Sit Down Already!

Henry Ford once said in an interview "I never stand when I can sit down." Little did he know that he was reciting the unwritten (until now) mantra of a 30 year-old.

While the debate rages as to whether it is weakness or wisdom, a Triple Decker is one who prefers sitting to standing. While this need is not so evolved that special sitting equipment is required at all times, it is nonetheless a dominant part of at Triple Decker's genetic make up.

Most 30 year-olds first sense this shift at parties, where for some unknown reason they will inexplicably be drawn to the nearest couch or chair and will make their roost there. Where once upon a time standing all night would have been acceptable, a Triple Decker is fine with enjoying a party at a lower altitude. In fact, if one is looking to interact with a 30 year-old at a gathering it is recommended they place themselves at the most comfortable sitting station. This phenomenon is also valuable if one is trying to locate the nearest sitting surface at a gathering - hitch your wagon to a Triple Decker and they will no doubt lead you to the cushioned promised land.

Some Triple Deckers are so hard-wired to find seats, that they will literally sit on the floor if no traditional seats are available. This behavior can be observed at music shows, where any 30 year-old who is lucky enough to have floor seats will most likely be sitting on the floor in between the musical acts (especially if there is no barricade or post for them to lean against).

After one turns 30, it is also more likely that they will appreciate specialty shops and other technologies that enhance ones sitting experience. The living space of any Triple Decker is likely to include enhanced chairs, pillows, prosthesis, or a combination of the three. There is also a strong correlation between turning 30 and ending up on the mailing list for the Relax The Back Store catalog.

A unique paradox of the Triple Decker's desire to sit is highlighted by the fact that many of them already have jobs that require them to sit for most of the day anyway. Not only that, but sitting for prolonged periods also creates stiffness, which in turn necessitates more stretching. However, because stretching is another favorite pastime of the 30 year-old, some believe that the heightened impulse to sit is simply a subconscious desire to stretch more often, but this has yet to be proven...

There Goes the Gray-borhood...

Once upon a time, pre-30, discovering a single gray hair was a novelty. It was akin to finding a long whisker sprouting from one's pre-pubescent cheeks. And just like that child with the long whisker, a pre-Triple Decker might even proudly show off their solo gray hair. That little gray rogue could serve as a dandy conversation starter or party-trick, and some brave souls might even abstain from plucking or concealing it!

Yet once the clock strikes 30, the end is nigh...

Those little gray travelers that once seemed like silly, lost tourists in the land of pigmented hair have become advance scouts for an invading Gray army. Once a few grays get settled in a hostile takeover is imminent and options are limited to Triple Deckers. Some may opt for immediate removal of any gray hairs by plucking them out by themselves, or through the help of a trusted confidant. Dyeing or other OTC gray-concealing options are also available for any 30-year old who wants their to maintain their monochromatic mane (or facial hair).

Some Triple Deckers choose swing to the other side of the spectrum and embrace the grays, deciding to take advantage of this transition period. For males that means showing off their salt and pepper temples to attract women who respond to that "father figure/professor" look, and for women it manifests in the "silver fox" look that gives off the vibe of a proud, wizened sorceress or yogini who's ready to not only manage their stock portfolio but also enjoy a good tumble in the rough.

The other interesting phenomena of this graying stage is how it affects Triple Deckers psychologically. Many will refuse to pluck their gray hairs as they believe in the superstition that plucking one will cause ten more to spring up in it's place (even though this myth has been debunked as nothing more than pro-gray propaganda). Other Triple Deckers will add to their already abundant vitamin intake such hair-friendly nutrients as folic acid and niacin to help stem the gray-tide from within. Others will agressively pursue meditation and/or yoga to immediately lower their stress to pre-gray levels, in the hopes that the gray hairs will retreat and forget their way back to the neighborhood. This last technique most often results in accelerating a different post-30 phenomenon, stress from reducing stress.

Ultimately, there is no correct or incorrect way for a Triple Decker to deal with their gray hairs, and the most secure 30-year olds will take comfort in the fact that graying is a natural process... just like aging, entropy, and of course, death.

Next Stop... The Hall of Fame?

Michael Phelps recently said that he wants to be "out of the water" by the time he's 30.  The Tennis world is currently debating whether the dominating career of Roger Federer, who just turned 27, is nearing its end.  The great running back, Jim Brown, walked away from the NFL at the ripe old age of 29...  What do the stories of these and countless other athletes teach us? That turning 30 means it's time to retire those dreams of playing in the pros.

This is not to say that a professional athletic career can't continue beyond the age of 3o.  Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan both un-retired in their 30s, a 38 year-old won gold in the 2008 Women's Olympic Marathon, and there are seemingly legions of baseball players who play past 30, no matter how un-athletic they seem.  HOWEVER, this is to say that if one is not a world-class athlete before becoming a Triple Decker, turning 30 is not the time to start.

This is an important distinction to make, because a young-man of 29 years, 364 days may still watch the NFL draft and think "I could do that. Maybe I should go out for the local JC team? I've still got all my eligibility..." Yet the day 30 comes, those thoughts no longer have a place in any Triple Decker's head, no matter what any film starring Dennis Quad or Mark Wahlberg says.

The silver lining to this dark athletic cloud is that many sports offer "senior" or "masters" events that Triple Deckers can still look forward to competing in, and athletic glory can still be reached in rec leagues all over the world.  What Triple Decker needs to be Super Bowl MVP when they can be carried off the softball field on their teammates' shoulders after hitting that game-winning infield single? Just because a 30 year-old can't look forward to their own Lou Gherig farewell speech, doesn't they can't be remembered as the gutsy competitor who laid it all on the line when they blew out their ACL in that co-ed YMCA pick-up game. 

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn...

When one turns 30 a commitment (often subconsciously) is made to a higher standard of overnight accomidations when away from home.  Though some gifted individuals may make this transition at an earlier age, there is no more powerful catalyst than the chronological clock striking 30.

There are a multitude of factors that contribute to the decision that sleeping in youth hostels, in cars, or on floors are no longer acceptable forms of lodging for a 30 year-old.*  Every Triple Decker knows well that to properly recover from even a single night on an unforgiving floor or couch, hours must be added to the next morning's stretching routine.  And heaven forbid a Triple Decker set foot in a youth hostel!  They know they will be the instant object of scrutiny and will most likely be referred to as "that weird 30 year-old in the 16-bunk room" or be accused of being a degenerate serial killer who preys on young hostel dwellers

Many Triple Deckers make it a point of personal pride to treat themselves well as they travel. This is especially true for those who are financially fit, or who at least have some sort of business expense account they can make use of (whether justified or not).  If a Triple Decker is a proud home owner, there is a near-zero chance that they will settle for anything less than full comfort while away from home; "I'm a home-owner! I deserve a bed of my own!," is the mantra of such Triple Deckers.

This sea change in sleeping arrangements explains why so many at or near 30 are well-versed in travel websites, collect travel coupons, and have multiple rewards club memberships; so they may experience the greatest amount of comfort while traveling.  They also are careful to stock their own dwellings with air mattresses, sleeper sofas, guest rooms, or some combination thereof so that they may pay it forward when other 30 year-olds come to visit them.

* Exceptions to this rule are granted for extreme financial hardship or inebriation.

Birthday Booze

In earlier, younger years, material birthday gifts are greatly anticipated and desired. Yet when 30 approaches, one usually has more than enough "stuff" to fill their lives,  and if a baby shower or wedding is on the horizon then more objects may soon be on their way.  

This appears to be the reason why alcohol becomes the gift du jour for the Triple Decker.  Starting with age 21, "buying you a drink" becomes a birthday custom, but by age 30, the gifts of alcohol become even more specialized.  Unique wines, select bottles of top shelf alcohol, even illegal foreign liqours may be bestowed upon one at their 30th birthday and beyond.  Those who survive their 30s can look forward to even more exotic alcoholic gifts at their 40th and 50th birthday.

This phenomenon may also help explain why Triple Deckers show a heightened interest in fully stocked home bars and wine tasting parties.  They also are more likely to be spotted enjoying a neatly filled sherry glass rather than a frothing Oktoberfest-sized stein.  Of course, the irony is that this appreciation of alcohol gained with age is inversely proportional to one's alcoholic tolerance... not to mention the hour one can comfortably stay up "appreciating" said alcohol.

The Art of Stretching

Studies have yet to determine at what age one begins to stretch with vocalization (i.e. yawning, expletives, passing gas), but once 30 approaches, stretching becomes an individual art form.  By the time the line of 30 is crossed, the classic S.S.S. routine (sh*t, shower, shave) is without controversy expanded to include a fourth 'S' for "stretching."

Triple Deckers will memorize their favorite stretching routines, as well as tricks involving door jams, tennis balls, or other inanimate objects that help get to the tightest and most hard to reach areas.  Stretching tips and secrets are freely exchanged between 30 year-olds, all in the name of getting a stiff vertebrae to 'pop' or a pesky hamstring to loosen.  Even non-athletic locations such as airports, movie theatres, offices, even cars, have become fair game for impromptu stretch-outs.  

In fact, to get the most out of all the time needed for extra stretching, many Triple Deckers will take up Yoga as it offers them s 3 for 1 exercise - stretching, working out, and managing the stress of leaving their 20s.  It should be noted however, that 30 year-olds are not advised to dabble in Tai Chi unless they want to be mistaken for much older.

The Absence of Shorts

It's a well known fact that as one ages, one's legs may become skinnier, hairier, veiny-er, and/or less aesthetically pleasing.  Given that fact, 30 still seems a young age to be hiding one's legs to the world... but, as 30 approaches, shorts are less likely to remain in the wardrobe.

While shorts may remain part of the post-30 ensemble for certain activities involving athletics, gardening, or moving around the privacy of one's own home, shorts worn in public have seemingly gone the way of the California Condor - not extinct, but severely endangered.  In fact, some people who have crossed the threshold of 30 are so serious about not wearing shorts, that they will do so even in short-appropriate situations.

The few pairs of shorts that do survive the big 3-0 are usually marked by their cargo pouches (to no doubt hold vitamins or other tools of age) and/or belt loops.  If one wears shorts with a belt and tucks in their shirt on top of that, they are most assuredly beyond 30... and are also probably someone's dad.

(The exception to this rule is if someone is already a parent before they turn 30. In that case they are fully entitled to wear shorts with a belt before becoming a Triple Decker... they've earned that right.)