The Perfect Time to Marry, the Perfect Place to Drink

I was 30 when Toney and I were married, and 33 when our first youngling was born.  I feel like both things happened at roughly the right age for me.  I didn’t really plan it that way (I don’t usually dabble in planning), it just kind of occurred.  And I’m satisfied with the timeline.

Oh, sometimes I wish I was a little younger, in relation to the boys.  I don’t know why, really.  It’s not like I’m a crippled-up old man, or anything.  It’s probably something to do with my dad.  When he was 47 (my current age) I was already 25.  He just turned 69, and still seems the same as he’s always been.  And it’s a blessing to have my parents around – and coherent – for so much of my life, it really is.

When my kids are 47, however, I’ll probably be a pile of ashes inside an urn, or hollering non-stop belligerence and shitting through some alternative opening.  I can’t really see myself as a cool and healthy oldster, walking on the beach with a long stick or whatever.  No, I’m probably going to be one of those hollering belligerence types.

So, it would be nice to be a little closer in age to our kids.  But I wouldn’t have wanted to marry any younger, so it’s sort of a contradiction.  I’m not making any grand proclamations here, I’m just talking about myself.  But it would’ve been a big mistake if I’d married in my twenties.  Big.  Mistake.

I had to get some things out of my system, you see.  I needed to go wild for a few years, and hang out in rock clubs and howl at the moon.  If I’d been pinned-down during that time, I would’ve been a miserable son of a bitch, and probably completely intolerable.

I know plenty of people make it work, but I don’t think I could’ve.  I was two completely different people at ages 20 and 30, and the transformation was not pretty.

My folks got married right out of high school, and so did most of their friends.  It was a different time, everybody says, and I guess that’s true.  Society expected different things from people.  But what about immaturity, self-absorption, and a prolonged history of bad decisions?  Where was the love for those particular rites of passage?

Can I get an amen?!

A million years ago I read an interview with Paul Simon.  He said he believed people shouldn’t get married until they’re at least thirty, and have lived for a year or more in a different country.  At the time I rolled my eyes at the comment, because I thought it was pretentious.  But it’s probably not too far off from my current view on the subject.

The part about living in a different country is possibly his way of saying “see things, educate yourself, grow up.”  Or maybe he meant exactly what he said?  I don’t know.  But I’m a big proponent of allowing yourself time to explore.

What do you think?  Is there a right time for people to get married and have kids?  Or does it all depend on the individual?  Use the comments link to share your thoughts.

And speaking of my twenties, and “exploring,” here’s a bar where I logged many, many hours.  It’s called College Hill Sundries, and is located in Greensboro, NC.

When I was spending all my money there, it was a beer bar.  They didn’t sell wine or liquor, just beer.  It was pretty shabby inside, with a fantastic line-up of eccentric regulars, and an incredible jukebox.  I used to drink Rolling Rock longnecks there, for $1.75 each, and I simply loved that place.

I hear it’s a little different now, but I don’t know.  I haven’t been back in almost ten years.

And that’ll be the second part of today’s Question:  What makes a perfect bar?  What must a quality drinkery offer, and what must it NOT offer?  Tell us about it in the comments.

And I won’t be able to update tomorrow, I’m afraid, but I’ll shoot for Friday.  So, I’ll see you guys then.

Have a great day!

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So, who is this guy?

Thanks for stopping by! My name is Jeff Kay, I was born while JFK was president, and it's all very embarrassing and corny. Today I'm a suburban husband and father, who is sometimes accused of being a bit tightly-wound. The West Virginia Surf Report! is my creative outlet, and insurance policy against completely losing my shit. I hope you'll stick around and participate in the lively community of geniuses and curmudgeons who hang out here every day. I love a full 87% of them! And while you're at it, please follow me at Twitter and Facebook.

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