Shit I did in my 20's that I don't, can't, or won't do now
Ahh, the best laid plans of mice and editors.
This month, our intrepid editor laid out some high concept theme where we 30-somethings might debate several 20-somethings over some topic…About…Something. It didn’t pan out due to a lack of 20-somethings.
It is understandable. 20-somethings are busy, they have a lot of shit to worry about. Being young, getting drunk and high, fucking, not to mention their boom-ditty-boom-ditty, baggy pants and twisted political ideology. It ain’t easy being young.
There was some talk about having existing 30POV members try to recruit 20POV-ers from local college campuses. As a creepy 30-something that drives around in a windowless van, I tried to convey the idea that prowling college campuses for meat-err, fertile, young, nubile, willing writers-might be frowned upon by local law enforcement. See, they ALWAYS go for the guy with the van first, it is fucking profiling, and it isn’t right!
Ahem. That isn’t to say I don’t have meaningful conversations with 20-year olds on occasion. I can remember my last one…
“You’re majoring in what? Oh, to do what? Be a social worker? Work with kids? Yes, that’s great, I wish you the best. And by the way, that C-section scar healed very nicely, way better than that other girl’s. Why SURE, I would love a couch dance.”
Similar conversations I’ve had with 20-year olds tend to end with a dollar in a g-string, that one just got “lucky”.
It is easy to hate people in their 20’s. They are young, attractive, probably still thin, and have their whole lives ahead of them with little to no responsibility, and honestly, fuck them for it. They don’t realize that just 10 years later, POOF….It’s all gone. In your 30’s, life’s behind you. Nowhere to go now but the grocery store and the grave, not necessarily in that order. No one EVER realizes until it is too late that your 20’s ARE your life. Fuck them up and you are just a resentful, remorseful, mean, angry, fat bastard for the rest of your miserable life. And if you try to have fun when you’re not in your 20’s, like going out and getting drunk and partying it up, it is just a sad, pitiful attempt that makes you look like a useless asshole. Most of us should just kill ourselves at 29. Generally speaking, I mean.
The rest of us 30-somethings have moved what, one, maybe two “check age” boxes on the average consumer survey? Anything checked past ’18-24′ should just end the survey with a “go fuck yourself, you obsolete old bastard, we don’t need your opinion” suggestion.
So, I am gong to proceed as though there is a 20-year old listening as I write, poised to tell me, in between bong hits, with their own optimistic, potential-filled, “life hasn’t crushed my dreams yet fucker” attitude, that I am old and wrong. And for any young, attractive 20-something females reading this…Grandpa has a shiny dollar bill to slip in someone’s G-string! Who’s a good young whippersnapper? You are! You are! Now, how about you lose those panties for Grandpa…
Shit I did in my 20’s but don’t, or can’t, or won’t, do now.
Go to the movies. I admit, I have a specific issue related to movie-going. But honestly, how much does it cost to see a movie today? Like $12 a ticket? Then the food is overpriced for massive portions, you are sitting with a bunch of shitheads you don’t know, in seats that a million other people have sat, farted, and potentially had sex in, watching a movie you probably would click past if it was on TV. What a scam.
My own issue? It stems from a friend’s comment almost ten years ago. The girl I was dating at the time, we had been together for a while, were not happy together, and had fallen into a rut where we would go to the movies EVERY WEEK. Seriously, I saw so many shitty movies in my 20s solely in the name of keeping this failing relationship going. My buddy once commented to me, “You realize, the main activity that you two engage in is one where you don’t have to look at, talk to, or pay attention to each other, right?” To which my reply was, “Well, we don’t do any of that during sex either, so it’s no different from that!” His smirking stare was enough to tell me just how fucked up my “relationship” had become. I carry that with me to this day, and currently, my wife and I barely ever go to the movies. When we do, I make sure she looks at me the whole time. Just like sex.
Buy DVDs. I’ve only been buying DVDs since around 2000 anyway, but I remember them as a fresh start. I bought so many shitty VHS movies as a teen, I vowed I would not make the same mistake with DVD. I would not own a shitty DVD. I would carefully consider each one I bought, because digital is forever, and I only wanted DVDs I knew I would enjoy for the rest of my life.
Today, I own well over 350 DVDs. Not many compared to some, but enough that visitors feel the need to comment when they stop by. Many are TV series with multiple seasons, old cartoons I collected full series of, a lot of Adult Swim shows, and damn near every comic based movie from the last ten years. As far as not owning a shitty DVD, well, let’s just give a big ass “fuck you” to the $5 DVD bin at Wal-Mart, as well as the “buy one-get two free” sales at Blockbuster. I haven’t even watched a lot of the movies I own now. Some are throwbacks to my time seeing shitty movies in the theater every week. I paid the $9 to see it, might as well buy it to remind myself of the 2+ hours of my life I’ll never get back. Remember “Joe’s Apartment”? It had the fat kid from “Stand By Me” in it, some stop motion cockroaches, and MTV produced it. I have it, still sealed, never watched. Why did I buy? Beats me. It sits next to my DVD of “Showgirls”. That one is opened and well watched, though. Well, certain scenes are, at least.
I’ve come to realize what a waste of cash buying movies is. Even movies I really liked, I may have watched them twice. Between online and most cable companies, you can see just about any movie for free that one or two times you’ll need to see it. I do still buy my Adult Swim ‘toons, though. No one is taking my Boondocks and Venture Brothers away.
Help friends move. Once, helping a buddy move from his parent’s place into a shitty dorm or apartment was a joyous occasion. They didn’t have nice shit, so it really didn’t matter if you fucked things up. You knew there’d be beer and cheese steaks afterwards. You would have a new place to go and drink, and harass the local pieces of ass without worrying about retribution because, fuck it, it wasn’t your place. It was a nasty, sweaty day of male bonding, dirty jokes, showing off how much you could lift, and insulting your buddies that couldn’t move a couch up a flight of steps without pulling their groin. Just fucking fun.
Today? No fucking way. Hire movers. Aside from just not feeling like it, most guys that are moving somewhere in their 30’s are doing so because of some awful life changing event. Marriage, divorce, re-marriage, re-divorce, and the shit is NEVER pretty. In a divorce, they always end up with the worst, dirtiest furniture in the house, or with the cheapest shit they can find at the thrift store that smells like cat pee and cheetos, or with whatever free things they can cobble together from other guy friends. It’s depressing.
And if they are getting married, well, you have to worry about damaging their fiance’s or wife’s shit, which is ALWAYS nicer than the shit they had, so you HAVE TO be careful or she’ll get oh so mad at him…It is embarrassing for anyone with a penis.
This is another one I have a hang up with, because I used to work as a mover. Friends would think they could get me to move their stuff for free. I remember asking a buddy if he would do my taxes for free, since he was an accountant. He said no, he had to go to school, his services were worth a lot of money, blah blah blah. I told him mine were too, so he could call movers or PAY ME TO MOVE THAT DESK, BITCH.
Keep up with friends-In my 20’s, I was all about keeping in touch, knowing what was going on, and just being involved with my close friends lives. Now, it is just too much to care about. Unless they are dead, divorced or going to prison, I just don’t need to hear about it. Honestly, Facebook is a really great for just that- Keeping up the facade of giving a shit while existing in complete apathy. At least, if ever confronted by someone about keeping in touch, getting together, or “doing something”, I can just point to Facebook and tell them I’ll catch them online later. Ahh, the social network that makes my antisocial tendencies look honorable.
Buy CDs-Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, makes me feel older than the current technological state of music. Who thought CDs would ever be obsolete? I sure didn’t, but I am sure there’s a me in every technological “generation,” holding my CDs/cassette tapes/8-tracks/vinyl records close and sobbing to myself. I own something like 1000 CDs and if I listen to 40 regularly, I would be surprised. But I loved CDs. I loved the art, the little plastic jewel cases, even the pain in the ass label seal at the top that takes forever to get off. The marketing of music as an intangible product, a download, an MP3, a wave file, a text blip on a massive list being scrolled through on a tiny LCD screen, I just can’t wrap my head around it. Remember mix tapes? They took time to make, to gather the songs, the sit down with the radio and, even in high speed dubbing mode, actually sit and record everything just right, with the stop points in the right spots, restarting as flawlessly as possible. Then, when the stereo components to record CDs became affordable (I think I paid $400 for one back in the late 90’s or so), it was like a whole new world, but still there was time involved, there was labor, there was love. Now, just click, click, upload this, click click, playlist that, and done. No love. I still buy CDs when one of the last remaining bands I listen to puts something new out, but I imagine those will be fewer and fewer over the next ten years or so until music is download only.
Read- I’ll be honest, I never read much. Even in school, I just bullshat my way through reading assignments. But there was a time when I was at least buying magazines (to read), some sci-fi books (mostly Star Wars), and Comic Books (I don’t care what you say, they count). In my 30’s, I just don’t have the time to sit down with anything that takes longer to read than the time of your average shit session. I can read while I’m taking a shit, but only for about ten minutes before my legs go numb from sitting on the toilet. Any other time, I just can’t fit it in around web surfing and watching TV.
Buy Porn- In my 20’s, I had to deal with buying my porn in places that actually sold porn. Adult stores, downtown news stands, that back room at the video store, flea markets. If I wanted porn, I had to leave the house. Well, not any more, baby. The internet has made that all so easy, it’s just click-click, jerk-jerk, and boom goes the dynamite.
Work out- I went through a period in my 20’s where I worked out every day for years. I did karate, weight lifting, running, stretching, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve put on a lot of weight since then, and I am constantly on the edge of “getting started” on a new workout regimen. I can get things going for a month or two but I feel like I am constantly hurting myself, or too tired, or too busy, to really keep it up. Lately I have been running every day, but my legs and ankles are killing me, they are sore every day. I try lower impact things like walking with resistance, but it still kills my legs and feet. Sigh. falling apart is one of the things I never thought of in my 20’s, it really creeps up on you.
Go out- Even with my antisocial nature, I still enjoyed going out when I was younger. I hated the traveling, the parking, etc, but i enjoyed going to concerts, parties, bars, and hanging out with friends. But as a 35-year-old father, I just feel gross walking into a bar full of what looks like kids to me. I mean, I could always find a bar with people in it my own age, but what fun would that be? Do I really want to hang out with a bunch of drunks in their 30’s, talking about their shitty lives, shitty wives, and what they would do, if they were younger and didn’t have a bad back, to the one underage girl that slipped in past the bouncer? Concerts would be similarly depressing, because most bands I would want to see are probably in their 40s and 50s now, it would be like going to an early bird dinner at the Old Country Buffett to see a band.
Take some advice, kiddies-And by kiddies, I mean anyone under the age of 29 and 364 days-Enjoy this shit now, it really doesn’t get better.