Most of my friends are older than me, so this won’t be useful to them. For those of you who’ve not yet turned thirty, here’s a fun tip: try to go out to a nice restaurant on your 30th birthday. The place will be full of people doing the exact same thing. More so than any other birthday. The overhyped significance we attach to this milestone seems to necessitate a fancy meal to celebrate. Of all the birthdays being celebrated at nice restaurants on any given night, dollars to donuts that a large portion of them are for number thirty.
Last night Sarah and I celebrated at Paul Kahan’s Blackbird. It was a delightful (and pricey) meal, something we treat ourselves to a couple times a year, for big events like birthdays and anniversaries. This wasn’t the world-rocking experience that Alinea was, last year, but it was a treat to put on our adult clothes and go out and hobnob among the Gold Coasters and investment bankers. It’s also fun to tweak the waiters at places like these, who expect a measure of sophistication from their guests, not questions like “What goes in a martini, again?”
About halfway through our meal, a party of three sat down next to us who were clearly in our boat: this wasn’t their usual Monday night hangout. When our dessert plate came, with a candle surreptitious candle attached to the side, the woman next door leaned over and told me it was her birthday, too. She asked my age, then volunteered hers, and it turns out we were born on exactly the same day — she in Bloomington, IL, me in Indianapolis, IN. With the exception of a girl in elementary school, I’ve never met anyone with my exact birthday before. I’m happy to report she was very pleasant, enforcing my belief that November 13 is the rockingest day ever.
At that point I realized how prevalent we must be, we just-turned-thirty-year-olds. I considered taking a poll of nearby tables — and nearby restaurants — to see who else we could find, and maybe if we found enough we could form a band, or a juggling troupe, or something, and we’d call ourselves the November Thirteenthers. And our one singular mission would be to hunt down Japanese wrestling champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, our patron saint, (and the only person listed on Wikipedia) who also turned 30 on Monday.
Instead we just finished our meal and left and went home, where I worked on the computer for an hour while Sarah read in the living room. As I understand it, this is what thirtysomethings do in the evenings. It’s no roving band of same-aged jugglers — something I’ll leave to the twentysomethings — but I think it’ll suit me just fine.