My granddad had novelty drinking glasses that were etched with a fake newspaper headline: Wilson Furious Turns 29 Again. If you asked him his age, he would say he was still 29. To hear my granddad tell it, 29 was the age to be. The salad days. The real golden years. I’ve been 29 for two weeks, and it may be too early to call it. But, I’m going to anyway: my granddad was wrong.
And here’s why, and this is what no one tells you. I just went to the drugstore and bought: acne bodywash because I still have bacne, tea tree oil because I still have face acne, hair dye because I have gray hair, and hemorrhoid cream for the obvious reason. In short, 29 everything about being a teenager AND an old lady, and not nearly enough of the good parts from either. You’re old enough to have swollen veins coming out your ass, but not old enough to retire. Sorry! You’re young enough to star in a “before” Proactiv ad, but not so young that you don’t have to pay rent. Sucks to be you!
29 is an in-betweener age. You’re still making those shitty life decisions that are going to give you the wisdom that only comes from age, but you don’t have the wisdom yet. But, theoretically, your brain is developed enough that you’re not making those crappy decisions with abandon. You’re old enough now to recognize that every choice you make has consequences. Not like when you were 18! Remember how you didn’t think about the lifelong consequences of choices when you were 18? Oh, you don’t? Well, that tattoo of a vagina you got will serve as a reminder.
At 29, you’re probably not getting carded anymore when you go to a bar. But you need to make sure you have your ID on you anyway, because you *might* get carded, and then you’re going to feel like a real jackass when you don’t have your ID on you and they won’t serve you and you have to leave your friends. Not like I know from experience.
29 means that all your friends are buying houses, having kids and advancing in their careers while you’re stuck renting a cockroach-infested apartment with no savings to speak of and you work a minimum wage job at the front desk of a gym. Or, conversely, you’re that woman with the house and the kids and you’re wondering what your life would be like if you had waited just a little big longer, envious of your still-single friends living what you can only imagine is a Sex and the City existence.
29 is your metabolism slowing down, but still having the junk food cravings of a 19-year-old stoner. 29 is gray hair that’s still as greasy as when you worked at Wendy’s for three weeks in high school. 29 is old ladies still calling you “honey,” and teenagers already calling you “ma’am.” 29 has you walking into American Eagle because you still kind of like their clothes, and walking out 10 minutes later because the music is too loud. 29 means that half of your conversations are spent having people ten years older than you letting you know that you’re too young to remember X pop culture reference. The other half of your conversations are you telling people ten years younger that they are too young to remember Y pop culture reference.
I’ve got 50 more weeks at 29, and I think I can safely say, I can’t fucking wait to turn 30.