The Quote Garden ™
“I dig old books.” ™
30 to 39 Years Old
I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.... Thirty — the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair. But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925
The boy gathers materials for a temple, and then when he is thirty, concludes to build a woodshed. ~Henry David Thoreau
If I could only go back to thirty, and yet retain all my experience, I would turn somersaults all the way down to Ostergade. ~Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), written in his seventieth year [The fashionable thoroughfare of Copenhagen. –tg]
Before thirty, men seek disease; after thirty, diseases seek men. ~Chinese proverb
So many people trip about turning thirty. I guess every ten years you trip about it. When you go from your 20s to your 30s, most people get nuts: "I’m not young anymore!" For me, it was the exact opposite, it was like the beginning. I spent my 30s fixing everything I broke in my 20s. ~Eddie Murphy, to James Lipton, Inside the Actors Studio, 2006 [a little altered –tg]
Today I was reading The Men's Club by a California writer, now dead, named Leonard Michaels... Leonard writes, "Everybody has a doppelganger. You may sometimes catch a glimpse of him in the mirror, or in a storefront window. He is the one you fear, the other you." For decades I never saw anything but my doppelganger when I looked in the mirror... I kept waiting for the girl in the mirror to look like me. She never did. Starting in my late thirties, however, I no longer felt the same disconnect when I looked in a mirror. That's your face! I would think. I mean, my face!... At around this same time, men stopped checking me out on the street. This was fine by me, but it also made me confused. I was so beautiful now. Was I the only person who thought so? ~Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock: A Diary, 2015
That's the trouble with us. We number everything. Take women, for example. I think they deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of twenty-eight and forty. ~James Thurber, interview with Glenna Syse, TIME, 1960
At the age of thirty-four, she had at length become aware why fate had chosen her for a remarkable position: not to vie with other pretty, coquettish, intellectually commonplace women.... [A] complete transformation both of her outer and of her inner life occurred... ~Stefan Zweig, Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman, 1933
Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. ~Caryn Leschen
Men reach their sexual peak at eighteen. Women reach theirs at thirty-five. Do you get the feeling that God is playing a practical joke? ~Rita Rudner
Oft in danger, yet alive,
We are come to thirty-five;
Long may better years arrive,
Better years than thirty-five...
High to soar, and deep to dive,
Nature gives at thirty-five.
Ladies, stock and tend your hive,
Trifle not at thirty-five:
For howe'er we boast and strive,
Life declines from thirty-five:
He that ever hopes to thrive
Must begin by thirty-five...
~Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. During the Last Twenty Years of His Life, by Hesther Lynch Piozzi, 1786
How oddly situated a man is apt to find himself at age thirty-eight! His youth belongs to the distant past. Yet the period of memory beginning with the end of youth and extending to the present has left him not a single vivid impression. And therefore he persists in feeling that nothing more than a fragile barrier separates him from his youth. He is forever hearing with the utmost clarity the sounds of this neighboring domain, but there is no way to penetrate the barrier....
When he was young, there had been only one reality, and the future had seemed to stretch before him, swelling with immense possibilities. But as he grew older, reality seemed to take many forms, and it was the past that seemed refracted into innumerable possibilities....
After reaching the age of thirty, Honda had begun to forget people's names, just as paint flakes away bit by bit.... as a man grows older the memory of his youth begins to act as nothing less than an immunization against further experience. And he was thirty-eight. It was an age when one felt strangely unready to say that one had lived and yet reluctant to acknowledge the death of youth. ~Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses, 1969, translated from the Japanese by Michael Gallagher, 1973
It's weird, when you're 39 it starts to happen... ~Keanu Reeves, 2003
Last saved 2020 Jul 25 Sat 15:38 PDT