This is 30

All names in this post are changed to protect the old and innocent.


She felt bad that she kept having to leave me alone at the table. First it was to go get water. And then it was to go order ice cream.

No, she wasn’t extremely hungry or thirsty. She was trying to subdue her tastebuds that were on fire at the moment.

Samantha and I met up for dinner at a place that has take-out chicken sandwiches. She assured me that the tofu sandwiches (for this vegetarian) were also delicious. You can choose the level of spiciness of your sandwich and I ordered mine “medium” while Sam decided to go for “hot.” She said she ate there before and ordered medium but that she felt like it wasn’t spicy enough.

Well, folks, we’ve learned that there is a big difference between “medium” and “hot” at this place. While I was scarfing down my sandwich, she could barely eat hers.

“Kristin, what’s wrong with me? I’m in pain!” she said.

It’s one of those scenes that you want to be laughing at, but it actually didn’t come across as funny to me. I felt bad because there was nothing I could do to help her. (And she clearly was not in the position to be laughing).

“Do you want some of my sandwich?” I offered.

Sam said it was too late. Her mouth was already burning. She went back for more water at the self-serve station and left a little later again to order vanilla ice cream in hopes that the cold cream would off-set the burning sensation in her mouth.

“Is this what it’s like to get old?” she said while half laughing. Or, was it I who said that to try to lighten her mood?

Either way, maybe this is what getting old is like. Most of my friends and I are now 30, or about to approach 30.


I have one friend, Brandy, who just got back surgery last week. Yes, back surgery! And, just like me she is only 30 years old! And, I have another friend, Maggie, who is about to get a colonoscopy because she has been having unresolved gastrointestinal problems.

Maybe this is the 30 that no one talks or writes (or posts on social media) about.

Except that I have been constantly writing and reminding you all about my year-long running injury!

We hear stories or see Facebook posts about Judy from high school’s new baby boy, or Agatha and her husband’s new million-dollar house or Angie’s elaborate wedding in the Bahamas.

We don’t hear the stories about the surgeries, doctor visits or that time your friend Sam could barely eat her dinner because she ordered it too spicy.

So, let’s be real. (I guess) this is 30.


With age comes wisdom — and another cousin cup

Five years ago, all of our family from Hawaii and California spent the holidays here, in Seattle with us. We laughed. We played games. We went to Pike Place. We made a cousin cup.

What’s a cousin cup? It’s a mug with a photo of my brother and I with our cousins. (Poor bro, he is in a family full of all females). I know, it sounds kind of corny, but seriously, I bet you’re jealous you don’t have a cousin cup! I drink out of this mug all the time. Sometimes I can’t find it in the cupboard because my roommates use it too!

This past Christmas, all of us reunited in Seattle once again. We laughed. We played games. We went to Pike Place. And, of course, we took another photo for another cousin cup. (This time it only took like, five shots to get that perfect one where we weren’t blinking).

My brother has definitely gone from looking like a boy to a (um) young adult (scary!) Notice how I did not say “man”? He is my kid brother after all …

My cousins look older — not in the old old way, but that you can tell that they are no longer in high school. And, the youngest … little Ella. She looks “drastically” older but that’s because five whole years can make a big difference in elementary-school kids. (Sigh, they grow up so fast!)

And then there’s me. I’m the oldest.

2012 is on the left. 2007 is on the right. I'm in the (top) middle in both.

2012 is on the left. 2007 is on the right. I’m in the (top) middle in both.

All I can say is: I guess I age well.

I’m excited — and sort of scared — to see what five years from now will look like.