I entered my thirties kicking and screaming, very much like the way I entered the world (based on multiple accounts). I don’t pee on nurses anymore, but that’s beside the point. Old habits die hard when you’re born stubborn and irritable, and thus when I turned thirty I fought vigorously to continue living with the habits of my twenties. I filled my birthday weekend with every bit of debauchery I could think of, granted I had to extend it another weekend to avoid killing myself. Getting old. However, as the past couple of months have gone by I have accepted my fate and am settling in to my thirties as a “dad.”
The transition into “dadhood” or “DILFhood” (depending on which twenty-something woman you ask), not to be confused with actual fatherhood, begins slowly in your late twenties. However, it doesn’t really register until you hit your early thirties. Maybe it’s your body wearing down after years of abuse. Maybe it’s just realizing that you’re getting older and need to get your shit together before you die old and alone. Maybe you’re finally comfortable with being an adult. Maybe it’s all of the above.
The most notable changes begin in your wardrobe. You replace your casual wardrobe with an emphasis on comfort rather than style. I’ll take my stretchy, soft Tommy Bahama shorts and polo shirt over any boutique brand, Ralph Lauren, or Brooks Brothers outfit. Elastic waistbands and airflow are a priority in this case. Don’t forget the penny loafers or New Balances. Maybe a pair of linen pants if you’re on vacation. And dad jeans. Don’t forget the dad jeans.
Although I keep some nice bottles of whiskey for “special occasions,” the majority of my increasingly rare drinking is made up of red wine with the occasional craft beer. Red wine, of course, because it pairs with several common meals of mine and because I like to believe the heart health hype about resveratrol. It’s no longer about getting hammered. Responsible drinking is part of your life during dadhood, and it’s awful. On the bright side, wine gets you just sauced enough to blurt out some quality dad jokes. Did you hear about the guy who didn’t buy anything with velcro? It was a rip off. I used to hate facial hair, but it grew on me. What do you call cheese that belongs to someone else? Nacho cheese. Don’t trust atoms, they make up everything. Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere. I just watched the best dam documentary on beavers. I hate jokes about German sausages. They’re the wurst. And, finally, where does Fonzie like to eat lunch? Chick-Fil-Ayyyyyyyyy.
I take melatonin to regulate my sleep cycle. I’m in bed by nine. I read the morning newspaper with my coffee and read random headlines out loud, punctuated with a “huh.” “Pull my finger” is funny again. I actually enjoy small talk with strangers. I play tennis in actual tennis clothes. I no longer buy Two Buck Chuck—my wine tastes have migrated to Europe. I share my personal finance spreadsheet templates with anyone who actually wants them. Any unsolicited advice I give segues into a nostalgic story. Finally, touristy things appeal to me. So, hit me up if you want to take a bike ride down to the Santa Monica Pier, then we’ll hit up the food trucks and take a long ride back to the hydration station. I may have a few bucks in my fanny pack..