James Wolcott writing about Katie Couric (and referring to her blog entries on this line) from Vanity Fair’s December issue wrote that “no one over the age of 30 should be resorting to all those exclamation marks and capital letters like some juiced-up Crackberry addict.” I thought it was quite a funny and sensible crack at the much-maligned tv diva. I mean, are all those punctuations and capitalizations really necessary for ANYTHING?!!!! Unless your intent is to be rude (which is social suicide in mature and civilized discourse), then there really is no need for it. What lingered in me though, after the initial bite of this juicy barb, was the bar by which Wolcott raised this rule. Thirty apparently is the milestone for crossing over to the new age of soundness in structure and propriety in punctuation. (Maybe 30-year-olds should start running high school papers.)

Then, it hit me. I am turning 30 this year.

I’ll be checking this new box in 6 months. Sometimes, I wish it were as easy to say goodbye to my 20s as it was to my teens. (Only God knows what I did with my teens. Seriously, I can’t remember.) It was such a definitive decade — my big move out west, my coming out, my first great love, my first great heartbreak, my radical reinvention (enough to make me seem like Madonna in the late 90s) among other things — that I feel the need for another 10 to just make sense of it, enough to let it go. But I know I’m not going to be wasting my 30s just living in the past. (I’ve never been one to waste time. Even idling around for webporn is rationalized as creative indulgence in multimedia.) The challenge is always to fully be in the present. It’s bad enough that homos are so ageist. (I might as well be in my old age. Then again, I can always be 29 online for the next 4 years. Heck, I can pass for 27. It seems everyone else lies about their age on their web profiles anyway.) It’s even harder when I realize that it’s not going to be as easy to fall back on my family. (I rarely do anyway — only on money matters.) It’s toughest when I start going all neurotic and start imposing on myself all these delusions of grandeur owed to my new decade. (I’ve already started getting down on myself for still being a studio renter.) But I know that all these petty paranoia are not going to stop me from making the most of the inevitable. Besides, all my friends are in their 30s and it’s just reassuring that they’re all having a grand, old time, pun intended. They’re finding their dream job, buying their own condo, practically getting married. I listen to them and I learn so much. Tim, my bf, is 41 and he’s one of the most well-adjusted people I know. The world doesn’t end after 29. It seems to suddenly start over, refreshing and renewing, in the similar way that a new year begins.

A new year, a new decade. No, not a double whammy but a double whopper.