This week my chosen life partner turned 30 years old. Yes, this makes me an unashamed cougar (suck it Courtney Cox!). As I experienced several years ago, the switch from 20 to 30-something, which I would argue is the new age in this infantilized world where one typically leaps from child to adult, has been somewhat jarring for my husband. He’s still a young man by any definition, but there is now more hair on his back and less on his head, too many little girls call him “uncle” for his liking, and he can’t eat anything oily without spending time in the digestive penalty box. At 30, one starts to gain an awareness of their own mortality, to suspect that the peak physical days are in the past after all. Aging is real.
It turns out that Eddie’s birthday, February 17th, is also the marker of our years together as a couple. On the same day he hit the big 3-0, we celebrated five years of courtship. I label our relationship as such because even after a half decade together, and three of those as spouses, we are still working out the parameters of our union. We are from opposite sides of the globe figuratively and quite literally, with matching hot headed tempers being one of our common traits. It’s tough work but I like that we’re doing it together. I don’t know anyone else who would even want to try putting it up with me.
I used to think it pretty uncool to get older. All that hippie “don’t trust anyone over 30” rhetoric sounded like good, common sense. After age 29, it’s like adults become the magically entrenched, the sudden producers of ideology rather than the rebellious anarchists.
But I saw the secure, confident smug worn above by a two year-old, on the face of a 30 year-old man wailing away at a karaoke version of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” last night as he celebrated his milestone birthday surrounded by friends and family. He may have morphed into a staid software engineer by day, but after five, and his own mind, he’s still a rockstar. I think I trust anyone over 30 who still dreams big.