Originally written on 08/04/11
After you turn 21, most birthdays don’t mean much of anything. There is nothing about turning 28, for example, that makes it any different than turning 271. Only the decade milestones are still noteworthy, and even then mostly for depressing reasons, for example the “What the fuck did I do with the last decade of my life??” conversation that you have with yourself in the mirror.
As I approach one of these meaningless non-decade early 30’s birthdays, I recently had an experience that made me feel like the guy who drives the windowless van in those 1980’s after school specials trying to find kids to finger bang. It was a crysturbation2 situation with a side order of dirty old man shame. My skin is crawling even writing about it days later.
The scene: I am attending a local event which involves a variety of people dressed in costume and playing a role or character3. I walk past a local lass wearing a costume that could be best be summarized as “boner-tastic” and I do a painfully poor job of hiding the fact that I am ogling her. You would have thought I was trying to solve a magic eye puzzle. My tax forms don’t get that much of my attention.
A few beers later that same day in another part of town, I walk past the same lass again. This time, however, she has changed out of costume and into a t-shirt that reads “[City name] High School Class of 2013.” I didn’t exactly set the curve in my math classes growing up4, but I’m pretty sure that means that the best-case scenario there is that she is SIXTEEN (16) years old.
As I stood in complete shock, staring off into the middle distance and absently wondering if I was going to throw up as I tried to piece together what the fuck just happened, the following thoughts ran through my mind in rapid succession:
A. There was a time in my life when having that kind of reaction to a girl that young would have been no big deal. That time ended about the same year that Bill Clinton was cramming Robustos into his intern’s stink crevice.
B. I was a sophomore in high school the year she was born. If I had been lucky enough to lose my virginity that year and the condom broke, she could be my daughter.
C. The car I drove to the event that day is the same age as that girl5. And it’s not even the oldest car I own.
D. When I turn 32 in August, I will officially be twice her age.
E. That guy up ahead kinda looks like Chris Hansen. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck don’t make eye contact, maybe he didn’t see you, NO I DON’T WANT TO HAVE A SEAT RIGHT OVER THERE.
And just like that, a normally meaningless early 30’s birthday has taken on new meaning: I will soon be twice as old as a 16 year old. If I don’t make it to Vegas in 2012, will someone please DVR my episode of “To Catch a Predator” for me?
1 Unless you are Amy Winehouse. She would probably like another shot at that whole 27 thing. But fuck her.
2 Defined as: anything that turns you on but simultaneously makes you feel like a broken human being for being turned on by it. If you’ve ever jerked it to those Japanese cartoons where the chick gets fucked by tentacles2b then the previous sentence probably made complete sense to you.
2b Footnote to the previous footnote – you don’t have to lie to me, you have totally done this. Excessively Hairy Robin Williams will be coming by shortly to embrace you in an awkward hug and whisper “It’s not your fault” into your ear repeatedly until you break down sobbing.
3 I live in a county seat so we have all the random summer festivals, some of which have themes that are the thinnest excuses imaginable for people to just get together and get hammered without feeling like alcoholics for being slammed at 11:30 in the morning. “You mean if I dress like a dwarf or some stupid shit, I can have scotch for breakfast? DEAL.”
4 This may or may not be true – I can’t remember much of anything in the way of grades, classes I took, things I learned or pretty much anything that happened in my life before last week.
5 I am clinging to my 1995 Toyota for dear life because it is the newest car that does not require an emissions test ever again in this state. You might find me strange for doing this unless you happened to read the footnotes about crysturbation, in which case you’ve probably given up trying to figure out what the fuck is going on here.