What Vegas Taught me about Being 30

I went to Vegas over the weekend to see my favorite band, 311, performing live two days in a row for March 11th, a holiday by the 311 Nation’s standards. The weekend consisted of a little drinking, a little gambling, great music and Panda Express. Vegas changes on a monthly basis (maybe even weekly) and it looks a lot different than it did 9 years ago when Ivana, Brett, Todd and I went out for spring break. This last weekend, I had only planned to have a good time: I hadn’t planned on having an epiphany. But, that’s how epiphanies happen: they come when you least expect them. The awe they create is in the sheer unexpectedness of their arrival.

What I knew when I was 21:

You can walk down the strip and drink at the same time.

If you’re a pretty girl, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on drinks.

Gambling is fun.

Waiting in line for clubs is better with drinks, unless you have money, are with people who have money or are a pretty girl, in which case you can skip ahead to the front.

There is never one place you have to be: the whole city is pretty awesome.

High-heeled shoes were not meant for comfort.

What I know now that I’m 30:

Headless Lenin statue

You can still walk down the strip and drink at the same time; but you can afford better drinks and hold your alcohol better since your liver has had so much more practice. Also, doing high knees across Las Vegas Boulevard, while funny, isn’t very safe. And mooning the drivers is illegal.

If you’re a funny girl, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on drinks. Being pretty doesn’t hurt either, but funny lasts longer and has less expectations.

Gambling is fun if you win. It totally sucks if you lose. 30 and broke isn’t fun. 21 and broke is normal. 30 and broke is sad.

Who goes to clubs? I don’t want some slouch sweating all over me: I have a husband for that! Also, who waits in lines? Unless I’ve got a ticket and they’re collecting it at the entrance, and I’ve got a seat somewhere inside, I’m not waiting in a line.

The city is still pretty awesome.

High-heeled shoes are not meant for long-term use. Girls in Vegas seem to remember this at 4 am and walk around without shoes. Walking around barefoot is disgusting; which is why I wore Converse shoes all weekend.

Wait! Did I really do that? I wore tennis shoes in Vegas all weekend? What has happened to me? My 21-year-old self is shocked and dismayed while my 30-year-old self struggles to explain that it’s just not worth it anymore. I give up. The young person in me refuses to acknowledge growing older. The 30-year-old me is super satisfied with it. I looked around at many lovely ladies wearing dresses I would love to be able to shove my rhino trunks into and still look good. But, there were no pretenses anymore: who did I need to look good for? I don’t have to worry about anything. I’m married. I’m 30. I just want to see the band!

311 on 3/11 Day!

Speaking of which, that concert was like a high school reunion, plus or minus a few years. I’ve been a fan for 17 years and have been seeing 311 in concert for 13 years. It stands to reason that in 10 years, I will still be a fan and still be going to their concerts. I’m worried that one day, Nick Hexum is going to wear a 311 hat on stage and have to sit on a stool to play. The horror! But, the shows have gotten progressively better over the years, so even if he has to sit on a stool, I bet he’s still going to get the crowd on their feet, even if we won’t be heading toward the mosh pit anymore. And as a warning to my 40-year-old self, at no time are fanny packs acceptable, even if they are convenient!

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One thought on “What Vegas Taught me about Being 30

  1. I love it. The 21-year-old me occasionally looks on in horror at the 34-year-old me who wears shoes that fit well and are comfortable, and prefers to hang out with 3-4 people instead of going to clubs. Though the 34-yo me sometimes looks back in horror at what the 21-yo me was willing to do ….

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