Welcome back the The Arts of the Bachelor. (You know, like Bachelor of the Arts?) Plucked from Twitter, the great equalizer, Nathan Simpson is snarky, womanizing and a bit of a button-pusher. In other words, he’s the perfect person to document the trials and tribulations of his love affair with the world’s most (un)hip suburb. Check back the second Wednesday of every month for his musings…
One week from the posting of this column, I will be turning 30. I know that this is a big deal because of that episode of Friends where Rachel turns 30 and the whole gang tries to make her feel better by recanting stories of their own 30th birthdays. I can usually count on my Friends: Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe to make me feel better about my life. They went through everything I go through (only with more money and better hair), yet they always made it through in an amusing and that 90s kind of way. They failed me this time, but it’s not their fault. I’m probably just inconsolable. I mean, I cried when I turned 20. It really doesn’t help that KOOL 94.5 is playing the biggest songs of 1980 (the year before I was born) right now. Yeah, ON THE OLDIES STATION.
I’m not exactly where I thought I’d be at 30. Hey mom, if you’re reading this, maybe when you asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said “rich” you could have mentioned that usually involves a lot of work. Just a thought.
I’m pretty far from rich. I bounced my last three checks to my landlord (He now takes his payments in cash); survive mostly by sneaking scraps from my friends’ plates at restaurants (hi Georgie) and to put the icing on the flaming birthday cake, three weeks prior to turning the big 3-0, I started my first job in fast food. 16 year-old Nathan promised he’d never work in fast food. 16 year-old Nathan was too good to work in fast food. 30 year-old Nathan has run out of scruples.
In all fairness, the burger joint I chose for employment is slightly above fast food status, but only as much as I am still slightly in my 20s. My first day, I tried to be a Sponge Bob and not a Squidward; I even chose a favorite spatula. But when my decade younger manager handed me my first hairnet, I knew that I had epically failed 16 year old Nathan. I stared at the little ball of black string in my hand until he asked, “Have you ever worn one of these before?” I got a grown-up haircut that weekend.
While discussing with a co-worker the music they pump in for that real feel-of-cheeseburger Americana, I may have proclaimed that, “If they play Cheeseburger in Paradise, I’m going home, writing a nice letter to my family and shooting myself in the face.” Don’t worry kids – empty threat and they never played it. I have already since moved on, but will always be grateful for the Lil Wayne lyrics I learned, since Lil Wayne lyrics seem to be the only way 18-21 year old males communicate.
I no longer expect to be rich. I’ve managed to reduce my finances to the point that I need very little money to survive. As long as I can pay rent, feed the dog and occasionally take a lady out for a few $1 dollar PBRs at Bikini Lounge, I’m solid. Speaking of dating…
As a younger man, I preferred dating women older than me, but the higher into my 20s I get the lower into the 20s I seem to date. Here’s the thing: women who have their shit together date my potential instead of dating me. Women in their late 20s and up see me and say to themselves, “This guy is cute and smart and funny and a total catch aside from his deeply ingrained slacker ways. I can fix him and motivate him to be a better man!” That’s right ladies. I’m a fixer-upper. I blame the DIY network and Jack Nicholson.
Younger ladies think I’m cool, and I am! I have an apartment, a cute dog, I cook, I play a little guitar and am not afraid to serenade a date, and occasionally there’s beer in my fridge. I’m a shitty 30-year old. But I’m a f$cking awesome 21 year old.
It’s not some quarter-life crisis thing. I’m not trying to feel younger by dating younger. In fact, it has the opposite effect when I reference something I did in high school and they feel the need to remind me that they were in the 5th grade at the time. 22 year-old girls don’t get my 80s movie references, they don’t know why Rick Springfield is so funny on Californication, they have no idea why I want a girl who can rock leg warmers and remove her bra without removing her shirt.
The final bitch of turning 30 that I want to bring up is health. People keep telling me I need to start taking care of myself. It’s time to cut back on the vices, they say, less fast food, more fiber, take a baby aspirin in the evening before an early bed time. Look people, I’m not exactly saving for retirement. And if you think I’m cranky about being the almost 30 year-old guy flipping burgers, just wait until you see me as a greeter at Wal-Mart. I hope you enjoy your damn balloon because farting into them is the only joy left in my life. I’ll have no use for good health and a long life.
I know that getting older is part of life. It’s the only option besides being dead, so that’s pretty rad. I’m not as bitter as I sound. As a matter of fact I only wrote on this topic to try to sway every DLT reader to buy me a drink. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Golden Girls reruns to catch up on.