I Want to be the Old Guy in the Club
Chris Rock once said: “Every club has that one guy who’s not old, he’s just a little too old to be in the club”…God, I hope that’s me!
I’ll be honest: I don’t see anything wrong with being the “older guy” at the club. I almost see it as a badge of honor. After years of waiting in shitty lines at shitty clubs, with a shitty 20-dollar bill in your pocket, trying to pick up girls with shitty, watered-down buck-a-shots, you’re finally, as a 30-something professional, in a position to afford some of the finer things in life and experience more of what life has to offer (one would hope anyway).
The problem is that somewhere between the adolescent keg parties and the Holy Grail of 30-something debauchery, a cataclysmic shift occurs in most men’s lives: They settle down.
Like some overdue library book, men see their approaching 30s as the appropriate time to hang up their dancing shoes and begin building a responsible nest egg that includes children, a house in the burbs and, ah yes, a wife. Isn’t that what society expects of them, after all?
Problem is, for many of these men, they were so preoccupied with shedding the dreadful stigma of being a 30-something bachelor that they pretty much forgot to take the time to find a woman they actually loved.
Allow me to spell out it for you: MOST people marry for convenience, NOT love.
That’s right, I said it.
On one hand you have a guy whose main concern is finding a decent wife who’ll make a good mother and, ideally, supply a second income. On the other hand, you have a girl so afraid of being labeled an “old maid,” she’ll suddenly lower her standards as she approaches her 30th birthday and take the first decent suitor to come her way. Fat, ugly, she doesn’t care. As long as he brings home a decent paycheck and OKs her every wedding wish, he’s as good as gold. Just like that, she’s ready to trade in six-pack abs and a Bentley for love handles and a two-seat stroller. (More on that here.)
And when these two sad people come together, the result is a messy, sexless, miserable marriage. Mazel tov!
Now here’s the kicker, folks: Society prefers to frown on us bachelors who choose to be single until our 40s and beyond! Hypocrisy, anyone?
It’s a problem I’ve struggled with for years, trying to defend my right to keep partying like it was 1999, while proving to people that I didn’t need a wife, a kid, or a minivan to feel fulfilled. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to get married today so I wouldn’t be alone when I was 70 (marriage isn’t an insurance policy, either, last time I checked).
I first sensed I was onto something while I was having lunch with a friend last year. A Finance VP, he was all business, treating life like one big RFP: goals, target dates, budget, you name it. And he brought that same methodology to his love life. He knew that by a certain date he had to have a certain wife and, together, live in a certain type of house making a certain amount of money. I had no doubt he’d make it all happen.
So there we were, eating our sausage subs, while he broke the news to me that he was tying the knot with the same girl he had dumped a year prior—for not being “The One,” no less—but with whom he had since got back together (not-so-coincidentally right after he turned the big 3-0 and practically slit his wrists in the process). He gave me a million-plus reasons why it was time to marry, although none of them had to do with finding his soul mate, or wanting to spend the rest of his life with the woman he loved. Instead I got a lesson on Economics 101.
I was confused: Was this a marriage, or a merger?
Fast forward to the present day. This same “happily” married man can’t seem to remind me enough of how good I have it: living alone, partying it up and living life, while pointing out how dull his life has become, how boring his wife is, and how much he misses the random hook-ups.
Can adultery be far behind?
And that’s just one example. For the last five years, I’ve seen my circle of guy friends dissolve, each of them falling like dominoes over that inane perception that marriage and kids were a necessary cycle of life.
FYI: I have yet to hear any of them use the word “love.”
Call me crazy, but I can’t believe that in a world filled with fucked up relationships, empty commitments and wandering eyes gone amok, the 30-year-old bachelor is the abnormal one for not wanting to commit to anything other than bottle service reservations.
I’m not saying I always enjoy being a 30-year-old surrounded by snot-nosed delinquents with fake IDs. And I’m also not saying that being the oldest one in the room doesn’t have its share of hiccups; I found that out when I spent an hour hitting on an 18-year-old University freshman, only to discover she was my friend’s niece whom I had once babysat in high school.
But all in all I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin, knowing that I don’t have to settle down because the world tells me to, if my heart’s not in it.
Maybe it is true that everything has its time. And maybe I am just living in Never Never Land. But until a better offer comes along, I’ll be quite content aging gracefully with a drink in my hand and a subwoofer under my feet.