Avoiding Crisis

30 things

with 3 comments

30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30 is the name of a book that I came across today. Well, actually, I didn’t come across it in a physical sense, but I did stumble upon it while conducting a search on “turning 30.”  No, not really stumble upon it…must I explain everything?  Geez.    

Before I begin, I want you to know that this isn’t going to be another one of those posts where I point out all my shortcomings and call myself a failure.  But don’t be too disappointed,  there will be other self-deprecatory posts where you get to walk away feeling that much better about yourselves, I promise.  Still friends?  Good.  Read on.    

For those that have read this, they already know my proclivity for research.  For those who haven’t, you’ve probably by now clicked on the above link and are now fully aware of said proclivity for research.  So, now that we are all caught up to speed.  Shall I go on?

From time to time I like to see what others are saying about turning 30.  This always seems to remind me 1) how royally screwed up I am for even thinking about this topic as much as I do and 2) how completely normal I am for thinking about.  And yes, I promise, it is indeed possible to feel both messed up and normal at the same time. Try it some time…makes for some very interesting thoughts.

Okay, so back to the book.  The title caught my interest and I was intrigued to see what, according to the author, are the 30 things I should know how to do before I turn 30.   And, of course, to see just how many of these things I already know how to do or have done.  Thanks to Amazon.com I don’t have to buy the book to know what the 30 things are because it’s right there on the website.  Wasn’t that just so nice of them to list them like that for me.

Let’s see how I measure up. Shall we?

Apparently, these are the 30 must-have life skills every capable adult should perfect before turning 30.

  1. wrap a present– Thanks to my mom’s Christmas gift wrapping boot camp that took place every year from the time I could wrap gifts until I moved out of the house, I’d say I’m actually a master gift wrapper – pretty bows and all.   
  2. start a successful fire in a fireplace, at a campsite, and in a barbecue – No, no and no.  That is, unless you count turning on the gas and pressing that magic button on my grill that goes click, click, click and then poof fire!  No? I didn’t think so.
  3. finish a piece of furniture– Hmmm.  Let’s discuss this one.  Okay, so I’ve never actually built a piece of furniture from scratch but I have refinished several pieces of furniture.  Can’t we just and an “re” in front of the word finish? Please? It would make me feel so much more accomplished.   
  4. get a raise– Okay so I haven’t yet perfected the art of getting a raise, though this would be very hard in my current position because unless you consider negotiating an extra hour of sleep or going to the bathroom without kids barging in a raise, then well, I’m shit out of luck.  However, once, at my first job out of college, when everyone started jumping ship and leaving the start up think tank that I worked for, my boss was smart enough to give me a raise as an incentive to stay.  Somehow this worked for a few months.  But then no raise could ever make me stay at a job where my daily interaction with my boss was via digital voice recorder.
  5. order wine at a restaurant without getting stiffed– First of all,  I’m not even sure what this one means exactly.  Let me assume it means that I can order a glass of wine at a restaurant and know exactly what I’m getting – so that when the bill comes I’m not shocked by the price.  So if that is what this means, they yes I can check this one off my list.  Come to think of it, I’ve never really had a problem with this.  Seriously, this happens to people?
  6. parallel park in three breathtakingly beautiful movements– Got this one covered and then some.  If parking on a one-way street that has parking on both sides I’ve got it down no matter which side I’m parking on. 
  7. dance a “slow dance” without looking like an idiot– Sure I’ve done this.  Well, at least I don’t think I looked like an idiot.  Though, I must admit, since marrying the non-dancing type i’m a bit out of practice.
  8. Use a full place setting properly, including chopsticks and Asian soup spoons– For this one, I’ve got to thank the etiquette class that was given my senior year at Barnard.  I even know how to eat poached pear properly!
  9. clean your place in under 45 minutes, when friends, relatives, or prospective lovers are coming by unexpectedly, and soon– I’m sure that I am very much capable of doing this but I’m a bit out of practice on this one.  For starters, we rarely have unexpected visitors.  Since we don’t have any family living near us, no one seems to just pop on over unannounced.  Secondly, I’m fortunate enough to have a full-time live-in maid, which means that my house is never messy enough to have to be cleaned on a moments notice. Oh that sounds bad….I’m really not that spoiled.   
  10. hold your liquor – yeah, it’s called don’t drink too much.  okay, okay, I admit it, I still have the occasional problem of throwing up after a late night out partying. 
  11. cure a hangover – yeah, it’s called not getting that drunk the night before. 
  12. do the Heimlich Maneuver – thankfully I’ve never actually had to perform this on anyone, though I do know how to do it…i think?
  13. use a compass – does my daughter’s toy compass from her Dora the Explorer doll count??  No?  Oh.  Then, the answer is no. 
  14. change a flat – yeah, it’s called call AAA.
  15. jump start a car – This is one of those things that had I paid attention in drivers education class I would have learned to do, but instead I was too busy obsessing over the teacher’s warning that one wrong connection would result in either an exploding battery or high voltage electrocution.  And you thought I was going to say that I was too busy obsessing over a boy in the class….okay that too.
  16. open a champagne bottle – Sure. Hand it to the person standing closest to me and ask them to do it.  Seriously, can you believe it, I’ve never opened a champagne bottle.
  17. send a drink to someone’s table– no, never.  and actually, come to think about it, i’ve never had anyone send me a drink.  eh. that’s kinda depressing.
  18. cook one “signature meal” – I’ve got a few of those.  My favorite being Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce, a side of brown rice and a arugula salad.  It’s super yummy!  I’ll send you the recipe if you want, just ask.
  19. whistle with your fingers– i’ve tried and tried and tried.  I am simply incapable of doing this.
  20. take good pictures – not sure if the picture I take are “good” but I’d like to think that at least 1 in ever 100 photos I snap may be considered decent.  
  21. fold a fitted sheet – again, thanks to my mom’s training, I’m an expert sheet folder.
  22. remove common stains – and uncommon one’s too!  It’s amazing what having kids forces you to learn how to do.
  23. sew a button – Come on, that’s too easy.  I’ve been able to do this one since home economics class in junior high school. 
  24. carve turkey, lasagna, and birthday cake – yes, yes, and yes.
  25. hold a baby– yes. I’ve even held a crying baby, a colicky baby that screams for two hours straight in the middle of the night, a vomiting baby, a sleepy baby, a happy and cheerful baby…
  26. change a diaper – After having changed close to 10,000 diapers, I’d say I’m an expert.  Wouldn’t you?
  27. keep a plant alive for more than a year – no comment.  (my mother-in-law always takes them away from me before they get to a year so I’m not really sure if they would have made it or not.) 
  28. make dogs and cats love you – dogs yes.  cats no.
  29. help someone (an older or ill person, a woman you’re trying to impress, your mother) out of a car – how about my grandmother?  Though I’m not really sure why this is something someone should know how to do before they are 30.  Any ideas?
  30. write superior thank you notes – Practice makes perfect. With 160 wedding guests and their many wonderful and generous gifts, it is an understatement to say that I have perfected the fine art of thank you note writing. 

So, how did I do?  Looks like I’ve got a little over 50% covered.  I don’t think I’m going to rush out to learn the rest before August arrives.  I guess I’ll just have to live with the fact that either 1) I’m not a capable adult and/or 2) the book is just really silly and stupid.

How do you measure up?   


Written by nicolemarie

March 16, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Posted in list, personal, thirty

3 Responses

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  1. i can certainly use some sheet-folding lessons. and after getting sick from local food in machu picchu, i can absolutley vouch for the delicious pork tenderloin dinner that was oh so yummy!


    March 16, 2007 at 10:07 pm

  2. I just now ran across this post and had to laugh at how it relates to my post a few days ago “Before I Turned 30”. Check it out on “Necessary Therapy” http://pistolpete.wordpress.com


    March 16, 2007 at 10:16 pm

  3. Well…One of the few skills that I have mastered at the age of 60 is Bullshit Detection vis a vis the media (written, spoken, visual). This skill, which I practice at faithfully, causes me to recommend a good use for this book for a person contemplating their thirtieth birthday party, and also planning a cook-out a la camping – it would make excellent fire starter having the proper amount of pages with which to really get a healthy glow on!:-)


    March 16, 2007 at 11:00 pm

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