The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Age Quotations:
30 to 39 Years Old

Welcome to my page of quotations about ages thirty to thirty-nine years old. What a wonderful time of life! These are great quotes to use on birthday cards for people in their thirties, or for those of us who are beyond those years, just for reminiscing.  —ღ Terri

Age 30 & the 30s. —
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

Age 30 & the 30s. —
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]

Age 30 & the 30s. —
Before thirty, men seek disease; after thirty, diseases seek men. ~Chinese proverb

Age 30 & the 30s. —
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]

Age 30 & the 30s. —
I am still a child, and life baffles me. It seems to me I was born wise and have become a romantic. That I am at the lyrical, passionate pinnacle of my life... ~Anaïs Nin, 1933  [written shortly after her 30th birthday —tg]

Age 30 & the 30s. Women. —
Is it joy or is it sorrow that teaches a woman of thirty the secret of that eloquence of carriage, so that she must always remain an enigma...? ~Honoré de Balzac, A Woman of Thirty, 1842, translated by Ellen Marriage, 1899

Age 30 & the 30s. Women. —
For a young man, a woman of thirty has irresistible attractions. A girl, as a matter of fact, has too many young illusions, she is too inexperienced, the instinct of sex counts for too much in her love for a young man to feel flattered by it. A woman of thirty knows all that is involved in the self-surrender to be made. Among the impulses of the first, put curiosity and other motives than love; the second acts with integrity of sentiment. The first yields; the second makes deliberate choice. Is not that choice in itself an immense flattery? There are terrors, fears, and hesitations — trouble and storm in the love of a woman of thirty years, never to be found in a young girl's love. At thirty years a woman asks her lover to give her back the esteem she has forfeited for his sake. A woman armed with experience and forewarned by knowledge seems to give more than herself; while the inexperienced and credulous girl, unable to draw comparisons for lack of knowledge, can appreciate nothing at its just worth, meeting us with naïveté instead of a woman's tenderness... The woman of thirty satisfies every requirement. ~Honoré de Balzac, A Woman of Thirty, 1842, translated by Ellen Marriage, 1899  [a little altered —tg]

The 30s. Women.—
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

Age 34. Women.—
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

Age 35. —
Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. ~Caryn Leschen

Age 35. —
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

Age 35. —
I just read that men reach their sexual peak at 18. Women reach their sexual peak at 35. Do you get the feeling that God is into practical jokes? We're reaching our sexual peak right around the same time they're discovering they have a favorite chair. ~Rita Rudner

Late 30s. Women. —
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

Age 37. —
I am a young man of half-past thirty-seven. ~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Two and One Are a Problem"

Age 38. —
      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

Age 38. —
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight.
      How birthdays accumulate!
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Lilac springs to celebrate.
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Birds of passage, breaths of fate.
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Kingdoms of the world's estate.
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Thrones that I must abdicate.
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Crowns that fall, a feather's weight.
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Blossom-pictures delicate.
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Steps through mazes intricate...
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Tangled visions to translate.
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Half-wrought labors congregate...
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Memories sweet to consecrate.
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Years that fade and terminate.
Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      On the verge I hesitate—
      Thirty, thirty, thirty-eight
      Gone! and Time has closed the gate.
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "Thirty-Eight," Come for Arbutus, and Other Wild Bloom, 1882

Age 39. —
It's weird, when you're 39 it starts to happen... ~Keanu Reeves, 2003

Age 39. —
O hapless day! O wretched day!
      I hoped you'd pass me by —
Alas, the years have sneaked away
      And all is changed but I!
Had I the power, I would remand
      You to a gloom condign,
But here you've crept upon me and
      I — I am thirty nine!
Now, were I thirty-five, I could
      Assume a flippant guise;
Or, were I forty years, I should
      Undoubtedly look wise;
For forty years are said to bring
      Sedateness superfine;
But thirty-nine don't mean a thing —
      À bas with thirty-nine!...
~Eugene Field, "Thirty-Nine," 1889

Age 39. —
'T is passing meet to make good cheer
      And lord it like a king,
Since only once we catch the year
      That doesn't mean a thing.
O happy day! O gracious day!
      I pledge thee in this wine —
Come, let us journey on our way
      A year, good Thirty-Nine!
~Eugene Field, "Thirty-Nine," 1889

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published 1999 Feb 16
revised Feb 2016, Feb 2017
last saved 2022 Aug 8