Thirty should be when you think - these are my golden years, these are my salad days, the best is yet to come - and all that old crap.
You are still young enough to stay up all night, but you are old enough to have a credit card. All the uncertainties and poverty of your teens and twenties are finally over - and good riddance to the lot of them - but the sap is still rising.
Thirty should be a good birthday. One of the best.
But how to celebrate reaching the big three-oh? With a collection of laughing single friends in some intimate bar or restaurant? Or surrounded by a loving wife and adoring small children in the bosom of the family home?
There has to be a good way of turning thirty. Perhaps they are all good ways.
All my images of this particular birthday seemed to be derived from some glossy American sitcom. When I thought of turning thirty, I thought of attractive thirty-nothing marrieds snogging like teens in the heat while in the background a gurgling baby crawls across some polished paraquat floor, or I saw a circle of good-looking, wisecracking friends drinking latte and showing off their impressive knitwear while wryly bemoaning the dating game. That was my problem. When I thought of turning thirty, I thought of somebody's life.
That's what thirty should be - grown-up without being dissapointed, settle without being complacent, worldly wise, but not so worldly wise that you feel like chucking yourself under a train. That time of your life.
By thirty you have finally realized that you are not going to live forever, of course. But surely that should only make the laughing, latte-drinking present taste even sweeter? You shouldn't let your inevitable death put a damper on things. Don't let the long, slow slide to the grave get in the way of good times.
Whether you are enjoying the last few years of unmarried freedom, or have recently move on to a more adult, more committed way of life with someone you love, it's difficult to imagine a truly awful way of turning thirty.
~Taken from Man And Boy by Tony Parsons~