THE BACKSTREET BOYS ARE NOW FATHERS!!! And their chart-topping hits which appalled our mothers back in the day now sound like lullabies compared to today's musical garbage. Also, Zack from "Saved By the Bell" will turn 40 next year. Let that sink in for a minute.

(27) Words like "selfie" & "bestie" make you cringe. Maybe this is just me, but I wouldn't be caught dead using these abbreviated hashtags on Twitter or Instagram. #embarrassing
(28) You're not afraid to ask for help. Just a couple weeks ago, I visited a local office supplies store to buy paper. In case you've never had to purchase ten reams of paper before, let me explain that there is NO ladylike way to get that box off the shelf and into your cart. I highly recommend wearing a back brace and elastic waist pants if you are shopping for paper alone. Make sure you have a heating pad and a bottle of Aleve on standby. Those cases of paper weigh more than yo' momma! Anyway, I was in the store, and once I'd located the cheapest box of paper, I stretched my neck, flexed my wrists, and cracked my knuckles. Let's do this, I thought to myself. Taking a deep breath, I bent down and reached for the box in front of me. (I may or may not have repeated, "Light as a feather, stiff as a board" three times as I slid my fingers under the box.) I'm pretty sure I let out a groan as I finally got the box off the shelf and realized I would need to lift it higher to get it into the cart. About this time, a little elf of an employee decided to make his rounds down my aisle. "Can I help you with anything, ma'am?" he asked casually. "Um, sure, could you tell me where I could find the best deal on paper clips?" I wanted to spit out sarcastically, but I didn't answer right away, mainly because my cart was getting away from me and I WAS HOLDING A FOUR-TON CASE OF PAPER! "Yes, if you could help me get this paper in my cart, that'd be great," I finally managed. "Oh, of course," he said as he scurried over to help me. After what seemed like an eternity in the land of Awkward Moments, we finally dumped the box into the cart. I felt like I'd just done an hour of Zumba. I'm pretty sure the twenty-something me would've refused his "help" and lugged that paper across the store like a boss. I'm also pretty sure the thirty-year-old me fears the word hernia enough to ask for help when needed.
(29) You're more interested in politics and the future of our society. Do not get me started on Obamacare.
(30) You're starting to realize, with each passing moment, what is truly important. Like control top pantyhose and Oil of Olay. HA!

Those of you who've joined the Thriving Thirties Club with me, what would you add to this list? Any advice for getting older?