When I was Thirty

thirtyLast week, I looked in the mirror and noticed there was blood running down my left ear.  Since I’ve been in my sixties, I find myself sprouting long ear hairs, perhaps to make up for those that no longer grow on my head.  I’d probably never notice them if they weren’t distracting to other people, particularly if I’m talking to them in bright light.  It’s disconcerting to have someone surreptitiously glancing at my ears to see what’s glistening in the sunlight as I’m trying to make an important point, so I try to keep them trimmed.  The safe way is to use the electric trimmer but it’s easier to just take them off with my blade razor while I’m shaving.  Which is why my ear was bleeding.  For some reason, I thought, When I was thirty, I never thought I’d cut my ear shaving.  Oh, yeah, there are lots of things I never thought at thirty.

It was 1974.   Muri and I had moved to California three years earlier from Rhode Island to discover that we could actually afford a house here.  We’d recently moved into a brand new house in Yorba Linda that cost $34,000.  Yes, it had more than one room  (When I Was Thirty, I never thought I’d pay more than ten times that for a house in Anaheim Hills). Gasoline cost $.53 a gallon (When I Was Thirty, I never thought I’d pull into a gas station and say, “Give me $60 worth.”   Or that I’d always be pumping my own gas).   Richard Nixon, who’d defeated my guy, George McGovern, in the 1972 presidential elections, was about to resign from office (When I Was Thirty, I never thought I’d have voted Republican in six consecutive elections).  John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulders was a Number One hit when we went to see him at the Greek Theater.

(When I was Thirty, I never thought that there’d be a hit song titled “Niggas in Paris” that would feature lyrics like “muhfuckas“).  MASH was my favorite TV show … Muri and I watched it every single week (When I Was Thirty, I never thought that crap like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “The Deadliest Catch” would make it on TV).   The USC Trojans and Oklahoma Sooners were joint National Champions in football but I didn’t care because I hadn’t started my graduate work at USC.  I was a UCLA fan.  (When I Was Thirty, I never thought how pathetic that was).  The wheels down at the Orange County Adoption Agency were turning and in the fall, they would deliver our first child, Aaron, to us.  (When I Was Thirty, I never pictured myself with a 38 year old son).

Since it’s Top Sites Tuesday, I suppose I’d best salvage Two Thoughts from this reminiscent ramble.  Thought Number OneWhen I was Sixty-Eight, I realized that change is inevitable, so I’d best enjoy the good ones and rollTST with the bad, or else I’d end up a grumpy old man.  And Thought Number TwoWhen I Was Thirty, I never thought I’d be writing … for pleasure … every day on a thing called a Blog.  On a thing called a personal computer … or even a smartphone … and it would be communicated to readers over something called the internet.  And that people would (hopefully) be pushing my button … gently … to make me Number One on something called Top Sites Tuesday #198.  Who’da thunk?

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8 Comments on “When I was Thirty”

  1. Cheryl P. Says:

    That was a fun read, Bud. When you were thirty, I was twenty-one and pregnant with our first child. I would of been laying on the couch sick as a dog with morning sickness listening to all the ins and outs of Watergate. I, too, would of listened to John Denver and I would of already been voting Repbulican. We would of been living in Moline, Illinois in a 3rd floor walk-up, 4 years away from buying our first home. That house was in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. and cost us $49,000.00. We have come close but we have never paid 10 times that amount for a house.

    I,too wouldn’t of ever thought all the other things that you brought up but I always thought I would be happy. And I am.


  2. SandySays1 Says:

    Older eyes – what a post filled with the wisdom of, lets say, maturity. My human says to ask you if you remember your first pay check. He said his wouldn’t pay his phone bill today. By the way the picture I promised to show of my friend Oreo is now posted. He’s a doppleganger for your old B&W kitty.

  3. territerri Says:

    Good memories here. John Denver was introduced to me by a favorite aunt who was in her early twenties when I was a kid. She had the biggest crush on him! And I became a M*A*S*H fan when it was on every day in reruns after I got home from school. I will still drop everything to watch it. In fact, I keep thinking about buying the DVD set.

    Pushed your button!

  4. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    Great post and great thoughts. It’s amazing how time flies and the world is still turning. I remember when a nickel’s worth of gas filled my mini bike.


  5. Trina Says:

    Well, thank you for trimming your ear hair. I hate talking to guys who let the whole shrub look grow from their ear LOL

    It seems so long ago, I’m sure, and so much really has changed. But, MASH is still a better show.


  6. John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulders is one of the happiest songs I’ve ever listened to!

  7. PS: I don’t have that problem with ear hair, but I DO have that problem with chin hair!

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