I’m going to be 29 this year.
That means 365 pages left in the final chapter of my twenties.
One last hurrah before I hit the ‘dirty thirties’.
One more year before I join the ranks of sad, old people who continually wish to go back to a time that’s long passed them by.
For most, there’s an obvious disparity between the first and last years of their twenties in terms of enthusiasm, positivity, and body parts that shouldn’t jiggle, but do.
Sadly, I’m no different. I hit the ground running into this decade a spritely whippersnapper. I’ll be limping out a chubby, boorish troll.
As I stand at age 29, wistfully peering back at age 20, an optimistic disposition, and thirty-two inch waist line are only a couple of things I miss.
I could write an entire book on the differences between the first and last year of my twenties, particularly the things I miss about the former.
But, for the sake of time, (and the fact that I might kill myself If I talk about how fat and surly I’ve gotten for that long) I’ve boiled it down to twenty…
Twenty things I miss about being 20.
There was once a time where I was able to walk a flight of stairs without getting winded. I could bound up or down, and the only jiggling would come from my keys as the bounced around inside my pocket.
That was before.
Now, a brisk pace taken down a flight of stairs is a visually haunting physics demonstration as my chubby man tits knock together like a fleshy Newton’s Cradle.
2: Light hangovers
At 20 years old, I could get absolutely shit-faced-hammered, and still rebound the next morning in time for mimosas, chicken and waffles.
At 29, the morning after a bender is slightly different…
“Brunch can suck my dick, Karen. I’ll be snorting Advil until I die, or have to go to work.”
Hangovers at 20 could be powered through. Hangovers at 29 have you hiding, and hissing at the sun like a goddamned vampire.
3: Healthy joints
When I was 20, I had the reassurance that, had someone wanted to kill/rape/sell me a Nickleback CD, I could run away without my knees imploding faster than the spirits of a chubby kid whose parents dropped him off at fat camp instead of Disneyland like they promised.
At some point when I was 28, my joints had a meeting, decided they’d had enough, and then fucking quit.
At 29, they feel like they’ve got the suspension of a 1974 Oldsmobile, and moan louder than my heart did when Jim left for Stamford in season three.
Still fucking hate you, Karen Filippelli.
4: Knowing how electronics work
At 20 I knew how computers worked, and was often the one people called when they had a problem with one…
Mom: “My printer isn’t working, can you walk me through how to fix it?”
Me: “Is the USB cable plugged in?”
Mom: “What’s a USB cable?”
Me: “The cable coming out of the printer, and going into the computer.”
Mom: “My printer doesn’t have a cable going into the computer. It has one going into the TV”
Me: “Ok, Mom, that’s your DVD player…”
Mom: “Oh…Can I print from the DVD player?”
Sadly, as my twenties wound down, so did my understanding of electronics.
Me: “Why can’t I connect to Wifi?”
Tech Support: “Are your system preferences open?”
Tech Support: “Ok, do you see where it says Wifi under General Settings?”
Me: “No, all I see is a progress bar that says ‘Delivery in 30 minutes’”
Tech Support: “Ok, that’s the pizza tracker in your Domino’s app…”
Me: “Oh.. Can I connect to Wifi from the Domino’s app?”
Tech Support: “…”
6: A strong stomach
Up until age 21, my stomach was a goddamned steel trap. I could eat a pound of raw chicken, and wash it down with quart of pure gasoline without suffering more than a few gnarly toots.
Now, I have to Scarface style snort a mound of Zantac if I get within smelling distance of a Chipotle.
I miss the days where junk food tasted like heaven instead of shameful regret.
7: Teenagers not calling me “Sir”
I never felt like a “Sir” at age 20.
A Sir was mature, and had his shit together.
A Sir didn’t use a hot frying pan to get the wrinkles out of his khakis because he broke the iron playing Drunk Hot Potato with his friends.
A Sir didn’t own (and frequently wear) a Ninja Turtle onesie.
A Sir didn’t introduce himself to strangers by talking his way through the Fresh Prince theme song.
I use to do ALL of that shit.
…I mean, I still do, but at least now at age 29 I can say I’ve actually been to West Philadelphia.
8: Not thinking before making poor decisions
20 year olds are dumb. They don’t think, and they end up doing a lot of dumb shit.
Shockingly, I was no different. I was dumb, I didn’t think…so, naturally, I did a lot of dumb shit…
- Stayed up until 5am when I had work the next morning.
- Jumped off the roof into a pool.
- Ordered Taco Bell’s new experimental fired chicken taco shell taco.
But, after getting routinely butt-fucked by enough bad decisions, I started to learn. Now, every potentially bad idea is preceded by A LOT of apprehensive consideration.
- Will this effect my performance at work?
- Could this shatter my legs?
- DO I WANT TO FUCKING DIE?
There’s only so many nights you can spend white-knuckle, power clenching the rim of the toilet before you start reevaluating your decision making process.
9: Being able to see
I was watching TV from across the room the other day, and got fifteen minutes into a very serious episode of ‘Intervention’ featuring some scary looking meth addict before I realized it was a 20/20 interview with Kellyanne Conway.
At 20 I had the vision of a hawk. At 29 it’s of Mr. Magoo.
10: Friends that can hang out
No one use to have kids. No one use to be married. And, everyone was always down to party their balls off at a moments notice.
It’s a sad day when your friends would rather stay in, have a glass of white wine, and watch Flip or Flop. It’s an even sadder day when you realize you’re no different, and Tarek has been holding Christina back this whole time.
Spread your motherfucking wings, girl…you can do so much better.
11: People not asking for life advice
No one ever goes to a 20 year old for life advice. People equate age to experience, and generally speaking, the most serious thing a 20 year old experiences is a haircut without their mom telling the barber what to do.
At age 20…
- I didn’t know how to comfort anyone going through a divorce.
- I didn’t know how to talk to people about their kids.
- And, I thought a 401K was a ridiculously long marathon that people ran in.
While being 29 hasn’t made me any less fucking inept with those particular talking points, I at least know enough to bullshit my way through a conversation.
“Daniel, how do you think I should plan my 401K?”
“Great question, Deborah. I think you should plan to smear a liberal amount of Vaseline on your nipples to avoid chafing.”
12: Not getting involved with politics.
I don’t even have a joke here.
I really fucking miss this.
13: Having more hair on my head than my back
It starts slowly. A rogue shoulder hair here. A lone back hair there.
Before you know it, your shoulders look like they could be cast to play Robin William’s forearms in the biopic of his life.
Manes are cool on horses. Not so much on soft-bodied, balding twenty-nine old men.
14: Not getting emotional
For a while I thought I was dead inside. Stone cold to the world.
Those Sarah Mclaughlin commercials with the starving puppies just made me hungry for some back alley Asian food.
But, with age comes empathy, and I’ve got a river of salty empathy leaking out of my face on the regular these days.
At 20 I could watch Tom Hanks lose Wilson, and feel absolutely nothing. At 29 I can’t make it through a Trix Cereal commercial without being reduced to a sobbing pile of misery.
For fucks sake, just give the rabbit some goddamned cereal! It’s 2017, it’s not just for kids anymore!
15: No dieting
Being 20 means you don’t really have to diet. I use to smother my hunger with an extra large #5 from Whataburger, and suffer zero repercussions.
Now, all an extra large #5 smothers are my chances of ever being emotionally stable enough to swim without a t-shirt on.
16: Getting excited for the holidays
At age 20, every holiday was a game to see how much free food you could eat before a seam in your pants exploded like a can of biscuits.
At age 29, every holiday is a game to see how long you can listen to your aunt when she goes off on a political tirade.
The game starts when she says “I’m not a racist, but…”
The game ends when you suffer an aneurism and die.
17: The hours between 12am and 6am:
The hours between 12am and 6am is where magic lives. The possibilities are limitless, and so is the fun.
When I was 20, I was very well acquainted with those late night magical hours.
At 29, however, If it doesn’t happen within normal business hours, it can suck my ass.
Unless the sky opens up, and it starts raining blowjob hungry supermodels, I’m not rolling my fat tits out of bed before 6am.
18: Dressing like a bum
Having actual goals, or a career takes a lot of work. Even when you’re just running errands in your down time, you have to be presentable in case you run into a colleague, or a client.
Gone are the days where you could leave your house in a tattered concert t-shirt, and a pair of yoga pants that say “Juicy Slut” across the ass.
At 29, you can’t run the risk of having a client see you in public looking like you buy all your clothes at The Home Depot.
Client: “Are you wearing pants, or did you just wrap yourself in a paint stained tarp? “
In order to succeed in life at 29, you have to be a well adjusted, presentable, mature adult.
In order to succeed in college when you’re 20, you have to show up to lecture, and try to sip from your flask without the professor noticing.
In other words, the bar is much, much lower when you’re 20.
A lot of D’s can still get you a degree when you’re 20.
At 29, a lot of D’s just gets you HPV.
20: Being 20
At least I have one more year before I’m 30…
Written By Daniel Oliver