As I am sure you all recall (I choose to ignore the site statistics) I recently turned thirty, and decided to commemorate the occasion by writing about The Thirty Things I Learned Turning Thirty. And as you are all aware (still choosing to ignore), I only managed to get through two-thirds of my list. I tried to use a sneaky lawyers trick to teach you all a lesson in broken promises, but in reality it was merely the product of laziness combined with a lack of imagination. Blame it on my fleeting youth.
I would be remise to ignore this slap in the face to my loyal fan(s). Therefore, due to popular demand (and a complete and utter lack of ideas for another riveting blog posts), I present to you (drum roll, puh-lease) the FINAL TEN of my Thirty on Thirty!
*** Insert Applause, or The Sound of One Hand Clapping ***
21. Always finish what you started.
My mother always told me that if I was going to do a job, I should do it properly, or not at all. I never understood this, but that was mainly because she always said it in the context of chores. “Fine!” I would scream, “I won’t wash these damned dishes at all, then!” She really should have come up with a more relevant idiom for the situation, such as, “Thou shalt do the damned dishes or thou shalt not receive any damned dessert.” Kids respond well to threats, right?
I now understand that if you have set out to do something, you should always make an effort to finish it, because no one likes a half-assed effort. Even if what you are doing is completely ridiculous, talentless, or utterly useless, people will at the very least appreciate that you have given it your all, and you can be proud that you followed through and contributed something to the world.
Of course, this mantra obviously shouldn’t apply to any form of murderers, thieves or serial rapists.
22. Never assume that the hotel breakfast isn’t included.
When I book hotels, I never opt to pay extra for the hotel breakfast. If I am making the trek to visit a new and exciting city, it seems counter-intuitive to be cooped up in the hotel any longer than I need to be. I want to go out into the streets, take in the sights, smell the aromas, and try some authentic local cuisine. Plus, hotel breakfasts are usually overpriced and I am but a frugal traveller.
However, there are some hotels that include breakfast in the room price. These usually turn out to be dive-bombs that offer the added incentive to attract potential clients. If I am staying in one of these establishments, I am generally content with spending fifteen minutes in the hotel basement eating cold meats and plastic cheese for breakfast. Remember, frugal traveller. And if the breakfast is really that bad, I thank middle class housewives everywhere for creating my favourite meal of the day: brunch. After all, when you are hauling your arse around your fifth Greek temple, you can always make time for brunch. Am I right?
During my trip to Sicily, I made two errors. The first, was not realising that I had somehow booked a Five-Star hotel in Taoromina. I know – I’m living a thugs life. In my defence, we had visited Sicily just before tourist season so hotel prices were demonstrably cheaper than usual. My second error was assuming that the amazing breakfast buffet – filled with fine cured meats, delicate cheesed, poached eggs, crispy bacon, a variety of hand-squeezed juices, Prosecco, and delectable Sicilian pastries – would be an expense that we could not afford enjoy. After all, we had several three course meals to get through each day!
However, on our second morning, when the sun was shining and the sky was blue, JD and I decided to take advantage of the terrace dining overlooking the ocean and splurge on a classy breakfast. Plus, frugal gets thrown out the window when you have to climb hills to get to the nearest breakfast joint.
After gorging on our delicious breakfasts, I asked the waiter for “il conto”, to which he replied, “Don’t-a worry about it! It’s-a included!”
We couldn’t believe. What terrible misfortune! We had missed out an entire day of breakfast buffeting! I mean, just look at what we missed out on for a day. Such terrible, terrible misfortune. Right? Right?!
Perhaps this blog is becoming a little too unrelatable.
23. A great writer is relatable.
Most people can’t identify with you when your biggest problem is that you are sick and tired of having so many holidays in Europe. It’s a hard life, nonetheless.
24. There is more to life than being seen at the next small bar.
All of my friends will be throwing the hypocrite card at me when they read this. Just kidding! My friends don’t actually read my blog! Hahahahahahahahaha!
(don’t look at me)
Where was I?
We can all agree that, by and large, our teen years sucked. Some fun was had by all, but it was muddled with confusion and disappointment. Our twenties weren’t much better, however we started to develop the tools to convince ourselves, and others, that we were cooler than what we really were.
More than ever, we were concerned about having the right look, watching the right television shows, listening to the right music, and being concerned about the right minority ethnic group. These were our talking points, used to prove how cool we were. And we use the latest small bar as a vessel to house our cool conversations.
You know the one. It was a bar down an alley way, in an abandoned print factory, atop of a converted loft, with exposed globes and birdless birdcages hanging from the ceiling. No not that one, that was cool two weeks ago. I’m talking about the one down the other alleyway that has a guy with a beard on the door, serves cocktails out of jam jars, and that has a strict no tie policy. Unless it’s a bow tie.
Finding the latest small bar was just as important as being seen in the latest small bar, as it gave credibility to the lie that you were so much cooler than everybody else. Luckily, you knew someone from law school who had decided to start be a zine self-publisher, which he funded by squatting in a warehouse and working behind the bar on Thursday and Saturday nights.
Your coolness was a lie because the fact was that everyone was equally as lame as each other. You were spending money on clothes you couldn’t afford; as edgy as you though you were, everyone was listening to the same music and watching the same television shows as you; and no one could give two fucks about your views on Palestine, you whiney, irrelevant, middle class cunt.
Now let me be clear: I love small bars. For my delayed thirtieth birthday party, I reserved a space in a bar resemble a converted living room and was decorated by a crazy cat lady that might have been expensive tastes in the nineteen twenties. It was amazing and a real a fun place to be. However, it at the end of the day, it was just a bar. A place to sit and have a nice drink. Throw a stone and you would hit one of a dozen other quirky bars vying for your attention. And make no mistake, some other hipster douche bag has already claimed it.
25. Drinking is for the young at liver.
At twenty-six, I had my first ever hang over. It has been a slow decent into alcohol intolerance ever since. The extent of that intolerance is always unexpected. Sometimes I can have a few cocktails, and wake up bright and early the next day. Other days, the mere whiff of a glass of red wine can send me over to a nauseated migraine.
It such a shame. When I was eighteen I drank wine from a bag and spirits from my parents liquor cabinet. I chose booze because it was cheap or available. I would have drunk methylated spirits if it was the only thing available. God knows, my formerly cast iron stomach could have taken it.
Now that I am in a position to enjoy the intricacies of a fine drop, I am left with the eroded remains of a formerly well-oiled internal processing machine.
26. The Killers were never as good as we thought.
Do you remember when The Killers were your favourite band? They were at least in my top five for a good five or six years; their albums never too far from the top of my playlists.
When they first arrived on the scene, The Killers were the Kings of the new wave/post punk revival. They single-handedly revived the synth keyboard. They inspired you to discover eighties heroes like Joy Division, Lou Reed, The Smiths and Sonic Youth. They influenced your decision to try guyliner, giving you that sexy, sultry, mysterious look. They had you wearing waistcoats.
Fact: The Killers first album, Hot Fuss was, and still is incredible.
Fact: It has been a down hill slide since. Sam’s Town was good, Day & Age was mostly fun, Saw Dust was a nice treat, and Battle Born was … well it took a few listens for I could even begin to enjoy it.
Fact: The Strokes and Interpol do it better.
Fact: Guyliner made you look like a fucking panda.
27. Radiohead is the best band of our living age.
I already knew this, but it warrants repeating.
28. With age comes comfort in nudity.
There was a time when I would dread undressing in the change rooms. The thought of people looking and analysing and judging. I was barely happy with the mess that was my body, so I didn’t need others disapproving.
However, as the years wore on, there became a point I began to stop caring. I’m halfway to being one of those old men who stumble around the change rooms, carefree, their balls dragging along the wet change room floor.There are a few staple facts I learned that influenced how I became so Zen about my public nudity.
(a) Nine out of ten men in the change rooms desperately try to avoid any direct visual contact with another man.
(b) We’re all equipped with basically the same stuff (some just come in much nicer models).
(c) There is always at least one other person in the change room that is in far worse condition than you.
(d) My junk (both kinds) is nothing to be ashamed of.
(e) If you’re in a gay gym and someone is looking, you should probably be flattered. Take the compliment.
29. Avoid publicly writing about your BF.
He will inevitably misconstrue every word as a disloyal insult. Except of course for my boyfriend, who is wonderful and open-minded and is well-grounded and has an amazing sense of humour.
30. A change is as good as a holiday, if not better.
You were expecting something amazing for the last one, weren’t you? Oh silly reader! Have you not learned anything from this blog? Of course you haven’t, because you never read it. Well maybe you should change your habits and start doing so.
See what I did there?
This might be some dime store psychology, but the reason we have all heard it is because it is true. Obviously, there are some changes that are atrocious. Like a hair cut gone terribly wrong. However, most of the time, choosing to make a change will lead to a good thing. If you choose to make a change, it is because you have been feeling unsettled or unsatisfied for some time, so a proactive approach is the best remedy.
If I didn’t believe this to some extent two years ago, I might never have come to London. Thankfully, I have always been ahead of the pack (in dime store psychology…). Lose some weight, take up a hobby, make a career change. These are all positive things because you are actively taking steps to improve your life, and it is something that I will be seriously considering when I return to Oz.
And yes, you could have learned this wonderful life lesson from the Biggest Loser. Just be thankful that I have saved you from watching it.
That’s a wrap, my pretties!