Issue #188 – “Forever 31” – June 13th, 2011

-When they’re about to hit a milestone age like thirty or forty, many people jokingly decide that they’re merely going to keep celebrating their last birthday over and over again. “Third annual 29th birthday party!” the annoying Facebook invites announce. I usually hit “Respond” and “Remove from events” then question why I ever accepted that fucking friend request in the first place. But as my 32nd birthday approaches this Saturday, I’m beginning to realize that being stuck in the past isn’t such a bad thing. Turning thirty was traumatic and thirty-two is starting to border on dude-you’re-way-too-old-to-be-in-this-bar territory. Therefore I’ve decided to halt the aging process here and now and proclaim myself Forever 31.

-When I turned thirty-one last June one of my buddies noted that, since the earliest you can earn Social Security is sixty-two, technically I was halfway to retirement. I should probably start socking away some cash now because I doubt the government’s actuarial tables account for income spent on sushi three nights a week, last-minute trips to Vegas, and over-tipping because the waitress was hot.

-There are some vestiges of my twenties I refuse to give up, no matter how immature they may seem now. For instance, I was telling a friend that my former frat brother and current orthopedic surgeon Shermdog is getting married this fall. To which my friend replied, “Karo, aren’t you a little old to have a friend named ‘Shermdog’?” “Fair enough,” I said. “Dr. Shermdog.”

-When I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday earlier this year, she said she was feeling a bit down because she’s getting older and she’s worried she may never see her grandchildren get married. Grandchildren get married!? Mom, why don’t we start with son gets married. Or how about son has second date. Better yet, how about son sleeps with girl whose last name he actually knows.

-West Hollywood, where I live, is a tough place to have a birthday party because every bar is literally the worst bar ever. There used to be some neighborhood-y joints you could always count on in addition to the velvet rope-y places that were a total nightmare. But now they’ve all morphed into the same hipster-infested, douchebag-bouncer hellscapes. I’m seriously considering having my party at IHOP. I know I can get a table there.

-I’m pumped for Saturday, though, because I have a buddy I don’t get to see too often flying in from Miami to party. The only thing is, he asked if I could pick him up at the airport. So you want me to spend my birthday getting chased by cops as I circle LAX waiting for you to land? Sure! Why don’t we stop at the fucking DMV on the way back?

-In reality, if you’re single, no one gives a shit about your birthday after you turn thirty. Unless you’ve got a significant other to make a big fuss about it, thirtysomething birthdays are a joke. They don’t make cards for thirty-one-year-olds. No one gets a surprise party at thirty-two. It’s just a slow, inexorable march to forty. Which is totally fine by me. I plan on spending the next eight years like I did the previous eight – partying hard, opening up tabs, and shutting down bars. In fact, at this rate, by the time I actually turn forty…I’ll probably still be halfway to retirement.

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

-My buddy got his girlfriend pregnant and said to me, “I don’t know what to do but my roommate thinks we should keep the baby.” I’m not taking sides, but on the checklist of reasons not to keep a baby, “Father still has roommate” must be high up.

-Every once in a while I’m reminded how big a role alcohol plays in the lives of me and my friends. The other night I was the designated driver. When we got to the bar, I ran into a girl I know and she asked me if I wanted a drink. “No thanks,” I replied, “I’m sober.” She gasped and exclaimed, “Forever!?”

-As with everything in my life, the satellite radio presets in my car are meticulously organized. But then Sirius went and fucking rearranged all the channels. What used to be the 90s station is now like death metal. There’s a one-step process to change each preset. So, long story short, I’ve been getting pretty into death metal.

-I met a girl on tour this year who told me “Fuck Aaron Karo” was one of the items on her bucket list. Now I’m all for helping a fan achieve her hopes and dreams, but let’s just say she wasn’t my type. Fortunately, I was able to cross off something on my own bucket list, namely “Meet someone with ‘Fuck Aaron Karo’ on her bucket list and reject her.”

-It’s much simpler to just split the check for dinner evenly among friends. But if someone orders shellfish for the table, which I’m allergic to, I think I should be exempt. Why should I have to pay for something that I can’t eat and could possibly kill me? In fact, you should be compensating me for having to sit here and watch you slurp up oysters like an animal.

-Every summer I breathe a sigh a relief that I was not maimed over the winter in a heating lamp accident at an outdoor bar. Could there be a worse idea than putting giant flaming torches in a crowd of wasted morons? And people always tell me those things have a kill switch, so that if it tilts over the heat shuts off and you have a chance to get out of the way. How is that helpful? When I’m ten beers deep I don’t exactly have catlike reflexes.

-And, finally, I started maintaining a calendar electronically, as opposed to in a pen-and-paper planner, right after I graduated college. And even though I’ve gone from a Palm Pilot to Outlook to iCal, I’ve always migrated all of the data so that I now have an incredibly detailed record of what I’ve done every single day of my life going back to June 2001. Some of the early entries are totally outdated, like “pick up new glasses” (I got LASIK in 2003). Others are comically vague, like “date with Rachel.” I guess that date didn’t go very well because I have no fucking clue who Rachel is. There are some heavy moments in there as well, such as funerals, September 11th (which I left blank), and September 12th (in which I just wrote: “day off.”) As I turn thirty-two, it’s bizarre to look back on what my life was like a decade ago. Wearing glasses, working on Wall Street, dating some chick named Rachel – I feel like a totally different person. That is until I noticed the entry for June 19th, 2001 – the day after my 22nd birthday. On that day – which was a Tuesday – I simply wrote: “hungover.” Some things never change. Fuck me.