In a couple of days, it’ll be my birthday. I’ll be turning an age that isn’t one of the better ones and, to be completely honest, it’s making me a little depressed. I really don’t even like to say the number out loud.
Of course I’ve been telling myself to just get over it. “Stop being such a baby! You have a great life!” I say. And that’s true, I do have a great life. But still, when I think about the number I’ll soon be, it stuns me. Because I don’t feel like that number. Or think like that number. Or look like that number. (Well, certain parts of me do, but the State of Texas has asked me to keep them covered up for public safety reasons.) And certainly, in my ratty t-shirt and green flip flops from the Exxon station, I don’t dress like that number. It just doesn’t make sense that I’m this old.
When I told a few friends that I was feeling blue about my birthday, they said, “Well, it’s better than the alternative!” Seriously? That’s supposed to make me feel better? The fact that my new age is better than DEATH? “Yay, I’m not cremated! Pass me some cake because I won’t have to squeeze myself into one of those unforgiving coffins this year, brother!” I mean, you’d think they could try a little harder when I’m entering my dotage. Let’s make my Golden Years happy ones, okay?
But despite not really feeling my age, I will admit I’ve recently noticed a few things that tell me I’m definitely not in my 20’s anymore. Such as:
— An impossible to pluck gray eyebrow hair that has the thickness of a violin string and the resilience of a cockroach. Nickname: “The Silver Rambo.”
— An email from my wild friend from high school that wasn’t about a big, drunken party, but rather a show on PBS she thinks I’d enjoy. (I emailed her back and told her I already set a DVR timer for it and has she seen their lovely new tote bags? Pledge drive time ROCKS!!)
— An assault on my ears every time I turn on the car radio. Is that shit what they’re calling music these days? Does it have to be so damn thumpy? Who is this “Pitbull” character? And why are all the songs about dance floors? Who the hell cares about dance floors? Did Wham! ever sing about dance floors?* No, they did not and that’s why George Michael needs to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before that tone-deaf street person Ke$ha. Seriously, does she even bathe?
— And finally, an eye doctor who thought it was funny to say, “I think you’re going to need bi-focals soon, Granny!” at my last exam. (And that was my last exam—with that jackass. Like I need that shit when I’m dilated and tired from reading 50 stupid eye charts.)
Of course, one good thing about being my age is that when I’m invited to an 80’s Halloween party, I can just grab a few things from my closet:
(I know, I look totally radical. But unfortunately, I lost Best Costume to White MC Hammer.)
So how can I cheer myself up about my age? A few ideas come to mind, but most of them involve needles, injections and the word “swollen.” And I don’t think I’m ready to look like an Olsen Twin quite yet. (Also, why does the media show plastic surgery disaster stories, then remind us to always go to a “licensed plastic surgeon”? Do they really think the people stupid enough to get $29.99 Lipo in the back of a Detroit doughnut shop care about licenses?)
Other ways that might make me feel young include hanging out at the Elks Club, attending the Silver Sneakers stretching class at the gym and joining the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter. But I don’t know. That all seems a little desperate, don’t you think? Besides, the DAR chapter already rejected my application because I thought Patrick Henry was the star of Dirty Dancing. Crazy old bats.
But you know what? At this point in my life, I’m happy, I’m healthy and I have at least 50 more years to live if I cut down on my daily Kit Kat/chardonnay consumption. So I guess all that’s left for me to do is to just realize that this is how life works. Yep, I need to just embrace my age, accept my new number and get the hell over it.
Hi, I’m Wendi. And on Thursday, November 17th, I’ll be 44 years old.
*Update: Per my friend Peajaye, in the comments below, George Michael actually did sing about dance floors in “Careless Whisper.” But he did it in such a cool, subtle way that I didn’t even remember. Damn it—I hate being wrong about Wham!