It finally came, that dreaded time of the year where I’m reminded that I’m another year older and still have a list of “To Do’s” before my thirties. However, this wasn’t just any old birthday, it was my 30th birthday and all I could see were my twenties flashing before me. To make it a special occasion my wife planned a trip to Baltimore this past weekend. We decided to take in as much of the city life as possible and expected nothing but relaxation. What we didn’t expect was a night filled with partying that would make even the hardest of rock-stars cringe. OK, well maybe not to that extreme but eventful nonetheless.
We arrived at the hotel and proceeded to check-in with the receptionist. While pulling up our reservation she wished us a Happy 30th Anniversary. (My wife had noted in our reservation that I was celebrating my 30th birthday). I looked up confused correcting her that it was actually my 30th birthday. Without hesitation or logical thought she exclaimed “Oh so sorry, easy mistake.” What do you mean easy mistake, I thought. I would of had to get married in the womb for it to be my 30 year anniversary!! Did I look older than thirty or was she just reading on a third grade level? I couldn’t tell so I decided to let it go. We proceeded up to our room where there was a bottle of champagne waiting and a giant card that read, “Happy 30th Anniversary, congrats on your milestone!” and signed “From your dedicated hotel staff!” Milestone huh? Somewhere the birthday gods were having a laugh at my expense. Once over that hill, pun intended, we unpacked and made our way to the aquarium. It was fun to walk around watching the simple life of sea creatures and making fun of the parents with screaming kids. Very little amuses us but when we need a “pick-me up” we tend to people watch. We started to get hungry and stopped in at a local restaurant’s happy hour. We piled on the drinks and four dollar appetizers and just enjoyed each others company. When happy hour ended, we moved our party of two to a local dueling piano bar. Being a little intoxicated, we found the right building but entered the wrong bar and crashed a DJ party. My wife went straight up to the DJ’s table and asked where the piano bar was. He gave us directions and my wife, being the character she is, moon-walked out of the bar yelling at the DJ, “Nice beats dude but we got to split!” Yes, this actually happened and yes her moonwalk was perfection. We eventually found our destination and it was not what we expected. What we thought was a lounge type piano bar was more of a piano bar/dance party USA mix. Piano players would take requests from patrons and perform sing-along classics, like Bennie and the Jets, I Love Rock N’ Roll, and of course Piano Man. As they say, when in Rome do as the Romans and that’s exactly what we did. Drinks went down smooth, fast friends were made, and we owned the dance floor. It got around that I was celebrating my 30th and I was brought on the stage to shake my “groove thang” (as someone put it) to the Thong Song… and I boy did I shake it… all of it. At one point, I even thought it was a good idea to sing the Spice Girls smash hit “Wannabe” with one of the performers, something I can never take back. Needless to say we were back in our twenties and celebrating like college students. Eventually our night was winding down but before it could end I was brought back on stage to partake in a farewell performance. This is was done in the style of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” with my crew of new friends. I didn’t think my body could shimmy like that but I’m sure Ms.Turner would have been proud! Ending on such a high note we knew it was time to head back to our hotel. We finally made it back to our room and thought it would be a great idea to open a bottle of wine but my wife insisted she need to shower first. She turned on the water but we ended up in the sitting area of our room talking about our night. All the while not realizing the shower was still on. After about twenty minutes my wife made her way to the bathroom to find the entire floor flooded with water. The tub stopper was in the closed position and the water had overflowed! I ran in to see my wife on the floor laughing. In a drunken panic mode I spent the next couple hours sopping up water and having my wife squeeze out the towels while she sat in the tub. I even stumbled to the front desk asking for towels while wearing two different shoes and trying not to slur my words. Looking back I think, at this point, reliving the “younger” days had finally come to an abrupt end.
The morning seemed to come fast and I woke up to rays of sunshine that broke through the small opening in the curtain. For a second, I forgot where I was but then last nights festivities began to race through my mind. I quickly got up and ran to the bathroom, but not before checking on my fellow party animal, to see the status of our small flood. All looked okay, except for the pile of towels bunched in the corner and hanging in inconspicuous areas around the room. After all was said and done I have to say I learned something that night. We are all meant to age and maybe it’s because we need to be open to new opportunities and prepare for another phase of life. I dreaded my thirties but in hindsight I’m glad my twenties, and the Spice Girls, are in the past. I survived a night with a new generation of party people but next time I might not be so lucky.