In my twenties I was looking for a man who viewed me as both sexually attractive and his equal. Now, I’m just looking for a Zaxby’s.
You’re thirty now. Who cares? Start a phrase with in my twenties. You’re a sage now. You know everything. “In my twenties…”. Wow. Pompously prophetic and perfect for setting up a misdirect. You’re a comedian now. Hello, you’re THIRTY! Easy street with all of its low-hanging fruit is where you pay rent. Is that cellulite on your ass? You’re damn right it is. Did I mention you’re thirty?
I’m thirty and strolling around a bar waiting to do comedy. I stumble upon a familiar scene. Familiar in the number of times it’s happened to me yet only visible because of how far removed I feel. There’s a woman in her early twenties. She’s fresh faced and spry. Her hair is bouncy, natural, and never dyed. She’s effortlessly clothed in a silky white dress that just hangs off her body exactly the way God intended with zero stains on it. There’s no shameful spaghetti strap underneath.
This sweet babe, immaculately glowing, plops down next to me. Offering a bottle of whiskey tucked underneath her arm, grinning wildly. She’s completely dumbstruck when I turn it down. Young and conditioned to believe that whenever there’s alcohol she must drink it. Alcohol is her personality. It’s what makes her carefree and fun. Resolving her of any and all responsibility from her actions, which she doesn’t need anyways because literally nothing bad has ever happened to her. She’s insufferably naive. She’s me- ten years ago.
This young woman takes the stage and tells the crowd she’s not a big drinker. Taking a huge swig from the bottle, she laughs, fans her face as the whiskey punches her taste buds, dribbling down the sides of her mouth. With cheeks flushed, she wipes it all away with her sleeve. Not a single person has tried to stop her from bringing her own alcohol into this bar.
The audience claps and cheers. Seemingly supportive, but at thirty I notice it’s all-dudes cheering her on and they’re actually grunting. Her tedious but totally cute set ends and she exits the stage. Immediately flocked by men and only men. They ask a million questions. They don’t listen to her answer. They tag her jokes, all while playfully encouraging her to drink more. She’s leaning back. Soaking in the attention like rays from the sun her life recently exploded out of.
It’s the highest point she’s ever felt and yeah the thought did cross her booze steeped mind that maybe these dudes just wanna have sex, but she’s confident she’s driving this airplane and, dammit, all she wants is the sex too. Why not crash?
30 and impervious to the male gaze, especially the baby ones, I can see all the moving parts of this situation. After years of skimming the ingredient labels on processed food, reading a twenty-year-old is nothing. I look over at this poor P.Y.T. and I’m dying to thirty-‘splain that none of these guys respect her in the slightest. It’s not worth it. They’re not even listening. Look, they’re literally standing around her like a pack of dogs.
I’d rather scoop her up and drop her off into tomorrow then have to explain the perils of her addiction to male attention. Should I school her on the physical and mental risks of owning her sexuality?
Maybe I’ll just wait until she’s tiptoeing out of a boy’s basement apartment holding her Payless shoes. I’d appear in my true form, as Sex-Life Future. Wrapping her in my dusty death cloak, I’d whisk her away to reveal a desolation row of spinsterhood. Behind every door is another roommate asking you to move out. What’s that ominous figure? It’s your bankruptcy lawyer. Peer into this mirror, little one. She clutches her hair in shock.
That’s right. You’re 30% gray now.
Then I’d thrust my head back. Rip a hair raising cacophony of cackles that causes every hard dick to limpen before us. She falls to her knees clutching my cape, begging me to let her give love a chance.
Or, ya know. She’ll figure it out.
When you’re thirty and single never start a sentence with in my twenties because you’ll get stuck like that forever. I may appear to be a jaded, frosty, eight hundred calorie milkshake whose bleeding heart froze over the second time he never texted me back, but I’m so much more than just the resting bitch face my twenties gave me.
I watched Beauty and The Beast three times so don’t tell me I’m not doing anything about love. But thirty-year-old me talking to twenty-year-old me is right. I can’t just sit around waiting for hell to melt the cellulite out of my ass. It’s time to get to The Bachelor.
Yes, I’m three decades old and I still believe in love. And I’m making it my personal mission to find it. So that one day when I’m starting a sentence with in my thirties at least it’ll be something worth talking about and not just a bunch of guys at some bar.