Today, at work, my birthday seemed to be the hot topic. My friends keep asking me what I'm doing for the birthday. My mom wants to know what I want. My beautiful and loving girlfriend whom I love dearly wants to know what I want for a present (she wants to be mentioned in a blogpost every once in a while - there you go, honey).
OK, so I guess it's time to bite the bullet; call a spade a spade; stare in to the deep, dark abyss: I'm going to be thirty in forty days, four hours and twenty four minutes.
Now, I'm a pretty happy 29 year old and I imagine I'll be a pretty happy thirty year old but when you change the numerator on your age, it's a big deal (I know it's not a numerator but fuck you, you young whippersnapper, you knew what I meant). Going from 9 to 10 was exciting, 19 to 20 was more exciting because 21 followed. Now, it's less exciting and it will get less so as I continue on (when I turn 40 I'll be nostalgic for 30, I'm sure).
Now, there's a lot of great things about getting older: you make more money, you get settled down and you know who you are. You also lose possibilities - I have to accept I will never be a rock star or a power forward for the New York Knicks (well I could probably play on the Knicks these days (by the way, Isiah, take the three game streak and shove it up your ass)) and I'm also that much closer to death - you're eyebrows also grow unfathomably long and your ears decide they want their own hair as well. Now, taking a step back: the former is great and the latter isn't really devastating. In any case, I'm definitely beginning to move into a new phase of my life and much like December 31st isn't really any different from January first, it's a marker.
As a soon-to-be thirty year old, I figured I was too old for at least one thing. Sixteen year old girls. And social networking sites. I was 25 when I reluctantly joined Friendster at the behest of a friend. At 27, I joined Myspace - again at the urging of another friend. Both were entertaining and it was a good way to keep up with people from your past you wouldn't otherewise speak to. At 29, when encouraged to join Facebook, I answered: "I'm too old for that stuff".
Well, a few days ago a roommate of Open Bar....I guess we don't use proper names here so I'll just call him The Angry Young Man or TAYM for short, oh, there he is now:
Anyway, TAYM told me a guy that worked for me 3 1/2 years ago had old pictures posted on Facebook. I asked how I could see them and he countered, join Facebook. Faced with the dilemma of such a juvenile endeavor, I hesitated but decide to go for it - I joined.
Well, my friends, I have to say you're never too old for Santa Claus, The Simpsons, masturbating or social networking sites. It's a great way to keep in touch with people and Facebook is particularly dope. Friendster was cool but everyone left for Myspace. Myspace was OK but, it had a sketchy thing going on or something.
Facebook is dope because, mad people are on it but it's not sketchy. It's also cool because there are mad games on it. Remember 'Oregon Trail'? Yeah, it's still fun. Unfortunately Open Bar died in my wagon in the rockies. I marked his tombstone 'Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee'. I also currently have six open scrabble games and I'm able to stay in contact with former aquainances. You know, those people who you want to know what's going on in their lives but don't really want to see or actually speak to. It's really a great thing.
So I joined the site and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I eventually gained access to the pictures from four and a half years ago and it was good to reminisce, however, there was one glaring thing. I was a good looking guy then and now I'm just fat.
Here's me then.
Here's me now.
I have a couple of things to say on this topic, first of all it sucks to get fat. Second of all, mad non fat people seem to wonder how someone gets obese. Now, I'm probably like forty pounds overweight at least, I'm not like boom baba boom baba boom fat, but I'm a hefty guy and used to not be, so now I know.
Before I answer the 300 pound question (no I' not 300 pounds), I have an observation to make.
There are certain social rules people seem to follow, which they won't point out if you're bald or dumb or ugly or retarded or missing a limb. Two things, however, people feel good about saying are 1. Asking you when you're going to get married if you've been dating a girl for more than a year and a half (kind of a personal question, don't you think?) and 2. Pointing out that you're fat. About a a year ago, this woman I used to work with saw me on the subway. Now, she was like 4'6" and was drunk all the time -- kind of, let's say, rough around the edges. She saw me and said, "Damn, man you got FAT!" I said, "Yeah but you're still a fucking drunk midget". She looked at me, hurt. Why is one worse than the other? I guess people feel like being fat is a sign of laziness, and I suppose in a way (OK in a big way) it is.
So how does a formerly good-looking guy let it all go? What? I can't say I was pretty cute? Well did you get voted Homecoming King.....and get booed off of the gym floor for being white? No? OK then, you unpopular ugly motherfucker!
Well, it happens slowly. You get a job after college, you drink, you eat after you drink, you sit in a cubicle all day and that drains your energy. After work you go home and eat and don't feel like going to the gym. And so it goes, and so it goes.
One day, you're 20 pounds overweight and are a little upset but don't do much. Then one day you're 40 and mortified. You feel bad about yourself but have built up bad habits and they're hard to break. You can break them but it feels hopeless and after a week or two you fall into bad habits again.
Well, having gotten a glimpse of what I've been, I'm trying to do something about it. I joined Weight Watchers and am, tonight, in front of all the loyal readers of Wheeeere's Luke, committing to losing 40 pounds by August 1, 2008. I'm going to make my weigh-ins a recurring thing both to keep up my commitment and to give you a healthy dose of schandenfreude.
So, I'm going to my first meeting on Tuesday. I'm going to keep up casual acquaintences, trim my eyebrows, ears and nose, get in shape and make 30 a kick-ass year!
(And don't forget to watch the funny video with the monkey right below!)