Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Turning 29...And We All Know What Comes Next: The Annual Nevin Barich Birthday Blog

I got my new driver's license photo the other day. During my latest renewal process, I was required to come into the DMV and thus a new photo was taken, replacing the the license photo I had carried for the last 10 years.

I looked at the photos, putting both side by side. There were many similarities. The sparkling eyes. The adorable dimples. And that smile. God, I got great teeth. (thank you, braces) But though both photos looked at me with youthful exuberance, one thing was clear:

I was getting older.

Perhaps it's not completely noticeable to the naked eye. My hair isn't gray, I'm too young for wrinkles, and aches and pains -- last I checked -- aren't captured by the camera.

But I can see it. Little, almost imperceptible signs that age has begun to slowly creep in. A line or so around the eyes. The littlest dash of weariness. A look that says, "I haven't been 'there.' But I've been somewhere."

New driver's license photos never lie.

Today, Aug. 6, I turn 29. One more year of being in my 20s before...


Here's something interesting I've discovered about being a year away from 30. Sympathy... is nowhere. People who have passed 30 have been there and done that, and are jealous that you still have some of your 20s left to enjoy. Younger people see a glimpse of what's in store for them and avoid you like the plague. And people your age ... well, they're wallowing in their own self-pity and thus have no free time to wallow in yours.

My 20s are nearing an end and I'm alone. Just me and my driver's license photo.

So as I enter my last year of "younger than 30", I reflect -- as I often do -- on previous years. My 20s were not nearly as wild as some people, but nor was it dull and filled with shuffleboard and iced tea. Among my 20s memories:

---Traveling to Europe.

---Speaking in front of 1,000 people.

---Getting into physical altercations at not one, but two Subway restaurants.

---Falling in love.

---Getting heart broken.

---Falling in love again.

---Heart rebroken.

---Getting it right eventually.

---Sitting at the 50-yard line of a Raiders game.

---Meeting Oscar De La Hoya (I'm taller than him).

---Being threatened by a pro boxer because his girlfriend smiled at me (true story).

---Playing $100 hands of blackjack at The Mirage.

---Being asked by a hooker if I wanted her for dessert following my McDonald's dinner (I politely declined).

---Walking on the grass of Dodger Stadium.

---Discovering DVR.

---Getting my own apartment.

And finally.

---Learning to make eggs.

These memories, and many more, have been accumulated during my 20s. Who knows what other memories I'll incur for 29? Perhaps I'll learn to make omelets.

And as I begin my final younger-than-30 year, I recently found myself wondering: Could I still do it? Could I, at 29, still handle -- mentally and physically -- some of the things I went through over the past nine years?

And the answer came to me during a recent visit to my local In N' Out.

I went to refill my diet coke cup when I accidentally bumped into someone 10 years or so my junior. Some of the soda in his own cup got onto his pants; no big thing, as accidents will happen (plus, his pants were black). But this kid, no older than I was during my previous driver's license photo, wouldn't let the matter drop.

"Yo, you spilled on my pants!" the lad declared.

"Sorry about that," I said. "It was an accident."

"You gonna pay for my dry cleaning?" he demanded.

"Am I what?"

"Gimme some money to pay for this, boy."

This kid wasn't even 10 when I was turning 20, and yet I'm "boy." But, based on previous Subway restaurant experience (where I ended up sprawled on the floor courtesy of a left hook to the jaw. At least, I think it was a left. The whole incident is a bit hazy) I wisely decided to walk away.

But the kid wouldn't let up.

"Where's my money, punk? Where's my money? Hey, I'm talkin' to you, %$*^%$."

I stopped.

I don't like being called %$*^%$.

So I turned around.

Took a sip of my diet coke.

Walked right back up to him.

And said:

"Do I look like I give a damn about your pants."

I didn't ask it.

I said it.

At my age, you learn to say things.

And this kid.

Backed the %$*^%$ up.


I could still do it.

Score one for a line or so around the eyes.

And now for this week's:


I'm turning 29. In a year, I'll be 30. What the %$*^%$ do you want?

( Where elders like me are respected and revered.)


Amber said...

Happy birthday!!!

Ah, the dreaded 29. It seems like a dot in my rearview mirror.

As someone who is closer to 33 than 32 (barf), and who does indeed have grey hair (nothing a little hair dye can't fix), allow me to give you the following sage words of wisdom:

Being 30+ rocks. No, seriously. Looking back now, I realize that while there were certainly good things about being in my 20's, the 30's are where it's at. I know who I am, where I'm going and how to get there. My 20's now seem like a blur of flailing around, trying to reach some goal and having no idea WTF I was doing. The 30's are awesome. Really.

As an aside, I have not heard the Subway fight stories. I need more information!

Have a great birthday Nev!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Don't dread the years coming! You have done alot so far and you take yourself seriously. You have goals for yourself and plans. It would be a shame if your only accomplishment was the NNA but it isn't. You got good things plan in the future.

P.S. I am glad you punked that kid who speaks ebonics or whatever. I would have bash his head in right in front of his friends but hey that's me. Possibly take his girlfriend too.


P.P.S. I wrote this on my iPhone.

Stephanie said...

And the lord looked upon his creation and he saw that it was good.

Happy Birthday, bizatch.

Sven said...

As a fellow Augustian birthday I salute you (turned 31 on august 8th). Here's something for ya. I really hate these lists but was surprised to find I'm up to 25. I figured I'd be way lower than that. I'm not what I would consider an "exciting" guy. Think I may start my own list based on things that I've already done.

Defeated an Avatar of Demogorgon? check...