It finally came, the day that, in many ways, I have both dreaded and anticipated. I initially planned on celebrating my 30th birthday for an entire week, but due to financial restraints, I changed my mind about it. Looking back on the week that I turned 30, I apparently still managed to have a week-long celebration of sorts.
To those who don't know, the day I turn 30 was supposed to be the day I die. It's why I made it a point to accomplish everything I wanted to do in life before hitting that particular age. But, as evidenced by me still blogging about it, my supposedly inevitable demise did not take place. At least, not in the literal sense.
Starting the Year With Style.
One of the advantages of having a birthday in the first week of the year is that one still feels the "new year, new start" vibe that the first day of the year usually delivers. On the first day of this particular year, I woke up in the afternoon (after that night at Jo's I wrote about last week) with a slight buzz and a stifled laugh (the first text message I read upon waking up was one from Erin, which seemed to be an unnecessary reminder that I stood no chance). After finally getting coffee in my system, I got dressed and went to see my boys. The Critic, the Big Man, and Mr. Guerrero were all there, ready to down more than a few drinks.
Apparently, it's been quite some time since any one of us had done it, and with Mr. Guerrero (whose birthday was incidentally a few days before mine) and the Big Man and I "persuaded" him to use his birthday money to indulge in a few… gentlemanly pleasures. That's right, the boys were back on the strip club scene! On the start of the new year! Fuck yeah! Unfortunately, the actual events of the night did not deserve a "fuck yeah!" on any level.
I learned two things from that day. 1.) There are very few things more awkward than running into a former student of yours at a strip club and 2.) a strip club without any strippers (they have yet to come back from holiday it seemed) is nothing but a place with over-priced booze. And it was a little gay, all four of us, sitting in silence like that. Yeah, we ended up in one of those 24 hour burger joints, a true sign of loser-dom. Don't get me wrong, it was all fun for me. The whole day was just… strange. But, strange is good.
Let's Try That Again.
The next night, much to my sincere surprise, the Big Man and I once again found ourselves in that very same strip club. I dropped by the Big man's place looking for something to do and a little assistance with certain things I failed to take into consideration, and we ended up smack dab in the middle of the club widely renowned for a stabbing incident or two. There are things that remain constant in such establishments, one particular thing is how their services tend to get shoved down one's throat (so to speak). We went in, sat down, ordered drinks, and long story short, I was the unwilling (seriously) recipient of a lap dance from a bottomless menstruating stripper. (True story.)
Yes, I am aging gracefully.
The following nights were spent with the Breakfast Club, specifically, in the house of Mr. Team Player of the Year. It was during these nights that I faced a couple of obstacles blocking me from my goal of celebrating my 30th in a manner that I wanted. First, it dawned on me that I was teetering once again on being broke. With the production of the family project pushed back (and possibly shelved) the payday I was expecting obviously did not come through, and given the nature of my day job, it was unlikely I would be paid handsomely for sitting on my ass and drinking for the past few weeks. The second problem was far more pressing, as the possibility that the Scoobies would not be available for the set date presented a likelihood that the whole shindig would be cancelled. That second one affected me more, and led to a long walk in the park that led into me getting drunk once more.
While those problems loomed, I did still those nights with the team. I even had a couple of meaningful conversations (in the midst of all the swearing and dick jokes). The money problem got settled eventually, and the thing with the Scoobies, well… that one was sorted out in a very impressive manner.
The Day Before The Big Third Decade.
On the eve of my 30th, I went to Makati for three reasons: to spend my last day as a twenty-something in the most important place of my personal decade, to meet up with Marvi to plan something for the weekend, and to meet up with her husband to discuss possible projects in the future.
My favorite bar was closed, and though that was a tad disappointing, I couldn't help but appreciate the symbolism. That time of my life, when I'd spend Friday nights and/or Sunday nights at the Grill getting absolutely "ridonkulous" with my best people need to be put behind me. I had a ton of memories in that place, from my high school days, up to my college days and the better part of my 20s. It was time to find a new home, the way the characters from St. Elmo's Fire did at the end of the movie.
The prospects of working with Marvi's husband seemed promising, and I am excited to get on board, but the highlight of the night was Marvi. She reminded me exactly why I've admired her for nearly a decade now. She wanted us to go out for my birthday, and she just wouldn't take no for an answer. As we drank, she was on the phone contacting various resorts and other possible venues, she was drawing up a workable budget and balancing timeframes that wool eliminate both time and financial constraints on everyone's part. At the end of the night, the party was back on, and it was more cost effective. She made my 30th birthday party happen, and I will forever be grateful for that.
Surprise Shindig from The Breakfast Club.
I was already on a high from Marvi's efforts that I was set to call it a night. But, on my way back South, the Breakfast Club summoned me to the apartment that I would be sharing with them starting this month. Turns out that had planned this surpass party thingy. Now, I don't normally dig surprises. In fact, I fucking hate being caught off-guard. However, in all my years and in all the groups I've belonged to, I've never had anyone give me a surprise party. And considering that everyone is in the same financial boat (one that's about to sink) I have to admit, that shit touched me. We had beer and other liquor, games and brownies once midnight arrived and I was officially a 30 year old.
I left early in the morning, once everyone, aside from Carlo, was tired and passed out. (Seeing Jill drunk again was an amazing birthday present, btw.) I rode the van teary eyed, I'm not ashamed to admit, and smiling. I was teary eyed not just because of the massive acid reflux, and the crippling stomach pain that came with it, I've developed drinking constantly over the holidays, but also because despite all my planning and anticipation, it would be an unexpected gesture that made this transition of mine complete. I would have been content with the turn out of my 30th right then and there, but the day was just starting.
Turning 30 The Proper Way.
The big event finally arrived, and I was joined by the Scoobies, the Big Man, and The Critic (as well as the several children my grownup friends have) as we made our way to the familiar South to spend a night swimming and other stupid things people. The resort was merely a stone's throw away from the old college campus, which was perfect for reminiscing and shit like that. There was lots of food courtesy of Marvi's fantastic cooking (Marvi, incidentally, is now a caterer, and I will use this blog, as well as my other mediums of public expression, to pimp her services out). There were lots of beer, of course, and with the Critic bringing his own party favors, we had ourselves an amazing time.
It was an amazing contrast. The Scoobies are the group that I usually regard as my "grownup friends". Mixing them together with my boys, with whom I've had nothing but juvenile adventures with led to some pretty funny and, at times, emotionally fulfilling moments. We started the day by having a healthy conversation reminiscing about the old times, and ended it with me, the Big Man, and The Critic getting super smashed and running around the room, trying to keep one another from getting the last of the adobo. One moment that stick out in my mind was when I was in the pool, the highest one in that multi-level complex of pools that featured water of varying icky-ness, with a beer in hand and the full moon right above me, and the past decade literally flashed before my eyes. Of course, this significant personal moment was followed by more gibberish as the uncontrollable laughter came once we were back in the room.
The trip home was much quieter, but it was nice. It was peaceful. I rarely say this, but in that moment, I was happy.
Alright, so now I'm 30. Like I said before, I'm supposed to be dead now. It's a long story, and if you guys really want to know more, ask me about it when you see me and I will disclose the sordid details. With an accomplished bucket list, I'm left to struggle with pondering the next step. I mentioned before that one way or another, 30 is the year that I die, and I have decided to make it so, in a far less morbid way. See, the past decade, my existence has been defined by my lifestyle. The majority of my most significant moments have been in a bar, or by doing something radically risky. (Another huge aspect of my life revolves around me and my quest for true love which, not surprisingly, often leads to more nights at the bar.) With that in mind, I am retiring that old persona and reverting to something far more boring. That time of my life is over. I'm Superboy no more. I won't be doing "indestructible" for the time being. While I figure out what I'm going to do next, I'll be partaking in the simpler, more boring things that "normal" people have been accustomed to, and hopefully, in sobriety, and downright lameness, I find a new definition that I'm comfy with.
New deadline TBD.