Tomorrow I turn 30. It feels sort of liberating to dust off the dirt, sweat, tears, and self-consciousness of my twenties. So I’m thoroughly excited about joining Club 30 and advancing in years. Maybe I’m not so excited about the tripling of my gray hair count. Or the fact that apparently you shrink an inch in height during your thirties. What? Is this a thing?
To celebrate this momentous occasion (how’s that for melodrama?), I went to a fabulous dinner with friends last night. We ate at Ink & Elm, a restaurant near Emory. Our table ordered most of the menu – a meat and cheese plate, lamb sweetbreads (the thymus gland of lambs…!!!!!!), charred octopus, pork loin, lamb steaks, grilled GA shrimp, and grouper. Lots of grouper. Libations were also consumed. I had two lovely bourbon cocktails. One smooth and delightful, the other warm and bitter. For dessert we trucked over to Leon’s in downtown Decatur for more drinks and lots of cake. It was a life-affirming kind of night where you’re surrounded by your favorite people, great food, and all your worries float away.
We talked at length over dinner about the things we’ve learned during our twenties – the heartbreaks and struggles, the joyous moments of self-discovery. We discussed in what ways our 30th birthdays are different from our 20th birthdays a decade ago. Namely, we’re eating better food and drinking liquor rather than beer (not that we don’t still drink beer).
We talked and talked and talked and talked. And by 1 am, I was tucked sweetly into my own bed. Because these days, I’d much rather be hearing myself snore than listening to last calls for alcohol. Sweet, sweet bliss.
I want to end this post with a few books that were extremely influential to me over the past decade. I’m not going to give reasons why, just a simple list. Because trying to put how I feel about them into words will more than likely bring me to tears, and there’s no crying on your (almost) birthday.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Marge Piercy’s poetry
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath & Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Harry Potter forever and always
Have a great week! Let me know what books meant a lot to you during a certain period in your life.
13 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: On Turning Thirty”
Well Happy Birthday Southern Bell! The thirties are what I call the enlightening period. When you reach 35 you’ll understand what I mean. 😉 Glad to her you had a great time and a superb sounding meal! Enjoy this moment in your life when women are considered to be a lot smarter than they were in their twenties. lol! I’m just saying… I wonder what books will influence you during your thirties? 🙂
I love the sound of your birthday meal, and happy birthday for tomorrow! Our birthdays are very close together – I’ll be 28 on Saturday 1st March. I’m also planning a meal with lots of chatting 🙂
Happy early birthday! Food is just the best thing ever. I hope 28 is a great year for you!!
Birthday wishes from across the other side of the Atlantic. Sounds like a wonderful meal to celebrate. Grouper is a fish?
Thank you! Grouper is a fish. It’s popular where I live.
Happy Birthday Brooke! The 30s were fun! And illuminating if I recall correctly. But I worked too much that decade, ha. Nice list of books. I should read the Hardy if you think it’s great. Have a great day. http://www.thecuecard.com/
Thank you, Susan!! I’m looking forward to my thirties. I think I worked too much in my twenties so I’ve cut back. I don’t care to do the whole 70-80 hours a week thing ever again. And check out the Hardy. It’s not as depressing as some of his other novels.
Happy Birthday! I’ve always heard good things about being 30+, I’ll reach that milestone very shortly myself.
Thank you!! Anything has to be better than my twenties. And at least people act like I’m magically smarter now.
I’m so glad you had a wonderful time, and your list of recommendations is killa!!!
Thank you, thank you!!
Happy birthday! I am so thrilled that you celebrated it in style with what sounds like one of the most fantastic meals ever. I will turn 30 in May and am beyond excited about it. I love how my life has changed over the past decades for some of the very reasons you mentioned. Also your list of books is excellent. Enjoy every second of your birthday week! (Yes that’s a thing in my world)
Thank you! And I pretty much start celebrating my birthday after New Years…lol. So far, 30 is a great age and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years holds!! 84 babies are the best 🙂