Thirty One

From Joanie:

I had a birthday yesterday. Not a milestone birthday, and I’m now getting to the age where the space between milestone birthdays is farther between.

I am thirty-one. According to American youth-centered culture, I aged out of usefulness. I am now less valuable to society, and will continue to grow less valuable. I can retain some of my diminishing returns in societal value if I spend a bunch of money on creams and work out ad nauseam and sleep in a giant Tupperware container, thereby staying fresh just a tad longer and fooling myself and others that I’m not slowly marching toward my inevitable death.

I’m also told I can lie about my age to feel more secure about my appearance and fool others into thinking I’m actually worth more than my true age reveals me to be. This seems to be especially prevalent in the performing arts.

I for one do not intend to contribute to the web of lies. Lies which fool no one, and only perpetuate the nonsense that only a young woman is a worthy woman.

[Expletive deleted] that.

I find it especially disturbing when women add to this, as evidenced by a video circulating the Innerwebz about the difference between 29 and 31.

In this supposedly comic video, a 29 year old woman is depicted as happy, well-adjusted, and feeling comfortable with herself, while a 31 year old woman is neurotic, lonely and angry. This [expletive deleted] ridiculousness is accompanied by a [expletive deleted] ukulele, making it that much worse.

Way to knock feminism back 30 years, ladies.

Maybe the 31 year old woman should settle and marry anybody, anybody at all, dye her hair platinum blond, pop out 3 babies, and become really devoted to brand name cleaning products. That’s where happiness lies for women in their 30s, right?

My 31st birthday was not the most exciting one– I had adult responsibilities. Ugh. You know, an audition, a nap, some freelance writing work, singing in an opera, and then enjoying fine Scotch in a bar where the music isn’t too loud and is over a decade old. Ho hum.

My 30th birthday involved setting off illegal fireworks in my in-laws driveway, followed by a trip to New Orleans and then another to Peru.

Flashback to my 21st birthday:

I binge drank and then threw up on the sidewalk in front a cop.

If my birthday celebrations are any indication of my value as a person. I’d say that I only become more valuable as time goes on.

I pay taxes, for [expletive deleted]’s sake.

I’ve heard the aging-like-fine-wine comment a few times in the last few days. But wines are put in a rack in a cellar to be displayed and saved for another day when they’re worth lots of money or only to be opened on special occasions. That’s not a comparison I’d like to invite. I don’t like basements that much.

Rather, I think of myself like milk. No, not the milk your college roommate left at the back of the fridge for 2 months that soured and must be thrown out. More like buttermilk, that rises to the top after churning through the difficulties of life, and whose creamy consistency is the joy of bakers everywhere.

Perhaps my age does limit me– I mean, at this point I really have to accept the reality that being in the Ice Capades or becoming an astronaut fall into the Not Going to Happen category. Let’s ignore for a second that I am bad at ice skating and that I have poor vision and tend to get motion sickness on a crosstown bus.

But the sky is still the limit for this thirty-one year old lady.

So long as I can be home by 11. I have to be at work in the morning.

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