Turning thirty is a mother. All of a sudden your body is falling apart before your eyes; if things continue to progress at this pace, you'll be in a nursing home within five years.
For women, gravity gets stronger, and things start to droop. Although science tells us that body composition changes, and uses made-up words like "collagen" and "fatty foods" to explain this female phenomenon, as someone who would like to have sex in the future, I stand by women everywhere in blaming it on gravity. At thirty, women join health clubs that they use for two months until they find some way to get the clubs' collection departments off their case. They also try Botox, paralyzing their faces and other portions of their bodies so that they look just like they did at eighteen -- if they had spent that year with a look of fear frozen on their faces because they'd just walked in on their parents having sex.
Guys are more laissez-faire regarding the aging process, primarily because we think that if we can squeeze into 34-waist jeans we are still studly in appearance -- even if said jeans have to be held up by suspenders because our beer guts hang over them halfway to our knees. We start to grow hair in unusual places like the ears, back and forehead; if our hairlines weren't receding at the same time, it would only be a couple of months before we looked like Sasquatch. Though that new hair remains jet black, our original hair starts graying. Women say that makes us look distinguished, but I suspect they're using the same logic we use when we fault gravity on their behalf.
1201 East Colfax Avenue
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And this whole aging process gets a jump-start because your so-called friends insist on taking you out on your thirtieth birthday, thus ensuring that you wreak ten years' worth of damage upon your body in a single night.
J.P., a favorite yet untitled member of the Institute of Drinking Studies, hit thirty the other night. Because his girlfriend had wisely left the state in order to avoid any responsibility for the evening, it fell to the rest of us to beat him into maturity at the Irish Snug (1201 East Colfax Avenue). We here at the Institute highly recommend this bar as a great place to mourn the end of your thirtieth year. The main room is wide open, so all the other patrons can see you stumbling around the bar when you can't hold your eyes open any longer because people insisted on buying you group shots -- even after JP could barely find his lips with his glass. And the patio opens right onto Colfax, so you can take your antics outside, where they won't seem that out-of-hand among the equally drunk passersby.
The clear highlights of the Irish Snug, however, are the two "confessionals" set up behind the bar -- tiny rooms separated from the rest of the room by heavy doors and stained glass. These spaces are ideal for taking a break from the hubbub of the always busy bar in order to share a quiet moment with a close friend. They are even better suited for a couple of drunk adults who have had too many (as if there were such a thing) Black and Tans or other adult beverages, and need to steal away and do something they'll probably regret the next morning. We are a liberated group dedicated to research, so a few of us went into one to prove who was and who was not wearing underwear. (The guys were not, which always baffles women who do not have the basic primal instinct to scratch themselves at any given moment or die.) And then, as though the similarity to being locked in a closet for two minutes at a high school party wasn't strong enough, the Head of Pathologic Drinking suggested a game of "Spin the Bottle." Unfortunately, we had no bottle to spare, so we used my cell phone. I hope none of you have been trying to call me since then, because the damn thing still isn't working after falling to the ground every time we spun it.
All in all, the night was a perfect mix of lowered inhibitions and standards, free love, nasty shots, good bar food and a rehashing of our favorite stories at ear-splitting volume. The bar's employees didn't even bat an eye. So the next time you need to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or Saturday night, head to the Irish Snug, a safe haven for those who like to party way harder than they should. Before we go again, though, we're going to have to find J.P. I think we'll start by looking at nursing homes.