Let me say right from the get-go that 30 is NOT OLD.
But there are many different kinds of 30, and right now I'm feeling the sharp distinction between MY KIND of 30 and a LOT OF THE REST OF NEW YORK'S kind of 30. Like, there's DJ-in-Williamsburg 30 and there's has-a-2-year-old-child 30.
My 30 is probably the more normal 30 for the rest of the country, but around here the former seems to be the default. Between starting a decade-long relationship at 20, getting sober at 25, scoring my dream job at 27, and becoming a mom at 28, I'm an OLD 30.
In some ways it's cool: I feel pretty accomplished, I have enough money and a nice apartment and I never wake up on the subway with no idea where I am anymore. But there's a tiny ugly part of me that sometimes resents those other 30-year-olds moaning about how there just isn't enough TIME to do everything they want to do this weekend. Cause my idea of "free time" on the weekends is the hour of daily toddler naptime, during which I must choose between watching something from the DVR, grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, exercising, going to a meeting, reading a book, etc. etc. I can ONLY CHOOSE ONE THING!
(This is why I have a gratitude list, BTW -- so I remember how lucky I am to be financially stable, in good health, to have a helpful partner, etc.) But that doesn't mean I don't still sometimes feel like a witchy old crone amongst my care-and-commitment-free peers. And last night, I took advantage of my CMJ Press Pass to hit up a show (at 11 pm! on a Tuesday night!) where the average age was probably 24. I had a really good time sipping my full-sugar Coca Cola (Wooohoooo, secretary on a cruise style partying!) and watching the throwback 70s-ish punk outfit Wyldlife, but at some point I realized I was having the OLDEST THOUGHTS I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE.
Like this one, when the lead singer lifted up his shirt to mop sweat off his forehead and revealed an entire torso covered in tattoos in addition to full sleeves.
HOW DOES SUCH A YOUNG MAN HAVE SO MANY TATTOOS ALREADY? was the thought that flitted into my brain uncontrollably.
I know, so old, right? But, seriously! Is he some kind of billionaire? Did he start when he was 12? And if his whole body is already covered at his age, what's going to happen as his tastes and interests evolve? He won't have any room left for new stuff he likes! Old old old old old. And it only got worse from there. A few more of the oldest things I thought while watching a rock show last night:
2. If people keep bringing the band shots, they're going to get sick!
Or black out, or not be able to play their instruments, or otherwise have an unpleasant time! Yep, I was worried the band members were drinking a little too fast. Thanks, MOM.
3. Are all the cool girls wearing their hair Amish long now?
Olivia says yes. Cool girls used to have short haircuts. I think this is actually cooler, because you have to have dedicated years to getting your hair that cool.
4. Dancing with your girlfriends like that sure is fun! Wait til you have babies and never talk again.
I mean, it really did look fun. So why did I feel compelled to fast-forward the cute dancing girls into the next 10 years and take pleasure in their banal imagined futures? I'm a witch.
5. My, the fit of those pants is aggressively unflattering.
I get it. I know it's supposed to look like that. I just ... noticed.
6. Mentally referring to everyone in the room as a "boy," "girl" or "kid."
They're not 8, what is wrong with me OMG!
7. I bet they're having the worst sex. See also: I'm so glad my boyfriend's not in a band.
I'm sure there was a time when the idea of watching a guy I was boning on stage would have seemed really thrilling and sexy but now I can't imagine doing the whole rigamarole with a straight face. I also have developed this weird thing as I get older where I can't imagine anyone under the age of 30 being in a real romantic relationship, which makes no sense because I met Pete when I was 20, but there you have it. And I certainly hope it's changing and young women are more empowered about sex than I was, but I know for a lot of women sex vastly improves as we age and learn how to ask for what we want. I just felt grateful not to be getting unimaginatively humped by a 20-year-old dude anymore. I haven't really banged under 30 since I was 17.
8. There really won't ever be another Mick Jagger.
I don't think I've seen a flashy rock-and-roll frontman of an unsigned band in the past decade who wasn't at least a little bit "doing Mick." And even when a musician has really cool stage moves, a little part of me is always imagining him practicing them in front of the mirror and that makes it seem a little bit silly.
So there you have it: the unedited internal monologue of a million-year-old woman. What makes you feel old? Are you generally young or old for your age? Who else should I see at CMJ?