missing out on rampant poor decision making

I turned 28 on Wednesday.

 My coworkers and I went to lunch at Red Robin.  The waitstaff brought me a melted ice cream sundae, gathered around our booth and lethargically sang a birthday song.  They gave me two helium balloons to tie to my wrist.  I clapped along to their song, mostly because it would have been more awkward to sit silently as one would during a serious performance. 

I’ve seen others blush and look away when the waitstaff at chain restaurants sing birthday songs to them.  It didn’t bother me, really, because in my everyday life no one sings to me.  If you would like to gather around my table and sing to me, be my guest because it’s only going to happen to me once a year at best.  I will clap along!  Though I am not a little blonde boy, as this picture may suggest, I was smiling like he is (green smudge on cheek included).


Thoughts on being 28:

#1.  I can remember what I was thinking 10 years ago

               Until now, I could always use the excuse that 10 years ago I was a kid and therefore didn’t have to take accountability for what I was doing/saying/thinking.  But I clearly remember turning 18 years old and embracing the full responsibility of Kari.  I liked it.  I liked realizing that I was legally an “adult” and that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted.  You know those conversations:

Betty:   Did you hear that (insert name of person who just turned 18) got a tatoo and moved into the slums?

Marilyn:  Well, she is 18 now.

            I can’t say that I tested many boundaries when I turned 18, but I knew that I had the freedom to and that’s what was so appealing.  My decisions were mine, my money was mine, and the consequences of everything that I did belonged to me.  My car insurance, on the other hand, was still under my parents name.  Let’s not rush into anything too adult.

#2.  I am officially in my late 20s

             Should I be having the best years of my life?

             I suspect this is the time period that some middle aged people look back on as their wild times.  Rampant socializing, rampant late nights, rampant poor decision making, rampant not-knowing-where-I-woke-up mornings.  The paychecks are coming in for the upwardly mobile but no children to sap the money, rent not mortgage payments, you can still watch MTV and not be creepy.   It’s ‘young adult’ world.

            Where IS this world?  I believe it exists like I believe heart disease exists.  I’ve heard of people who have experienced it, I’ve seen evidence and heard stories, yet it only touches my life tangentially. It’s not that I choose to stay away from ‘young adult’ world, it feels more as if it were never an option for me.  When my father died in 1998 (I was 18), I let go of my care-free thought life like a child lets go of a helium balloon.  Gone. 

Dancing Baloons in the sky above London

#3.  I have two years to get used to being 30

        I’m primed.  Reference thought #2.


2 Responses to “missing out on rampant poor decision making”

  1. 1 Shawn
    January 7, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    I hit 30 in 9 days and I’m definitely not primed! Happy birthday Kari!! Did you find it weird celebrating your first Ablest “solo” birthday? It was always fun and somewhat odd that we had the same Ableversary and Birthdays so our celebrations were always intertwined.

    I am the embarrassed type when you sing to me. I would be looking away and not clapping, or I’d have a smirk on my face while blushing a little. I can still picture you clapping though with the big smile. 🙂

    I have done a lot of young adult world and as I turn 30 it feels as though I’m saying goodbye to it. Unlike any other sensation I’ve felt during an upcoming birthday I am dreading this one. It’s only a number, so I’m not sure why. It is a changing of the guard I suppose. Where you felt like an adult when hitting 18, I’ve always hung on to being a kid and just now feel that I’ll be becoming an “adult.” I always felt like I could fall back on “he was in his 20’s and enjoying himself. He was in his 20’s and figuring things out.” Well, now things are supposed to be figured out for the most part. 😦

    I also never felt old interviewing those college students interviewing for summer jobs. The way I saw it, “you’re in your 20’s, I’m in my 20’s, we’re sort of still peers. We’re both in young adult world.” I feel like I’ll be leaving it, although I’m sure 30 still constitutes being a young adult.

    Hope all is well and we’ll have to catch up soon!

  2. February 9, 2008 at 4:28 am

    30 is really no big deal, it seems we grow so much more wise in our 30’s- I hope to be a genius by 40!

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