Turning 30 wouldn’t be so scary if -30- didn’t mean “the end.” I blame journalists. Except I’m a journalist. So I guess it’s all my fault. As usual.
Today is my 30th birthday.
I’ve been dreading it for months. A lot of months. In cat years, that’s, like, a really long time.
Not just because my grand plan to pretend as if it weren’t happening by procuring a passport, fleeing the country and jetting to Germany to visit an old friend living abroad fell flat because of mismatched schedules and prior commitments.
Not because, in lieu of a fabulous European getaway, my actual gift to myself was cat toys for Teva and Isabel. Not because my other gift to myself was paying my annual car insurance premium in full. And not because my other-other gift to myself was laser hair removal because some of my follicles are apparently super psyched about getting older.
Nonetheless, I’m embracing the ripe adult age of 30. I’m wiser and happier. More experienced. More comfortable in my own skin than ever before. Also? I have to believe that Tina Fey would not have named her awesome-sauce sitcom “30 Rock” if 30 didn’t, in fact, rock. Tina Fey would never lead me astray.
But I’d been fearing this milestone because I was fretting facing it alone. That I wouldn’t have a partner to wake me up with a kiss at the crack of noon, look into my sleepy eyes and whisper “Happy birthday, beautiful.” Or “Happy birthday, baby.” Or “Happy birthday, beautiful baby.” Which sounds kind of childish, but whatever, back off, my imaginary lover can call me whatever she wants because I’m accommodating.
Something unexpected happened on the way to 30, though. I started this blog in February, fully believing it would be yet another endeavor that keeps me sequestered late at night in my apartment, secluded, solo and stark naked Wait. Doesn’t everyone blog in the nude? Just me, then? All right.
Somehow – and truly, I don’t know how or why – some of the world’s most incredible people have found their way here, bringing so much love into my life and overwhelming me daily with their awesomeness.
So many folks have reached out to me, sending along stories about themselves and photos of their pets. Several of you have even said that you don’t think of me as Jessica, but rather “Alone … with cats,” which is oddly flattering. I mean, I’d prefer to be known as “Great … in bed.” But that’s my own fault for lacking foresight.
When I fail at blogging and Twitter, which happens *a lot* because I’m kind of a perfectionist at failing, you guys tweet and email to say you miss me. And when I take a break from real-life failing to then blog about my failures, which is sort of a fucked-up but self-sustaining strategy, you’re excited to see me and get all riled up like my cats do when I come home, hopping into the windows of my apartment and rubbing their furry little faces on the screens in anticipation. And yes, I just compared you all to Teva and Isabel. Which *obviously* is the highest compliment I could ever possibly pay you. You’re welcome. Your faces probably aren’t furry, though. Unless you’re one of the three men who read this blog. Or you have some sort of terrible hormonal disorder. Or you’re over 30 and haven’t gotten laser hair removal yet. It’s on sale this month.
When I was feeling glum over the summer, my kindhearted Twitter wife Meredith Blumoff (who just started a fantastic blog of her own) mailed me a tin all the way from Atlanta containing the most scrumptious strawberry shortbread cookies. They were baked in the shape of hearts but didn’t travel well and arrived all broken and sad, which was pretty much a metaphor for how I was feeling at the time. The treats, which were sent through the postal service in a generic box by a total stranger who also forgot to include a note, were mostly reduced to a white powdery substance that I suspected might be anthrax. Really tasty anthrax. Maybe people wouldn’t hate terrorists so much if they attacked us with baked goods. Unless the baked goods weren’t delish. That would really hit us where it hurts. I should probably stop giving advice to al-Qaeda.
In an effort to repay some of the kindness you all have shown me, I’ve taken to playing matchmaker with readers. A gal named Aurora told me she’d recently settled in San Francisco and was feeling a bit friendless. I entroduced (get it? e-introduced? can we make that a thing?) her to Sarah, and suggested the two of them hang out. I never heard from Aurora again, but Sarah’s still blogging, so I’m assuming Sarah is a serial killer and Aurora is dead. Or Aurora has been too busy to email me. Either seems plausible.
Readers from all around the world also have invited me to come visit. They may be joking, but I take everything literally and I will totally be that blogger who passes herself off as excessively overweight in order to buy an extra plane ticket – Teva and Isabel don’t do cargo – shows up on your doorstep unannounced and stays until you have to resort to awkward conversations such as “you’ve worn out your welcome.” And “we’re contacting the authorities.” And “we thought you were kidding when you said you blogged in the nude.” I totally wasn’t.
So, no, I didn’t make it to Europe for my birthday. But I travel around the globe every day when I read the blogs of people who live far away that I’ve grown so incredibly close to.
And yes, today I’m 30. And single.
But you guys have taught me that I’m not alone.
I’m Alone … with cats.