So I’ve had a little over a week now to get used to being 40. Guess what? It’s no big deal. I don’t feel any different except that I love saying that I’m 40. It’s a number that people take notice of. The big 4-0. My birthday came and went in the fashion that I had requested. No party, no bells and whistles. I hate that shit on a regular birthday. Officially we went to Maui for my birthday earlier this year.
I allowed a party for my 30th birthday. It was small and Amy had an old Halloween photo of me impressed on the cake. I was wearing a witches costume with a long black wig, a ju-ju-bee blacking out one tooth and a cigarette hanging out of the side of my mouth. In icing was written “Happy Birthday Bitch”. That was a good year.
I remember when my parents and their friends were turning 40 back in the 70’s. They seemed old to me, but I remember all of them constantly smoking with a highball glass glued to one hand and that’ll age you. My dad spent his 40th birthday flat on his back in bed. His back had gone out and he’d missed his own party. It was at the Courtney’s house and there were black balloons taped to light poles on Lane Avenue that you could see on the way to their house and a huge sign in the yard that said “Lordy, Lordy, Jim is 40”. We called him in the middle of the party, but I seem to remember him not being able to make it to the phone.
As an aside, the Courtney’s were the laziest people on the planet and got in trouble with their neighbors because they never took down the sign in the yard or the balloons on Lane Avenue. Months later when we drove to their house the deflated black balloons were still sagging from the light poles. I swear I still look for them when I drive by today. Balloons probably don’t biodegrade.
Although I don’t remember my mom’s 40th birthday specifically, (mainly because we were all too selfish and lazy to think of throwing her one), I do remember her being 40. Contrary to what you may believe by looking at this photo, she was tired and cranky and generally no fun. She always wore giant swooping eyeglasses, the same four pant suits (a la Annie Hall with matching vests), drove a Ford station wagon with fake wood panels on the side, and listened to AM radio in our living room on the "hi-fi" that was as big as a camper. She was also working full time and taking care of me, my special needs (Down’s Syndrome) sister, and waiting on my dad hand and foot. No wonder she seemed old and needed a drink.
So how about this… I’m glad that I get to be a woman in her 40’s NOW and not in the 70’s. I’ve got no kids, a beautiful husband who shares the household responsibilities with me. I drive a pretty rockin’ VW with a kickass stereo that I plug my ipod into. My clothes are bitchin and I have over 50 pairs of shoes. We have excellent eye care so I can afford to get new glasses every year when I get bored with my current style (and I do). Every year we go on not one but usually two fantastic vacations to exotic locales and several weekend getaways in-between. Overall, life does not suck.