Issue #70 – “The Second Half” – June 20th, 2005

-I turned twenty-six over the weekend.  And while you can argue that being twenty-five was technically mid-twenties or late-twenties or whatever, the fact is this: halftime is now over.  The buzzer has sounded, the locker rooms are emptying, and the players are re-taking the field.  For some reason, I feel like I’m on the team that’s getting slaughtered, the coach just made an inspirational speech that I didn’t buy, and, well, we’re looking kinda old out there.  But there’s no turning back and the stakes are raised.  In the game of twentysomething life, the second half has now begun.

-I don’t quite fit the profile of a mature twenty-six-year-old.  Most days I eat take-out for every meal and dress like a slob.  When I enter my apartment building in parachute pants carrying a plastic bag full of burritos, the doormen often assume I’m a deliveryman.

-My buddy Triplet #1 doesn’t turn twenty-six for another few months.  Which is probably good because he enjoys his women, how should I say this…quite young.  A few weekends ago, he was with an underage lady friend when he called me to ask if the bar I was at was carding hard at the door.  I made fun of him for ten minutes for even asking such a question then recommended a daycare center down the block that looked pretty bumpin’.

-I’ve noticed a return to snail mail among my friends as we get older.  In the past month, at least three buddies have asked me for my mailing address.  Who the hell sends actual mail?  It must mean that thank you cards or engagement party invitations are on the way.  In the past four years, no one’s had use for my actual address save for the occasional pre-game at my apartment that resulted in twenty drunken calls from friends asking, “Yo Karo, where the fuck do you live again?”

-Of course, some things never change.  At my last pre-game, my friends found a “To Do” list of mine in the kitchen.  The next morning, I noticed that after “fix screen door” they had added “buy K-Y Jelly and double-headed dildo.”

-Recently, I joined my friends at this great sushi place on 20th Street where they bang a giant gong every time you take a sake bomb (so in our case they banged it every fifteen seconds).  After about a dozen rounds, my friend Dr. Shermdog raised his glass and yelled, “If I ever get too old for this, kill me!”  I toasted to that and kicked another one back, but then said, “You know, I don’t really feel too drunk.”  To which Triplet #2 leaned over and whispered, “That’s ‘cause you haven’t stood up yet.”

-When it comes to birthdays, some people are known as bad gift-givers.  They don’t put any thought into the present, they don’t wrap it nicely, or they forget to give something at all.  I’m actually a bad gift-receiver.  I don’t like being surprised, yet I don’t usually know what I want.  And I don’t make too much of an effort to feign delight after opening a sub-par present, either.  Yeah, it’s a real joy to know me.

-So I’ve only been twenty-six for 48 hours and it’s already gotten confusing.  In the week leading up to my birthday, my friend Brian asked me to be in his wedding party and my sister Caryn finished grad school.  So now I’m the Best Man among my peers yet my little sister is my Master.  What the fuck?  Yet somehow I think I’ll get used to the second half of my twenties.  Even embrace them.  After all, there’s still a lot of drinking to do, and I haven’t even stood up yet.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I spoke at my old high school a couple of weeks ago.  I had a great time and I think the kids enjoyed it and actually learned a thing or two.  Of course the seniors were getting excited about prom, which made me think back to mine.  We snuck a bunch of alcohol into the limo and the driver busted us about halfway to the party.  To this day, I haven’t forgotten his reaction.  He wasn’t pissed off – more like shocked.  He was literally shocked that prom kids would try to drink alcohol.  I remember thinking, either it’s this guy’s first day on the job or he’s the most naive motherfucker on the planet.

-The chick whose face is on has to be the most famous person ever.  Do you think teenage boys come up to her on the street and are like, “Oh my God, I log on to your picture every night!”

-My buddy Chi just turned me on to this reality show on the Discovery Channel called “Deadliest Catch.”  It’s about Alaskan king crab fishermen in the Bering Sea.  Sounds weird, right?  Well, in the first two episodes, four people died.  That’s right.  Died.  Imagine if Donald Trump was like, “You’re fired.  And you, well, you’re dead.”

-I hate when short-sleeve t-shirts have “wings.”  You know, when the sleeves don’t rest snugly on the sides of your biceps, but instead kind of stand up on their own?  Thanks but I don’t really need any help making my arms look skinnier than they already are.

-There seems to be an exorbitant amount of farting going on at my gym.  It’s odd, because no one can hear anything with their headphones on and I think that feeling of isolation has made people forget that they’re actually in public.  But don’t think you can pump away on that elliptical machine and pretend like nothing happened – I’ve got my eyes (and nose) on all of you.  What I don’t understand is why people can’t save their farts until they’re in bed with their girlfriend, like I do.

-OK, I’m changing positions on one of my key issues.  I used to rail against the use of emoticons.  I hated them.  Check out Ruminations #14 – my position is clear.  But, I’m changing my tune.  They’re actually not that bad.  Sometimes, one little smiley face can take the place of a whole paragraph.  And I’m getting too old to write out exactly what I’m feeling all the time.  So :), LOL, 😉 and if you don’t like it, well :p

-And, finally, as I embark on the second half of my twenties, I’ve begun to realize that getting older and growing older are two very different things.  Getting older is physiological and involuntary.  For instance, I can barely tailgate anymore because then I have to piss every inning, whereas back in the prom limo I don’t think I felt the urge to go once.  But growing older is a more intangible and voluntary show of maturity.  For instance, I should probably admit…it’s been me farting at the gym.  Either way, there’s a lot to look forward to and I’m excited about what lies ahead.  The “To Do” list for my second half is lengthy and – wait, goddamn it! – who the hell added “buy edible underwear” to this list?  Fuck me.