On Love and Turning 40…Someday

Sally: “And I’m gonna be FORTY!!!!”

Harry: “When?!”

Sally: “Someday!”

Harry: “In eight years.”

[Dedicated to all my twenty/thirty somethings.]

“I hate my job in a big way.” Lyla cried. [Her name has been changed to protect her identity and hide her binge drinking.]  I could hear the clinking sounds of ice on glass.  “Like in a can’t sleep, cry in the shower, drink vodka on a Tuesday kind of way,” she finished, skimming over the details of her office massacre and lingering on her newest drink reciepe.

I sighed as Lyla hung up the phone to drunk dial her dad and thought about my impending unemployment that looms ever closer as my grant funded job starts running out of grant funding.  I’m about to be a quarter of a century year old.  My friends are all getting married, buying houses and painting picket fences colors like egg shell and linen.  They are getting promotions, getting heartburn, getting pregnant.  I think this is the part in life when people start looking back and saying “God, I miss college.”  They start day dreaming of sleeping with strange men and drinking rum that’s so cheap it freezes.  And I’ll have to say, college as a whole was fun, frozen liquor included, but if I really think about it, the whole time we were really just wishing we could grow up  and start life.  We were sitting around waiting for our twenty-somethings.

Well here we are.  Twenty something.  I guess I thought it would be like a sitcom on NBC or something.  That we would all drink a lot of coffee and get promoted every season.  But let me tell you something about being twenty something.  First of all, if you round, you’re 30.  Which means you start thinking about things like health insurance, investment plans and matching furniture.  Right around 25, your purple bed-sheet curtains don’t cut it anymore, and you start dabbing the grease off your pizza to avoid indigestion.  And the worst of it all is you’re still in limbo.  You’re poor as shit and have bills up to your eyeballs.  If you’re lucky, like I am, you decided to graduate right around when the economy kicked the proverbial bucket and you’re still unemployed.  I think I literally spend more on resume paper than rent.

But to be honest (and lets be honest for once) it’s quite lovely, actually.

After all, there’s nothing wrong with being blissfully unhappy and buying economy sized wine bottles.  Nothing wrong with an inbox of rejection letters or a limited amount of zeros in your bank account.  Nothing wrong with being at the bottom of the food chain.  (We are young enough that we aren’t worth eating anyway.)  After all we have our health (thanks Obama), and each other.  Not to mention Netflix to keep us busy and the internet to keep us dreaming.

So I raise my glass to toast to all my twenty somethings, with their wobbly dreams and their stable unemployment.  To canned vegetables and getting canned.  To razor burn, heart burn and burned dinner.  To second jobs and second guessing.  To expecting the unexpected and to unexpectedly being “expecting”.  To jobs that give assurance and insurance from jobs.  To car parts and part-time.  To hangovers, layovers and getting over it.  To letting it lie and picking yourself up.  To hunting for jobs, dates, apartments and food.  To law suites, summer suites, and birthday suites.  To roadtrips when we feel like roadkill.  To dreaming big and earning little.  To olvidar el provecho y amar el daño*.  To Kraft singles, being single and the latest single.  To freeze-less rum and bank sums.  To sleepless nights and vodka on Tuesdays.  I raise my glass to you.

*Roughly translated by the kitchen guys at my work “Forget the benefit and love the pain.”

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