The Uncommon Life

Say What?

September 20, 2011

Friend coming up on a big birthday? Are you? Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for how to congratulate that special someone who’s entering the fourth decade of life.

Everyone thinks that 30th birthdays are touchy. But I did my research, and it turns out it’s bogus. In fact, turning 30 is kind of awesome (it’s 40, 50 and 60 that can be the real bummers).

I’m 25, and, as far as my older friends are concerned, still in diapers. But at 24, I plummeted into quarter-life crisis mode: “I’m 24, which means I’m almost 25, which means I’m almost 30, which means my window to be young and successful is rapidly closing.”

Roll your eyes at me, go ahead – but when US Open Tennis Champions, Lady GaGa and Mark Zuckerberg are your age, it’s easy to feel like an underachieving 20-something. (On the flip side, Lindsay Lohan and I share a birthday, which kind of puts it all in perspective.)

So while I still secretly hope to make millions and/or achieve unprecedented success in the next five years, I admit that strangely, I’m looking forward to turning 30.

Sure, turning 30 means that weddings are on the rise (and divorces), and baby showers are popping up – and I think we all agree that watching your selfish friends put someone else’s needs before theirs is a bizarre experience.

But here are the facts: maybe you have better hair and muscles in your 20s, but your self esteem is much lower, as is the preoccupation with figuring out your identity. So when you present your friend with a fun gift and card, don’t give them a “but look on the bright side” note, tell them straight up what they have to look forward to. Pull from the following examples:

1. You figured out what you wanted to do in life and can now spend time actually living your life.
2. You have more money now than you did in your twenties.
3a. For a guy: You now make enough money to successfully date women in their 20s.
3b. For a woman: Your sex drive is way better in this decade.
4. This is the decade where having it all together and having freedom will intersect the most. Before this, you were clueless. After this, you’ll have kids or aging parents.

And if you just can’t help yourself:

1. You can use the word “early” in front of “30s” when describing your age.
2. When people ID you, it will begin to feel like a compliment.
3. You can get away with more stuff, because people think you are now too old to be irresponsible.
4. You can start to say “When I was your age” and not sound like a total jerk.
5. You can justify technological purchases like the new iPad as necessities to pave the way for professional ladder climbing and keeping up with social media trends.
6. If you gain weight, you can blame it on a changing metabolism.
7. At least you’re not turning 40.

Game-changing gifts for a game-changing birthday:

Can’t bring yourself to the party? Bring the party to you.
Beer Making Kits

Accessorize to emphasize your youth.
Crocheted Bow Headphones

If your life is all business, try some stow-away desktop fun.
Desktop Bowling

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