As I approached my 40th birthday, the concern grew in its intensity. I was asked how I felt about turning 40. I was told it was a big birthday – capital B big / the Big 4-0. I was advised not to let it get me down. I was recommended to turn 39 again (wink wink). I was warned of impending aches and pains.
And now that I am 40, there’s still more concern about how it actually feels to be 40. And I understand the desire to ask, and no individual question is annoying in itself, but after the 100th time, it gets a bit old. (Pun totally intended.)
So I give up. And by give up, I mean I’m going to stop trying to convince people that getting older is actually pretty awesome. Instead, I am going to randomly grab one of the following five responses:
1. So … how does it feel to be 40?
Awful. When I was 39 I had no bowel problems at all but now that I am 40, I can’t take a shit to save my life. Right now my intestines are crammed with crap – I’ve been eating crackers and pickles and ice-cream and pizza and burritos and carrots and pork chops and sweet potatoes and bologna sandwiches and maraschino cherries and nothing – I haven’t pooped in ages. I went to the clinic and it turns out that I’m just old, you know, and there’s nothing they can do about it. I have six weeks to live.
2. So … how does it feel to be 40?
Awful. I tried to kill myself late last night but, because of middle-age spread, I was too heavy and the rope broke. I cried most of the night and bought thicker rope this morning. Fingers crossed!
3. So … how does it feel to be 40?
Awful. My boobs are all hangy and gross now. I have a couple of nipple hairs that I pluck, but they keep coming back. They are really long and curly and black, like pubic hair. Not my pubic hair, though, because my pubic hair is grey now.
4. So … how does it feel to be 40?
Punchy. (And then I will punch you. Hard.)
5. So … how does it feel to be 40?
Awful. When I look in the mirror all I see are old-age spots, especially when I put my bi-focals on. I spent $475 on a new face cream made from monkey sperm that is supposed to make my skin less disgusting from the wrinkles and sagging, but it smells so bad I usually vomit, which is okay because it’s one thing to be 40, but 40 and fat is not okay, so I bought more of the cream and I just smear it all over my face and then sit and smell it and vomit and smell it and vomit and smell it and vomit.
Or something else equally weird and based vaguely on the common conception that getting older is a terrible thing that must be avoided at all costs. I might try to incorporate the bologna sandwich, nipple hair and monkey sperm into one catch-all response. Now that I am old, I think I can get away with this odd behaviour. I might start stealing batteries, too.