Tuesday, May 15, 2012

aint nothing but a number

Today, my friends, is an epic day.

Thirty years ago today, my beloved Jasolpants came into this world. That's right, people, I'm dating a 30-year-old! 30!!!

Now, let me be clear, I don't really care one bit that my boyfriend is 30. It doesn't freak me out, or make me feel like he's automatically entering some completely different chapter of life while leaving me behind to wade through my twenties without him. But the weird part is, I've noticed that I think it does make other people uncomfortable.

In the few months leading up to today, Jason's birthday, I've gotten a few comments that have made me raise a brow at how we as a society treat age. I never realized what pressure we put on people based completely around one silly number, as if we're all living by the same "one size fits all" timeline.

Thirty, huh? Have you guys thought about "what comes next?" (I put quotes around that because this sentence was legitimately posed to me and the "what comes next" was practically said with one of those completely conspicuous winks where I wanted to say, Excuse me, is that something in your eye or did you just want to ask me when we're getting married?)

First of all, I wasn't aware that becoming 30 officially means that you have to get married and if you aren't even considering the possibility THAN YOU ARE WEIRD. Also, I was always under the impression that a marriage was about two people choosing to share their lives together (where one of these said people is still 23-years-old and not ready to make a decision affecting them for the next 60-70 years.) Sorry for the slight rant, but I just think this is a perfect example of how ridiculous it is that people think they have a firmer grasp on when these things should happen in your life than you do. I think everyone should be entitled to move into the next phase of life when they want to, not when their age dictates they should.

The point is, I really feel for Jason today, because 30 seems to carry this inherent responsibility and judgment with it. It's this benchmark that people constantly compare their young lives to (and especially the lives of those around them).

I always wanted to own a house by the time I turned 30. I wanted to be married with two kids by the time I turned 30. I want to have had three big promotions by the time I'm 30. Like, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL WITH 30, PEOPLE?

In my opinion, Jason doesn't act a day older than 25. That's not to say he's immature, because he's not all, but he still loves the freedom and adventure that seem to come naturally in your twenties. He still wants to hustle in the business world, take risks, and not have to worry about how late he stays up or how his business decisions affect the family he has to prioritize for (aside from Plax of course, who gets plenty of prioritization.) In that same vein, I think I act like I'm closer to 25 than 23. I'd rather stay in and watch a movie than go out and get drunk at a bar. I love taking care of our house and making it a home. And somehow, despite our age gap of seven years, our individual timelines and priorities have synched up perfectly. Explain that to me, you one-size-fits-all-timeline folks!

I know that Jason has been dreading this day for a while. I know he can't help but think about the life he had pictured for himself at 30, and maybe some of those things haven't come to fruition yet. But instead of focusing on this bogus milestone, I wanted this day to be just as fun and light-hearted as every other birthday he's ever had. Forget about the number - who cares?!

Which is why when I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate this momentous day I decided we WOULD NOT celebrate his 30th birthday - instead today we are celebrating his second 25th birthday. The number isn't what's important anyway. It's about feeling excited and special and having fun, so that's what we're going to do today. A 25th-birthday-themed 30th birthday. Because that's how I see him and I want him to feel like he still has all the time in the world to accomplish the things he always dreamed of. (And no, we won't be getting married any time soon. So... get up off our junk!)

Below is the madness that I set up to celebrate Jason's 25th. We woke up this morning and I handed him his card that read: "Happy 25th Birthday (again)"

He kind of chuckled so I could tell he appreciated the sentiment, but clearly the boy had no idea just how far I could take a theme. He had no idea what was waiting for him in the living room when he emerged from our room. This is what he found:

Ignore the completely haphazard nature of the streamers... It was about 2am and I was delirious when I was aimlessly throwing the thing in the air. Thank God for mini-hoops in the living room and Scotch tape.

Oh, I forgot, this is what he found after he made it through the crate paper waterfall. Because what 25-year-old doesn't want a crate paper waterfall on their birthday? Exactly. 

Presents waiting on the table, next to his delectable Diet Coke birthday cake. (Fun fact about Jason: he hates cake. We think it's something about the icing but his mom says he's hated it from childhood. Except his sister's latest creation which was a coconut cake with Cool Whip frosting. He downed a piece of that like a champ. Anyway, hates cake but LOVES Diet Coke, so I made him a cake out of 25 baby Diet Cokes.)

I also felt it necessary to carry through the theme on his wrapping paper, and a construction paper banner OBVIOUSLY. (I actually would have made this even more elaborate - if you can believe that - had I more than a few hours to devise my plans. When you live with someone, it's a bit hard to excuse yourself for a few days at a time to prepare your surprise. Luckily I set up shop in our guest room for a few hours and threatened to take Plax hostage if he tried to enter.)

CLEARLY should have been more strategic about my ribbon/wrapping paper placement. My wit is hard to appreciate when it's obstructed. Rookie move on my part... but hey, I curled those ribbons myself!

Again, just completely haphazard. Give a girl a break.

He opened his presents, Plax shredded some paper, and all in all I think it was a pretty successful 25th birthday if I do say so myself! Remember people, age aint nothing but a number!

Happy birthday Jason! (Oh, ps. If you want to give him 30 punches in the face for his birthday, you can do that here: http://iwearyourshirt.com/birthday)


  1. Ah! You did SUCH a fantastically sweet job on the decorations and gifts for his "25th" birthday. How thoughtful.


    And I hear you on the age thing. The odd part is that no matter how old or young you are, people will always, always, always question your decisions. I remember when I was engaged (at 20, which is typical of where I grew up, but VERY atypical of where we live now) and literal strangers would come up to me after seeing my ring and be like, "You're too young to get married." I'm sure it didn't help that I looked like I was 16, as well, but seriously. People love to get all up in your business about things you decide to do, or things you haven't decided yet, or about things that haven't even crossed your mind.

    You just do your thing, smile politely at the people who ask questions they shouldn't, and make your own choices with the confidence that you know yourself better than they ever will.

  2. You're the best girlfriend any guy could ask for. Thanks for making this decade change more fun :)

  3. Thanks for making every day more fun. :)

  4. I don't know how I didn't see this until now. Thank you so much for the comment! I never thought about the age thing from the other side - feeling like you're on the fast track compared to what everyone thinks you should do. The point you made is exactly right: no one knows us as well as we do so we should just trust our decisions and forget what anyone else thinks!