I turn 30 years old next month. I’ve been spending my time leading up to my birthday anxiously vacillating along the terror spectrum. One minute I’ll be totally ambivalent about getting older, and the next I’m frantically pulling out gray hairs and staying out until all hours of the night like a petulant teenager. The Big Man tells me that I’m overreacting, says that turning 30 isn’t the end of the world. He speaks from experience, because he is already old. He is exactly 11 months older than me, which is something I take great pleasure in reminding him. The older we get, the more it feels like he’s test driving old age for me before I get there, and letting me know that getting older is actually more fun than I thought. It’s comforting in an anxiety-ridden sort of way.
Coupled with the fact that we are now Officially Old, and knowing that our childless days are (hopefully?) waning, I seem to enjoy getting my drank on now more than ever. I drink much less now than I did when I was younger and dumber, but I lately I take much more pleasure in it. At 22, I was all about drinking to Get My Money’s Worth, and invariably that left me lying around the next morning dying from a broken head and a mouth that tasted like old sand. Now, at 29-almost-30, I’m more choosy with what I drink. I’m happier to spend the money on high-quality drinks. The only exception to this rule is that it is impossible to watch a football game while drinking anything other than Bud Lite in a bottle. (Don’t give me that look, I don’t make the rules. I just follow them well.)
The Paloma is a cocktail that gives me a definite air of superiority whenever I drink it. It’s refreshing and delicious, and together, grapefruit and tequila only highlight each other’s best traits. The grapefruit tastes sweeter against the smokiness of the tequila. The drink recipe itself is an easy combo: grapefruit juice, fresh lime, tequila and club soda. Salt rim. A cutesy striped straw. And a very relaxed afternoon for this soon-to-be 30 year old.