Thirty Something: Vignette / by Deborah Clague

Saturday night. The living room of my living space a makeshift entertainment venue and pagan confessional, where the candidness of subject matter at discussion is directly relative to levels of alcohol consumed. Currently, we were indulging in a 2011 riesling.

The conversation flowed from real estate to career ambitions to, lastly, and always most promising, dating.

The bottle was almost empty. 

"Give me your laptop, I'll show you him."

I handed my Macbook to a friend who proceeded to show me the profile of a man she met online. His digital persona carefully curated to depict an individual hellbent on being viewed as a "badass"; through my eyes though, the motorcycle and excessive tattoos more acutely screamed "midlife crisis". Especially since his listed profession was dentist. The mental gymnastics she performed in regards to imagining her future with him were Olympian-level. I hated to be the Russian judge in this friendship.  

"He's not your type. And besides, he lives in Winnipeg; you live in Saskatoon."

I steered the conversation to another topic as the wine was wearing off and I didn't want to address my own highly questionable tastes. Instead, I excitedly brought up an upcoming trip that I have been immersed in planning: a solo excursion around Korea. Hallyu and the art of k-pop. Bulgogi and the art of not getting ill from street food. I want to rent a bike and risk my neck on their infamously terrible roadways. I will visit the world's "most dangerous tourist trap", the DMZ – all in an effort to prove my own badassery to myself and fight off the sinking feeling that I'm (also) on the verge of a midlife crisis. 

Perhaps I judged the dentist too harshly. 

"Who is Kim Jon-Un?" inquired my friend.