Far Side of Thirty

This is my last month on the far side of thirty. On December 15th, I'll be balanced in the middle of twenty and thirty. On December 16th, that balance will tip and I will officially be nearer to thirty than I am to twenty.

Basically every birthday since twenty-one has been scary. I think that twenty-one was just absolutely perfect. By twenty-one, I enjoyed all the privileges of adulthood, including voting, buying beer for minors, and going to a bar whenever I ever felt like it. So what if I've never felt like it. That doesn't matter. What matters is that if I wanted to, I could. Twenty-five offers me just a little more freedom. I'll be able to rent a car without paying extra insurance.

Getting older and being single seems to be more of an embarrassment than anything else. Yes, I know, I know. Twenty-five isn't that old, blah, blah, blah. But it sure feels old when you're among the oldest in your ward, when all the other sisters in your whole mission seemed to successfully find love within months of coming home, and when the closest you've come to intimacy in the last three years was when your German fishing date tenderly hooked your veeerm to your line so that you didn't have to do it yourself.

Last week I missed Monday classes because I wasn't feeling well. When I attended those classes on Wednesday, a girl whose name I don't even know got my attention. "Cicada," she said, flashing her brand-new engagement ring in my face. "You weren't here on Monday, were you? Because that's when I announced that I got engaged. I'm going to get married." The point is, if I never cared enough to even learn her name, then I certainly wasn't going to be any degree of excited or interested in knowing whether or not she was more successful than me in finding love and reciprocity.

Either later that day, or during our Friday's class, the teacher announced, "This must be a year of engagements! It seems that everyone is coming forward and announcing to me that they're getting married." That seemed like the appropriate moment to get up and say, "I haven't seen action in years, baby. Years." But I didn't. I am a woman who shows restraint. Not that that's ever gotten me anywhere. In love. Which is all that counts right now.

This morning in my computer class, a group member came in late, even though our assignment was due at the beginning of class and we couldn't turn it in before we had her part of the assignment. She apologized and explained that she was late because she had a breakfast date. The two other members of the group are both married. Their faces lit up with delight and one said, "You are always going on dates! You are so popular with the men!" At that moment, I considered swallowing my keyboard whole to distract me from the agony of sitting in proximity to these people.

It's not that I loathe married people. I just despise them in my own little bitter and jealous way.

And so that's that. If you think I'm bitter on the far side of thirty, just wait till I cross that line in a month. Heavens! It's 12:02! That makes it November 16th. I am one day closer.

23 comments:

Tolkien Boy said...

As one who as already crossed the line, I say it's not so bad on this side.

There's always the cats.




Oh, and the friends who love you dearly.

Nemesis said...

It's true. Even getting on the close side of 30 can be good if one surrounds oneself with with the very best company--which you, my friend, very much are.

And those persons who think it is appropriate to go flashing their stupid rings around to absolute strangers and making class announcements that having nothing to do with class quite mistake the matter.

DP said...

I think they should start sorting BYU wards by age. (I guess that might pose a problem for 19 and 20-year-old girls, since there won't be any priesthood holders in their wards. Well, they'll figure something else.) But really, what business do 19 and 20-year-old girls have in wards with 24 and 25-year-old guys? It's not getting us anywhere.

edgy killer bunny said...

The other advantage of turning twenty-five is that you can now run for Congress. I can see it now . . .

Representative Cicada introduced legislation today that provides for stiff punishment to those insensitive enough to flash around expensive bits of rock as it that's all that mattered in life.

I think the world would be a better place.

Cicada in 06.

DP said...

However, you've been qualified as a candidate for the House of Commons in the Canadian Parliament since you were 21. On the other hand, you can't run for the Canadian Senate until you're 30---so at least you have thatto anticipate!

Miss Hass said...

I'm even closer to 30 and it's not really that scary. I think maybe I'll start to panic as I get pass 30 and approach 35. Actually, I'm going to start panicking at 32. That's five years from now.

Seriously, Cicada, getting out of Provo and getting some perspective on what "old" really is has helped me so much in that respect. I no longer drown my sorrows in Ben & Jerry's when I think about how I might make it to 30 as a single girl (GASP!).

Plus, like tolkien boy says, there'll always be cats. Or positively adorable puppies, as the case may be.

sakhmet said...

Hey! MY birthday is the day after YOURS. And sweetheart, I'll be MUCH closer to thirty, and at least as far from love as you are. I'm just saying.

Limon said...

I have to say that I have held for years that 25 is the hardest birthday to swallow because 25 rounds to 30 and 30 rounds to 50. Everyone knows 50 rounds to 100. So you are basically dead at 25. I, at 24, however, round down to infancy, which pardons me for using ridiculous logic.

Mandi said...

all the other sisters in your whole mission seemed to successfully find love within months of coming home

I can't help but wonder what their idea of "love" is. Is love meeting someone who you like enough to live with? Is it finding someone who likes them enough to ask? Is it being comfortable with someone? Is it raging hormones?

I dunno. Just seems like months is an awfully short time span in which to decide you love someone enough to marry them.

My husband and I were the best of friends for 5 years before we dated... don't rule anyone out, LOL!

metamorphose said...

Ugh...I seriously would have shot myself...but only after I shot that girl first, and right in the face for flashing her ring about, like it was something more than the cheap prize that it is.

I couldn't live anymore if I had to endure such disgusting behavior on a fairly regular basis. I thank the Lord I was too dumb to get into BYU. Great school, but really...I'd much rather deal with the cannabis-loving hippies at the U.

I applaud you, Cicada, I applaud all of you that have survived this despicable behavior. Gag.

metamorphose said...

Without having killed someone, that is.

Cicada said...

Thank you all for your comments of encouragement. I'm probably hormonal right now.

Mandi, I'm going to have to say that I guess having had the luxury of knowing your husband for years before marrying him puts you in an easy position to look down on others who fell in love more quickly. While I agree that too many Mormons marry too quickly and too young, I wouldn't say that all people who marry quickly are foolish. Several of my mission friends married people they knew before the mission. Others met their future spouses after the mission and fell in love and got married. I think that it all depends on the situation. Don't get me wrong. I'm never going to say that meeting and marrying within a month is a good idea. But I can't really pass blanket judgment on all couples who marry quickly.

Though this is just the mood that I'm in today. Give me a week and I'm just as likely to post a rant about people who get married too quickly.

redlaw said...

Yuck...that sucks. Now I understand why i shouldn't go to BYU - I really will end up committing a homicide followed by a suicide.
I mean, Cicada, 25 is normal...I'm 27 and back home, it is OK to be this age and unmarried - even up here in SLC, it's not totally frowned upon.

There really needs to be a Mormon Exchange Program where UT Mormons have to live outside UT for a year and the rest of us have to live in UT for a year - just so we all know what it's like.

And there needs to be a Mormon Execution Squad for Lil Miss Ringy - I say Draw and Quarter is appropriate.

daltongirl said...

I've been on the far side of thirty for over ten years now. It's not so bad. And I was single for a total of twenty-nine years, and that wasn't so bad either, looking back. In the middle of it all, it was a bummer.

And yeah, you are hormonal. Take some Aleve. I'll think I'll join you. Gotta go. Just me typing that paragraph sent Lola over the edge. Sigh.

metamorphose said...

I must add that the average age of the women in my singles ward in Salt Lake is 26 to 30. And I'm always surprised at how many BYU graduates are up here. In fact, I'm glad to turn 25 -for several reasons -but one them being so I won't get so many dirty looks from the women in my ward who are older than me.

Although, I must mention, the men in my ward, are nearly non-existent. They've nearly cancelled out the Elders Quorum altogether in my ward, and just made it Relief Society, and nothing more.

Mandi said...

...puts you in an easy position to look down on others...

OUCHIE! (I think I'm bleeding).

I certainly didn't mean that to be judgemental or superior. I was attempting to be on your side, pointing out that perhaps these girls who delight in flaunting a ring are deluding themselves. While also trying to show you that you don't have to be dating someone right now for them to be the one. There are possibilites everywhere, even if you don't see them right now or feel like the only one who hasn't any...

I'm sorry that my comment was poorly stated and caused ill will.

JB said...

I was siding with Mandi on this one, though you made some good points about not generalizing, Cicada.

One more happy thought about this is that you aren't sporting a ring whose stone caused people in Africa to loose body parts or die. (I assume she had a diamond ring, since it seems everyone at BYU did when I went there...a few months ago...)

I've met some amazing people who haven't gotten married yet and are well into their thirties. Okay, that's not necessarily comforting in and of itself, but they never seemed old to me (even though they were 10+ years older than me). I really think it's a matter of how confident you are about yourself and how young you feel.

Cicada said...

Mandi,

Tried to find your email address on your blog so that I could write you a more thorough apology but you don't post it, and neither do I, so I'll give you a less thorough and public apology.

1) I was totally hormonal all that day and just about anything set me off.

2) I knew going into the post that the only married person who could respond and not incur my jealous wrath would be Daltongirl, which was a really good indicator that I shouldn't have posted, but I did anyway.

3) The best friends comment coupled with "don't rule anyone out" hit a nerve that you didn't intend to hit at all. If I married one of my best friends, I'd be marrying one of my brothers, and so far I have been ruling all of them out. I'd explain a little more, but this is public, not private, so we'll just leave it as a mystery why that comment stung (and I know that was unintentional).

4) Nothing you wrote deserved to have ellicited a snarky comment from me. Any "ill will" that I took from the comment was my fault.

Anyway. I really am sorry. If you lived here, I'd show you my secret family recipe for pie crusts and give you the greatest pecan pie recipe. Alas...

BowlerGirl said...

The word on the street is that 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30. Since I am less than 10 months away from being 30 I take comfort. Really, I'm getting to turn 20 all over again!

Finding the right man at the right time is the best way to go. I met Hubby when I was 25? dated two years and then got married.

Enjoy the years of being single, but look forward to the years of marriage. They all are what you make of them so make them ALL wonderful.

Melyngoch said...

Cicada, my first thought is that you shouldn't rule me out. I mean, I'm sexy. You're sexy. What's not happening here?

My second is that at least you're not on the other far side of thirty.

Char said...

Cicada in 06!!!

First off I have to commend you for your wonderful apology. I might have to steal it sometime and email it to some friends of mine that I tend to Snark on when I'm hormonal (and sometimes when it's a full moon).

Second - I love youf blog. I experience all sorts of emotions while reading it. ie: strangling Ms Rock girl, feeling your stress in that blog, understanding your apology. I like this type of reading.

Third - I really hate that I'm putting first, second, third in here. Lol.

Fourth - I've been married more times than I care to admit or even remember honestly. I have a best friend who is almost 30 and has never been married, and a friend who is almost 40 who has been married since the tender age of 16 (minus about 4 or 5 years between her two husbands). My single friend is happier than either of us. She's miserable because she's not married yet and since I long ago gave up explaining to her that she's really the lucky one I won't attempt to do that here. Just know that not "settling" for just anything.. for knowing what you want and waiting for it.. will make the love you do find last forever. :)

And lastly.. I'm 35 and would not go back to being 20 anything. I love being in my 30's. Never thought I'd ever write that sentence. You'll understand that in about 10 years and say.. Someone once told me that 35 rocked.. :)

Mandi said...

Cicada,

Thank you for the public apology- it seemed pretty thorough to me!

I'll make a note to not reply to any posts 28 days from Tuesday or Wednesday ;)

PS: Master FOB and Th both have my email addy, I'm sure either would happily give it to you. Once you have it, I'll be expecting those recipes...

Master Fob said...

I knew going into the post that the only married person who could respond and not incur my jealous wrath would be Daltongirl

I'm glad I resisted the urge to comment.