The difference between being 29 and 364 days and being 30 and zero days
They used to say that being forty was “Over the Hill.” Then they started saying the “50 was the new 40” and “40 was the new 30.” I am here to tell you that 30 years old is the new “over the hill.” There are systematic changes that we go through at that point more so than at any other point in our lives. (Bear in mind that I’m 31 going on 32, so I know what I am talking about)
Having been in my 30s for two years already, I feel I stand in a position to offer some insight to those of you are still on the “easy” side of three decades. First of all, you should know it’s actually different. It’s like no other birthday I’ve experienced. Sure when you turn 16 you can drive, 18 you can vote or 21 you can finally get hammered, but those are all external municipal laws that are put in place, there’s no actual growth that occurs within. Thirty there’s growth and some of it’s not good. Your priorities change, things you never thought you’d care about, you now think about non-stop. Here are a few of the things that change:
- Amount of Pain you feel every single moment – inexplicably your body begins to ache every single day when you turn 30. You wake up, you hurt. You go to bed, you hurt. It’s like every night while you’re sleeping, those adorable gnomes that we joked were stealing your socks at night and in the dryer when you were in your 20s are now little creatures from the Leprechaun horror movie franchise who tie you up and punch you as hard as their little bodies will let them. They just pummel you until you wake up at 6 AM, writhing in pain, which brings me to…
- Waking up late – To be fair, I was always a pretty early riser without an alarm, I’d be up and at em by 7:30 or so, ready to attack the day. Well rested. Now I wake up at 6 AM! There’s no plausible explanation. I don’t need to get up at 6. I don’t want to get up at 6. But I have to pee and now I am wide-awake. Sure I’m exhausted, and sure I’ll keep my eyes closed for another hour, but I’m not sleeping… just lurking. Laying in wait, til my girlfriend blinks her eyes open so we can talk about that episode of Game of Thrones we stayed up late to watch last night, oh yeah…
- Staying up late – Bedtime for me when I was in my 20s varied nightly from 11 to 3 AM depending on circumstance and intoxication levels. Now? It’s 10 PM sharp. I have no kids! I have nothing that’s dragging me to bed, except one thing: being 30. It’s the worst! My eyes refuse to stay open. Sure there’s the occasionally dinner outing where we get really reckless and decide to go to a local speakeasy afterwards, and smoke cigarettes and drink alcoholic beverages, but 99% of the time I’m brushed and in my Jammies by 10. UGH! Also…
- Exercise – I used to exercise sparingly and smoke cigarettes and drink beer and not worry about shit. I probably weighed fifteen pounds more than I should, but who gave a shit… not me. Not anymore. I run 5 to 6 times a week, 500 pushups… it’s a disaster. I feel bad when I drink beer. WHAT IS HAPPENING!
- Going out – It used to be fun to go out. I’d be psyched to see old friends. Take a couple of beers down. Now? All I want to do is stay home. To be honest, I love all of my friends, but I’m lazy and I don’t want to do shit once the sun goes down. I’m like the exact opposite of a vampire.
- Loving Golf – I don’t know what it is. But golf is suddenly the most appealing sport in the world. It’s perfect: I can play it at 6 AM. I have to get to bed early to be up early so… check. It’s exercise (not really). I get to drink and smoke at an hour that I am not passing out at so I feel like I still got it (I don’t got it.)
- Forgetting your Birthday – I used to “feel” my birthday coming up. I just knew. The weather would start to get warm then I’d remind the broad, “I want to [blank] for my birthday this year,” just in case she’d forgotten (she hadn’t). The blank used to be have a birthday party with tons of people and get hammered til sun up. Now she has to remind me when my birthday is, “I want to [blank] for your birthday this year.” And the blank now is like a couples retreat to Palm Springs. We’re going to go play golf and really get after it… like old people.
Don’t get me wrong. Being 30 is way better than being 29, if for no other reason than you know what the fuck is going on (or think you do). The biggest difference though, is when you’re 29, you can still lie to yourself and say that you’re still young. Not when you’re 30. It’s tougher. You put more pressure on yourself. But ultimately it’s good because you are actually living your life the way you want to. When you’re in your 20s you just sort of do stuff because it seems interesting; when you’re in your 30s you just sort of do stuff because there’s no other choice. You’re making choices that you know will affect the rest of your life. But know this…
When the early morning achesies start waking you up, you know….it’s all down hill from here, but that’s good.
How to get the most out of your golf game… and alcohol
The 3-beer corollary is a theory that has bandied about for decades and I’d be lying if I took total credit for it’s foundations. In my opinion, it could evolve the human race. We’re a species that doesn’t fulfill all it’s potential, and I’m not talking about only using 10% of our brains; I’m talking about maximizing our tremendous physical gifts while ignoring our prohibitive brain while playing sports that some people could aptly call hobbies. I’m NOT suggesting that this will, in anyway, get us any closer to developing the next Google or building flying cars or creating a better civilization, in fact, it won’t help in almost any walk of life. But it will change the way we golf, bowl, lawn bowl, play bocci, cornhole, mini golf, horseshoe, charades, Pictionary and Scattagories. It is a theory that utilizes the best part of beer, it’s ability to quiet the brain.
4 CRITERIA FOR 3-BEER COROLLARY APPLICATION
#1. YOU MUST DRINK, not heavily, but consistently.
#2. YOU CAN’T BE A SNOB. You must feel comfortable drinking multiple domestic or imported beers (if you’re one of those guys, and I am, so don’t judge me). If you agree with the Dos Equis “Most interesting man in the world” about beer drinking being a secondary choice to booze then this theory isn’t for you and you’re trying too hard, give up on life.
#3. YOU MUST DRINK AND PLAY. If you bring beers when you go golfing, you’re good. In fact, the below example is entirely for you. If you hit the bowling alley and before getting shoes you get a candlepin-shaped Bud Light, you’re really good. And if you drive around with a cooler in the back of your pick-up, you can stop reading because you already get it, TOO much. Don’t drink and drive, kids.
#4 YOU MUST NOT BE AN ALCOHOLIC. This is the most important rule, and not just because it’s dangerous to yourself, your family and the surrounding community. This theory hinges on restraint, so if you are getting blackout drunk in casual situations like golfing, that’s a problem, seek immediate medical treatment.
The theory goes like this: beers mute the “second guessing” voices in our brains. Too many beers mute the communication between your brain to your body. The right amount of beer allows the brain to glimpse nirvana, if only for a fleeting moment. Now trying to maintain this nirvana and sustain it over a period of time, well, that’s near impossible. But here’s how I try.
For me, the most obvious example is playing golf. Without any beers, I can line up a shot, feel comfortable with my swing and confident and step up to the box and just go flaccid (What? I have a raging hard-on when I golf, get over yourself.) On the other hand, with a full 6-pack in me, I can line up my shot, feel comfortable in my swing and confident and step up to the box and not hit the ball at all. With the 3-beer corollary you don’t have to worry about your impotence or being too hammered to perform basic functions, all you have to worry about is that massive rager happening in your pants.
You can just as easily apply this theory to target practice with a beebee gun, roof ball, or a game of Horse, I would argue that this could also help test-taking, writing and a whole litany of intellectual pursuits, but golf is where I’ll start. Here is the general outline to reaching the mind-body optimization of the 3-beer corollary:
THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW
1st HOLE: The first tee is generally miserable. I can’t open a beer to calm the nerves because they’re hidden in the bag because bringing beer to local golf course is against the rules, which is easily the stupidest and most ignored rules in any municipality with the possible exception of urinating in public all over the golf course. I’ve got a chub going; I’ve psyched myself up; I’m ready to go. Then the group behind pulls up and start chatting about real estate or Obamacare destroying America or some bullshit, only to hush when they see me on the tee.
Now they either whisper about their idiotic theories on the markets or are completely silent. I prefer the whisper, because the silence is the worst. All that confidence you talked yourself into disappears and then a little voice pops in your head (or maybe it’s the dumbass brother in law who was invited because our normal fourth had to go to the swap meet with his wife) that says “if you don’t hit it past the ladies tee you’re going to play the rest of the hole with your dick out.” Inevitably, I stub it and spend the next few minutes looking at every angle of the ball to find a way that my ball is in fact closer to the hole than the ladies tee, while the group behind you moans and groans about playing behind a bunch of weirdos that want to see each other’s peckers.
DOUBLE BOGEY- bad hole. Facerake doesn’t have a real suggestion for how to undo this unless you’re showing up the golf course half in the bag. 1st hole’s the most agonizing, so take your lumps and move on.
2nd Hole: I’ve finally separated from the clubhouse so the first beer gets cracked. The second hole is miserable because I’m still reeling from playing the first hole with my dick out, which is by far the worst unwritten rule in casual sports. My adrenaline is all out of whack and thusly the 1st beer gets pounded.
ANOTHER DOUBLE BOGEY – Again unless there’s some way to imbibe beforehand, you’re SOL, but this is where it turns.
3rd Hole: The third hole something changes. Maybe it’s the alcohol. Maybe it’s the relaxation of being two holes removed from having your penis dangling in public, but my tee shot straightens. Best shot of the day. I start feeling pretty good about myself. TOO good. Golf is a humbling game and the second you forget that, you’ll be reminded, but now that I’m feeling more relaxed, I’ve slowed my drinking and halfway done with my 2nd beer…
Now is where the restraint and indulgence battle begins. The easiest thing to do when you have a 2 beer buzz is make it a 3 beer buzz then a 4 beer buzz then 5, 6…. But now’s when you have to maintain 2 and 4 beer buzz for the rest of the round. You’ve reached the level of buzz you want. Now it’s about how you can maintain it the rest of the round. Don’t drink too much or too little the rest of the way. It gets tricky.
BOGEY – Things are looking up.
4th – 9th Hole: Here comes the best part of my golf round. From holes 4-9, I’m a different player. My power slice becomes a power fade. Stubbed chips become worm burners. It’s like the zone that Michael Jordan used to go into, but with alcohol and absolutely no athletic ability. These six holes are a nice balancing act of trying to keep my 3-beer buzz. I prefer to go with something like a beer every 2.5 to 3 holes for the rest of the front nine. These aren’t rigid rules, but if I suddenly feel like taking a third mulligan on the par 3 because I’m definitely going to hit a hole-in-one maybe it’s time to take a deep breath and sober up a bit.
FEW PARS, BOGEYS AND A BIRDIE – Best stretch on the course, by the end you’re halfway through and you think you might just make a run at the Q tour.
4 IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE HALFWAY POINT
#1 IMPORTANT HALFWAY NOTE: Once you’ve finished 9 holes, YOU MUST STOP AND EAT A HOT DOG at the turn. You need something to soak up the booze to keep you on the level. Also, there isn’t a better hot dog in the world then at your local municipal golf course. That’s science.
#2 IMPORTANT HALFWAY NOTE: The second requirement of the pit stop is DO NOT OVERDO IT ON THE RELOAD OF BOOZE. I don’t care if they’re giving away Four Lokos. If you’ve run out of beers, my feeling is, buy two 12-16 oz. beer per person, but if you’ve already run out, chances are someone is getting hammered or you’re improperly prepared.
#3 IMPORTANT HALFWAY NOTE: NO 24 OUNCE BEERS! In the warm sun, it’ll taste like ass, but more importantly it will throw the whole 3-beer corollary off because now you’re trying to finish the beer before it’s disgusting, instead of maintaining a nice pleasant mind body optimization buzz.
#4 IMPORTANT HALFWAY NOTE: The back 9 can start one of two ways: backed-up because everyone got a hot dog or wide open because you have stupid idiots in front of you that are going to suck because they didn’t have a hot dog. If there is a group waiting to tee off, just relax. There’s no reason to leave the clubhouse area, take a deep breath, call your significant other (note: always do this before the round is over). No sense in getting out in the hot sun only to be sitting there waiting. Also don’t treat the 1oth hole like the first hole, you’ve got a solid buzz on and you should have the confidence to crush the tee shot.
10th Hole: By this point I have enough of a mind-body optimization buzz that I’m not feeling the butterflies. But if I do have a case of stage fright, this is only hole left where hammering a beer won’t have the destructive side effects. I hammer a beer. If I do this after the 10th hole, I willbe urinating in the sand trap and playing grabass with the group in front of me. Not recommended.
11th -14th Holes: This is the Amen Corner of alcohol-involved sporting events. If I can make it through these 4 holes, I will put up a personal best. I MUST keep my alcohol level low without completely stopping drinking. I REPEAT, I CAN NOT STOP DRINKING! The second I stop; I go into hangover mode. Nobody golfs well with a hangover, ask Graeme McDowell.
PAR, BOGEY, BOGEY, PAR
15th-17th Holes: STOP DRINKING. If I’m not done with my beer, I toss it down. You don’t want to be nursing a beer that tastes like mop water at a strip club through the last four holes.
BOGEY, BOGEY, PAR
18th Hole: Enjoy the hole. You feel like shit by now, but if you did this right you kept a 3-beer buzz for 16 of 18 holes and that’s as good as you can do.
And that is that. 18 holes of golf, 4-5 hours of hilarious fun, and a solid buzz. One of the great things about the 3-beer corollary is that it’s fun to practice, but very difficult to get exactly right. Becoming a master requires meditation, diligence, commitment, a perfect balance of indulgence and restraint and practice.
– Jamie C.
First off, I’d like to explain why I have a blog.
I had an answer for this, I totally did. Did I? I think I did, well this is sort of one…
I have a blog because I think I have a unique perspective to share as a 30 year old, wasp-y dude. Being a wasp-y white dude isn’t as easy as it looks. I mean, sure, we’ve dominated the civilized world for six thousand years, we currently enjoy employment and salaries at higher rates than any other subgenre of human being and we’re not particularly good at anything, but c’mon I stubbed my toe the other day in my flip flops, so there’s a downside too. What will follow will be a mix of the political, philosophical and comical posts you expect from a carniverous, beer-drinking, anglophile with a penchant for delightfulness. Be entertained!