Your 20s are all about experimenting. You don’t have to listen to your parents anymore, you have a real job bringing in the dough, and you have a bunch of friends in the same position. You can rage until dawn if you want to or you can spend hours playing video games. You can do whatever you want.
As you approach your 30s, things start to change. You have more relationship, job, and family demands. Maybe you got married in your 20s or have gone through your first divorce… because you just like to be the first person among your friends to do something and not at all because you sucked at marriage.
The thing is, all that personal growth doesn’t always prepare you for the changes that happen in your 30s, and they aren’t all great changes like loving yourself or ceasing to care what people think. Some of the changes may even leave you with a serious case of the weepies, so here’s a list of those moments where it’s totally okay to let the tears flow.
You Suddenly Can’t Drink All Night
There will be a time — usually in your early 30s — when you will have to choose between getting drunk and staying up all night because, unless you are a Viking, you will no longer be able to do both. When you stay out all night drinking in your 20s, you have kicked the night’s ass. When you do it in your 30s, you are either calling in sick or dry-heaving into a wastebasket under your desk as tears stream down your face.
You Won’t Get To Casually Hook-Up With People
It will become harder and harder to meet someone your age and click over how much you love a band, before getting jiggy a short time later. Even if you do manage to arrange this most rare of circumstances, one of you will agonize over what it means, and most of the time, this scenario leads to somebody’s heart getting crushed. Cue the waterworks.
You Can’t Let Your Parents Help You
It’s cool to live at home in your 20s. It might make sense to have your mom still do your laundry. I mean, she’s doing it anyway, what’s a few more garments? You might even have them give you money. If you find yourself doing any of that in your 30s, though, you might be forced to cry because friends and prospective hookups are way less forgiving. Especially when they sleep over and have to tip-toe to the hallway bathroom for fear of bumping into your mom wearing curlers.
Your Band Won’t Make You A Break-Out Star
I know that you’ve been trying to be a real guitar hero since you were a wild teen, but in your 30s, it’s probably best that you let go of both your dreams of stardom and your close bond with the too-enthusiastic salesman at the music store who is this close to convincing you that you’re a $600 amplifier away from a record deal. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s probably not going to.
Your Relevance As A Cool Person Will Plummet
Pop culture is great for water-cooler chat, but it’s impossible when you don’t know who anyone is. Just try to connect with a younger relative about MTV and you will need a conversational Sherpa. When you hit your 30s, you won’t know most of the attendees at the MTV Music Awards; you will have to Google them, and while you do, you will judge what they are wearing. If you do know who people are, like your favorite athletes, you will also know that every one of them is younger than you are and that’s when you’ll cry, in a football jersey.
You Will Get Called “Sir” or “Ma’am.”
This may be the cruelest cut of all. Sure, the rest of them are tearjerkers, but you can use denial to ignore most of them. That doesn’t work with these single word slugs. Suddenly, you will be older than most service workers. The only people you will see your age are grocery cashiers. Everyone else will be in their teens and 20s and you will feel like a big comet went overhead and left you the only adult in the world. Then, they will turn to you with their empty eyes and chirpily call you “sir” or “ma’am” and your soul will wince.
You Really Love Your Kids
Okay, people who are purposely childless, this isn’t about the breeder agenda. You get cool stuff like living an independent life and people with kids get small moments of joy that make the rest of it worthwhile. Begrudge them this.
Sure. Sure. Your kids will always need you (until their 30s when they can’t ask you for any help). In your 30s, they will need you less for hand-holding and more for wallet opening. It’s enough to make any sad parent sob embarrassingly in public, just like the father in this clip from The Detour.
Catch ‘The Detour’ on Mondays at 9/8c on TBS.