I had it all under control. The force of denial runs strong in my veins, after all. Honed through the generations to the shiny, impenetrable armor I thought fit so securely.
One well-meaning message of thinly-veiled concern was all it took for the house of cards to crumble.
“How are you feeling about the impending milestone?”
Oh, it probably would’ve been fine on its own.
It was followed, on the drive home, by an NPR interview with a woman who just wrote a book about being in her forties and drinking like she’s still in her twenties (Blackout – review to come).
Still – I’m good. It’s fine. It’s nothing I can’t ignore. I’ll just pour a glass of wine and turn on Sex in the City reruns – that’ll make me feel all young & fun, right?
The birthday episode. You know, where Charlotte turns 36, and decides she’s going to stop having birthdays because she doesn’t feel she’s quite accomplished all the things she wanted to by 36? And the girls go to Atlantic City to celebrate but they're the oldest ones there and end up playing Old Maid?
Then for a moment I was sure I was having hot flashes (no doubt psycho-sematic). Turns out my air conditioning just broke on the hottest week of the year. So there’s that.
Oh for the love of Christ. Wait – do people still say that? It kind of sounds like something old people might say.
Should you ever find yourself in this particular predicament, I implore you – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT GOOGLE “GOOD THINGS ABOUT TURNING 40”.
I have a few questions.
First of all and probably most importantly, can I please stop buying hair dye and just go gray already? No. Too soon. I'm told 20-somethings are actually dying their hair gray now. Kids these days...
Shall I hide my birthday on Facebook so that I don’t have to type ‘Thank you’ to hundreds of individual wishes, some of which could possibly mention “forty”? Is that just, like, part of the deal?
Mostly I’m wondering if my grown-up card is in the mail yet.
To save the young’ins out there the absolute HELL that was my tour through Google’s answers (apparently HuffPo is, like, FOR people turning forty) I’ve made my own list.
Things I’m hoping will be awesome about my forties
1. My ovaries will no longer cry when I hold babies. It is now officially time to start asking my seven year old “when she’s going to give me grandkids already”.
2. That tinge of disappointment when I don’t get carded will fade. For crying out loud, they’re not blind. And really, my time is limited…
3. It will be harder to lose weight with this metabolism, sure, but the expectations will be lowered appropriately. (and let’s face it, I’ve had this metabolism since 30ish anyway)
4. Over the next few years, I will have the privilege of assuring countless girlfriends that “forty isn’t the end of the world.”
5. I can afford to fix my air conditioner…?
6. If I get stoned I can pass it off as “having a senior moment”. (too soon?)
7. It is now not only appropriate but practically required that I make snide remarks about millennials which, let’s face it, is just fun.
8. Speaking of – I don’t suffer from “vocal fry”. I’ll always have that.
9. The oldies stations will start playing Seattle grunge now, right?
10. I only have nine. Don’t pester me, I’m old.