Thursday, February 10, 2011

shameless promotion (2.0): Feb. 10, 2011

Editor's Note: In the ongoing effort of this blog to get its primary author fired promote its primary author's failing writing career, we present to you this week's column from the St. Clair Times. As always, you are more than welcome to share your own thoughts here, or by finding me on Twitter. We thank you in advance for your feigning of interest.
Another year older, and deeper in debt (and other birthday cliches)

Now they’re makin’ movies in old black and white
With happy endings, where nobody fights
So if you find yourself in that nostalgic rage
Honey, jump right up and show your age …

Just how cliché is a column about turning 30?

Almost as cliché as the remarks people make on your birthday card when you finally reach that age.

“Happy Birthday,” one of my friends wrote. “Tomorrow you will be closer to 40 than you are to 20.”

Thanks, man.

The truth is, I didn’t want to write a column about turning 30. Do you really want to spend 10 minutes reading about my various aches and pains that I now have for no reason, or me grousing about the younger generation having no respect? Don’t I do enough of that in a normal column?

“Happy birthday! Welcome to Decade #4,” wrote another friend.

Happy to be here.

The past decade pretty much flew by, as most people predicted it would. It included four different towns, three different jobs and three different trips to the hospital with orthopedic issues. I went from being a single, broke, unattached college student to a married, still broke, very attached “adult” with a mortgage, a car payment and three very hungry animals.

“Happy Birthday and welcome to the 30s!!” another said. “Like the 20s but with more ibuprofen!”

How exciting.

One of the things I was warned about when I was in high school was decreasing knowledge. My senior English teacher warned me just before graduation.

“You know, right now you’re as smart as you’ll ever be,” he said. “Because you think you know everything. You’ll spend the rest of your life realizing how little you know.”

How right he was. In fact, the more I educate myself — by reading, studying and talking to people — the less I know about an ever-evolving world. Moreover, the more I learn how little I know, the more I become convinced that those shouting that they have all the answers (in whatever forum) are people you’d generally want to avoid under pretty much every circumstance.

(One bizarre side effect: The desire to correct people seems to decrease with age. Honestly, if some doofus on the radio wants to believe that was Kevin Bacon playing Iceman in “Top Gun,” let him. What good would it do to set them straight, honestly?)

In any case, those are all the reasons I attempted to avoid writing an introspective, self-aggrandizing column about reaching my 30th birthday. Although, obviously, it didn’t work out that way.

“Happy birthday to you!!” said my high school choir director. “Will, you know life only begins when you are 30!”

Let’s hope.