You never thought it would happen, did you? Then one day you wake up and – Surprise! – you’re a tricenarian. Even though you don’t feel like one. And even though 30 is the new 20, right? Right?
Contrary to what our youth-obsessed culture claims, turning the big 3-0 is actually pretty awesome. You’ve survived your insecure 20s. You’re finally a real adult. People take you more seriously. And those who don’t, well, they can go to hell. You don’t have time to worry about them anymore. You’re 30.
You have money in the bank. You know your strengths. And your weaknesses. That awful roommate you lived with for three and a half years? He’s out of the picture. So are all the losers you dated. You no longer have to help your friends move, or sport the latest designer gadget, or feel guilty for staying in on a Friday night. “I’m 30,” you can say. And it’s a perfectly valid excuse.
30. Make friends with someone you haven’t slept with
Any gay guy who says he hasn’t hooked up with at least 50 percent of his male friends is either lying or exhibits amazing self-control. Many a lifelong friendship between gay men was born of casual sex. But by the time you’re 30, you should have at least one close gay friend who you have not touched below the waist.
29. Travel as much as possible
If you weren’t fortunate enough to study abroad or take a gap year in your 20s, now is the time to broaden your horizons and see the world. You’ve become, hopefully, more financially stable in this era of your life, so you should travel as often as your schedule and budget allow. You’ll regret not doing so later on!
28. Watch the movie Showgirls
A screening of the 1995 cult classic starring Elizabeth Berkley is a rite of passage every modern gay man must go through. You have not fully lived until you’ve witnessed Jessie Spano lick a stripper pole, make out with Gina Gershon, then call her a bitch, and hump Kyle MacLachlan salmon-style in a swimming pool.
27. Clear out your closet
Turning 30 is a great time to purge your wardrobe. Kiss the jeans you wore in college goodbye, not just because they no longer fit, but because nobody wears True Religions anymore. The graphic T’s also need to go. And if the words “Abercrombie & Fitch” or “American Eagle” appear anywhere on an item, please see that it is swiftly discarded, unless you can find a way to wear them with a certain irony.
26. Evaluate your safe-sex practices
Just like getting your car tuned up every 30,000, turning 30 is a good time to do a quick evaluation of your safe-sex practices. Have you been tested for HIV recently? (Lots of guys who are HIV-positive go years without knowing they’re infected.) What about getting screened for other STDs? (Things can be lingering in your body that you don’t know about.) Have you considered going on Truvada? (Even if you decide not to take the drug, it’s something to at least think about now that it’s available.)
25. Quit smoking, like, for real this time
Honestly, you should have already done this by now, but just in case you’re still sucking away on those nasty cancer sticks, even if only on what you call an “occasion,” it’s time to kick that dirty habit to the curb. Smoking causes premature aging which, if you haven’t noticed yet, is already happening at an alarming rate without any assistance from Philip Morris.
24. Learn how to hold your alcohol
While we’re on the topic of chemical substances, learning how to hold your alcohol is another skill you should have developed by now. Blacking out and/or puking from too much booze is never cute. But it’s especially not cute when you’re 10 years away from being 40. Helpful hint: No more than one beverage every two hours, alternating with a tall glass of water.
23. Stop drunk texting your FBs
This goes hand-in-hand with learning how to hold your alcohol. Drunk dialing (or texting) your friends at 2 a.m. when they have to be at work the next day is rude and obnoxious. Nobody wants to be awoken by their alcoholic friend when they have an 8:30 conference call in the morning. Not even if that friend is you. (Of course, there is a weekend and/or holiday exception to this rule. Since, from our experience, drunk texting on a Saturday night can still lead to some very fun experiences that you otherwise might not have experienced sober. You may be 30, but you’re not dead.)
22. See Cher in concert
Who knows how long we have left?
21. Cut the drama
Life doesn’t have to be one big soap opera. Learn how to pick and choose your battles. Taking offense at every little thing or demanding political correctness from everyone at all times is not only futile, but it will give you wrinkles and turn your hair grey, which are both real threats now that you’re halfway up the hill.