Last night was an old friend's 30th birthday party. Someone made her a cupcake tower and plopped two candles in two cupcakes. One said "3." The other said "0." As, in "30."
I met my friend in Ms. Alden's fourth grade class, so we remember when each other's birthday cakes said, "9." It's hard to fathom that we are celebrating 30th birthday parties now, 21 years later.
The whole stigma of turning 30 is a strange one. It's apparently when your life begins to end and you begin aging rapidly. People buy you demeaning birthday cards (I am no exception. The one I gave my friend said: "I believe everything in life happens for a reason. For example, people turn 30 because the fun part of their life has ended.") and joke gifts like denture adhesive and adult diapers. People have lengthy discussions about the difficulty of turning 30, compared to turning 29 or 35 or 40. People start talking about 30 being "the new (insert age here)."
My self-described MILF friend, whom I have also known for 22 years, states that 30 is the new 20. Some say 50 is the new 30. I'd better hit the treadmill and the leafy greens if 50 is going to feel anything like 30.
I have the possibly good fortune of being the youngest of my original crew of friends. I won't turn 30 until October, whereas the eldest have been 30 since December 2007. I've spent much time in my 29th year pondering 30 and repeatedly feeling that I can't be three decades old, when it's just barely yesterday that I graduated from high school.