Sweet 16. That’s a magical time for kids. Mostly girls, I guess. 13 is a big deal in some cultures. 18…eh. Yah, they’re technically adults now but...not really. 21 is great because these “adults” can down their first legal drinks and legally puke in the bathroom of a reputable bar—one that checks IDs. All the decades are cool to celebrate: 30, 50, 80…all those. 100, of course, is awesome. Although people are mostly just toasting the fact that you’re still alive. 64 will be pretty groovy because I’ll get to sing the Beatles song all day and, because it’ll be my birthday, nobody will be allowed to make me stop.
But, even though 40 is the new 20, 50 the new 30, and 60 the new 40 or whatever, I still can’t get the big 40 out of my head as OVER THE HILL. That’s the way it was the entire time I was growing up. Forty was old. Forty was the big birthday party with all your friends, neighbors, and relatives. Forty was black decorations, plates, and napkins with tombstones or vultures or the grim reaper on them. It was funny. And the person whose birthday we were celebrating was old.
Now, I look around for those party plates and it’s all, you know, “birthday” colors. Primary rainbow crap. Is this supposed to make me feel younger? I’m turning forty. And I am feeling that. I don’t know why since I never really cared about my age all that much (except for 30—I loved turning thirty). Maybe that’s why. Maybe I’m mourning that magical decade of still looking fabulous but actually being wise and having some life experience. I’m going to miss my thirties. I’d love to say that my forties are going to be “even better!” but I just can’t. I’m not feeling it. I’ve been wanting to be thirty since I was a teenager. Forty? Not so much. But I hadn’t thought about it until now because I was enjoying my thirties so much.
I don’t want 40 to be the new 20—I hated my twenties. I wouldn’t go back there if you paid me. I was an immature idiot who was under the delusion I was an adult.
I thought I might maybe grow old gracefully but that is so not happening. I’m looking at myself seeing all sorts of unpleasant things. “Laugh lines” my ass—they’re wrinkles. And those things that you see near your eyes when you smile? They’re not cute creases from living a happy life, they’re crow’s feet.
Ugh. I feel old. Maybe that’s another problem. I should change my mindset. I’m not "Over the Hill" but more like "Over the River". When I’m 50, I’ll be "Through the Woods", then, when I’m 60, I’ll be all "To Grandmother’s House I Go!"…which would, I guess, be 70? 80? That’s cool.