Turning 30 is daunting. This is the age by which we are supposed to have our “act” together (or so we are told): a husband/wife, a child, your own home, a successful career, and a savings account you aren’t ashamed of … or at least the prospect of these things.
There are all sorts of lists out there for things that you should do or have by the time you are 30. Those lists will leave you depressed and feeling unfulfilled if, like me, you can barely check off a handful.
So I give to you the list of 30 things to do before turning 30 in New Orleans that will make you actually want to live to see 40.
1. Dance on the pool table at F&M’s (one last time).
2. Realize you should have stopped going there at least five years ago.
3. Dine-and-Dash at Commander’s Palace or another restaurant you know you can only
afford to eat in when your parents are in town.
4. Start your own festival, because there are still two weekends left that are missing one.
5. Stop accepting calls/texts from ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, AKA somebody that you used to know.
6. Learn how to properly pronounce Gotye, singer of “somebody that I used to know” because your 14-year-old nephew will laugh at you for thinking it’s pronounced “got ya.”
7. Stop shopping at Forever21.
8. Consider opening your own retail franchise called Temporarily30.
9. Ask your parents to borrow money you know you will never pay back.
10. Spend the money on something frivolous, because eventually you will have to make cutbacks to save for that house you’re supposed to own … or at least a couch that has not had a previous owner.
11. Have a fake bachelorette/bachelor party on Bourbon Street.
12. Realize you might never have a real one, and be OK with that.
13. Wear a crazy costume to work because it’s Monday.
14. Immediately start looking for a new job.
15. Do a free trial at every gym in the city. When you’ve run through them all, go to Slidell, the West Bank, Metairie, and Kenner. This should get you at least a year’s worth of free exercise.
16. Take a trip. Not to an island or Europe; you can do this at any age. This trip should be of the psychadelic persuasion.
17. Learn how to change a tire, because god knows in New Orleans this is a skill you will need to use at least once a month.
18. Realize you will never be the kind of person who changes her own tires and splurge the $40 for AAA.
19. Swim naked at the Country Club, because, let’s face it, your body probably isn’t going to get any better after this.
20. Drink naked at Snake ‘n Jakes for free drinks … and for same reason as above.
21. Do the Tchoup Challenge at the Creole Creamery. (Sure, you could do this after 30, but your chances of getting diabetes increases 120 percent).
22. Make sure 19 and 20 precede 21.
23. Know that the story that, for every gray hair you pull out, two more will grow back in its place is just an old wives’ tale. But that if you keep pulling out every gray hair, you will eventually be bald.
24. Never use the term old wives’ tale again, because it only reminds you that when you are old, society suggests you are supposed to be someone’s wife.
25. Get NolaVie columnist Joey Albanese to answer any of my remaining twenty(something) questions, because by 30 you’re supposed to have all the answers.
26. Do all of Meredith Acocella’s 30 under 30’s, because the busier you are out there living, the less time you will have to dwell on your fears of aging.
27.Throw yourself a birthday party.
28. At the party, throw yourself a tantrum.
29. Then get over it, because you realize that the only thing about you now that isn’t better than it was when you were 21 are your boobs, and they make surgeries for that.
30. Then when you get down to the last hours, do something crazy. Since I live in the flashing capital of the world and have never flashed, that’s what I’ll be doing … to the plastic surgeon … while we discuss a little pick me up.
So is there life after 30? Here’s “32,” a YouTube spoof on Taylor Swift’s “22” that indicates … maybe not.
Rachel Kostelec turns 30 today, Tuesday, May 7. Happy Birthday, Rachel! She writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.