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30th Birthday CRAZINESS! (er, not so much)

Apr 8, 2011

Well, I made it, and like many thirtysomethings (and beyond) so knowingly warned me, turning 30 wasn't all that big a deal.  The days leading up to it I had mini panic attacks and wrung my hands when the issue was brought up (I used passive voice there because I was the main person bringing it up, taking every opportunity I could to freak out publicly, soliciting sympathy and compliments of still looking quite young from anyone who would listen).  But then, a couple of hours before I headed toward the airport to board a plane to Austin to celebrate with my BFF, my new boss said to me, "I heard it's your birthday.  So what, you're turning 21?"

Har har, heard that a thousand times. I thought, smugly flipping my hair and smiling sweetly at him.  "Actually I'm turning 22, but you were close!"

"Oh okay," he said, deadpan.  Wait, is he joking? 

"I'm joking," I clarified.

"Really?  Are you turning 23?"

"No, I'm turning 30."

And there it was, that look of disbelief that you don't want to see from your new boss.  Because you're supposed to be mature, womanish, have your life together, command a room, maybe even be a manager of some sort by the time you're 30, right? 

"No way!" he said.

Dangit!  How am I supposed to move forward in my career if people still think I'm right out of college? Suddenly turning 30 sounded great.

That afternoon I arrived in Austin, my first time, to 92 degree weather (I left a low-50s and rainy DC far, far behind me).  Lauren texted me not to wait outside for her because she was stuck in traffic and it was too hot.  I promptly stepped out into the glorious heat and willed myself to sweat.  It. Was. Awesome.

That night we had sushi at Kinichi, and in hindsight we should have had barbecue, but it was still really good.  Afterwards Lauren went to the ATM to get cash to pay the valet.  As she punched in her pin a guy leaning against the building called out a 4-digit number, presumably her pin.  The aggressive Washingtonian came out in me -- I crossed my arms, leaned backward, pursed my lips, and stared him down.  When his eyes met mine I said, "Not cool, dude."

"What?!" he said defensively.  "I'm just tryin' to be friendly."

"No you weren't.  You know what you did, and it's not cool."  At that point there was nothing I could really do, but I wasn't about to let him get off scot free for being a jerk.

"Yeah?  Well you're mean," he retorted.  I thought back to the last time I picked a fight with a guy, outside Rumors in Dupont.  It was the bouncer.  He got in my face and chest bumped me backwards.  (Trust me, I had every right to be up in his face -- a rowdy guy had thrown a beer bottle in my direction, sending shards of glass all into my legs, and I looked like I had walked off the set of a slasher film.  All I wanted was a napkin, but the bouncer told me I was a biohazard and wouldn't help me.  I don't go to Rumors anymore.)  So this guy telling me I am mean was pretty comical.  I narrowed my eyes, gave him the "OK" sign with my right hand, and said, "Good one."

And then he lunged at me.  Whoops.

But Lauren stepped in: "HEY!  You don't talk to ladies like that!"

And the guy stepped back sheepishly.  "You're so right, I'm really sorry." 

WHAT?!  Okay, I have been out of the South too long.  I still can't believe THAT'S what calmed him down. 

The next day we did exactly what I had asked:

1) Eat delicious and fattening breakfast somewhere (crème Brule French toast, yum!)
2) Lay out by the pool (four hours of Vitamin D!)
3) Mani/pedis (I went with Tropical Punch)

4) Open birthday present (I specified what I wanted -- OPI Axxium in Pretty Pinks and Pales --, because it's my 30th birthday, and when else will I have an excuse to guilt my friends into buying me something expensive?  Do you see a ring on my finger?)
5) Eat a cupcake (care of Sprinkles).
6) Go somewhere yummy for dinner (we ended up eating too many snackies beforehand, but we ended up at Mellow Mushroom Pizza, and that, my friends, is yummy.)

Snackies (Aren't we adultish with our prosciutto and bubbly and cheese and such?)

Birthday salad.  Don't worry, there was plenty of pizza as well!

7) Go to a cool Austin bar.
8) Wear same dress as someone much skinnier than me., that was not part of the plan. 

IMPOSTER!  Or trooper, whichever way you want to look at it. 
I did squeal across the bar at her and made her take a picture with me.

The night portion of my birthday only lasted about an hour and a half.  My friend Jacob, who I've known since his rat tail days in elementary school, happened to be in Austin, so we met up at Key Bar. 

Inside Jacob's Head: Maybe if I don't smile she will stop squealing at everything.

After 30 minutes he wanted to leave because he had a crush on a girl playing an open mic thing somewhere else (yet I haven't seen him in over a year -- boys are so dumb!) (still great seeing him though, and quite a treat on my 30th birthday), so Lauren and I went in search of food, and when I saw Mellow Mushroom I just knew, that would be my Birthday Dinner 2.0.  It was a great choice, and our server gave me free ice cream!  

Blue Bell is the beeeeeeeeest.

Artwork on the wall -- A-Town in A-Town!

 Lauren fell asleep in the booth before the pizza came, so afterwards we called it a night.  It was perfect. :)

The next day we had brunch at Tacos and Tequila, which was $17, and Lauren was very apologetic that it was so expensive.  I began thinking I might need to move to Austin.  (The cheapest brunch I've had in DC is $19, and that wasn't actually in DC but rather in Clarendon.)  Afterwards we shopped the boutiques of South Congress then went to a family friend's house to visit before the day was over.  Her kids had made me a birthday cookie!  Too cute!

LOVE the straw "zero."

The next morning I left for DC, and the weekend just felt way too short.  I did come home to 81 degrees though, so it wasn't such a shock when I stepped outside.

The weekend had no crazy adventures, but it really was the perfect way to ring in my 30s.  Much more dignified than you thought it would be, huh?  Told ya I was just freaking out the past few months.  No more acting like a 20 year old for me until I turn 31


  1. Sounds like the PERFECT birthday weekend! Glad you had such a great time.

  2. You look great, Mary El! So glad that you had a happy birthday!

  3. That sounds like a brilliant birthday weekend...I would have a birthday every week if that were the promised itinerary.

    Glad you had a great time! And Happy Happy (again).