Birthdays suck. Actually, let me rephrase that: Getting older sucks. Birthdays are actually kinda cool, with the presents and all, except for the fact that people give you cards with a big ‘40’ emblazoned on the front; rubbing in the fact that your hair’s going grey, your joints creak when you squat, and certain body parts droop a little too far south for your liking.
Hmmm… maybe birthdays do suck after all.
Especially this one.
At forty, I’m pretty much middle-aged and heading for a geriatric care facility. Everyone says it’s all downhill from here, and lately, it feels like I’m rolling down that damn hill like a go-kart without breaks, waiting for the moment where I crash and burn, joining the ‘six-feet-under’ club with others who have gone before me.
Hang on; maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here. It’s not like I’ve totally lost my youth yet, or have I? I have cut my hair in a shorter style (it’s much more manageable), and I have started wearing button-up cardigans a bit more often (they’re so comfortable and warm), but I still own a decent little black dress, and I even watch The X Factor (that young chap is such a darling).
I am getting old.
Calling people ‘young chaps’ and saying ‘Oh dear’; that’s what old people do.
See, I did it again! Before I know it I’ll be saying to my nieces and nephews (or heaven forbid; my grandkids): ‘When I was your age…’
This has got to stop.
I mean it.
As soon as this wretched party is over (Oh God, old people say ‘wretched’ too!), I’m going to… to… What do young people do these days anyway? Hang out at the mall? Go clubbing? Do they even see each other face to face anymore, or do they just tweet, text, and facebook each other till their heart’s content? And when did ‘facebook’ become a verb? ‘I’ll facebook you’ could have been construed by me, and others of my degenerative age, as the threat of being slapped in the face by a copy of ‘Wuthering Heights’. Or, ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Twilight’, or whatever young people read these days.
Tomorrow I’m going to the gym. My joints can creak, squeal, and scream as much as they like, but I’m gonna get my body back if it kills me. Well, maybe not if it kills me, then no one will see my flat stomach and shapely legs, except the embalmer and the poor sod who finds me dead.
Okay, maybe I’ll just ease back into exercise slowly. God knows I need to be fitter. Actually, everyone knows, after it took me five breaths to blow out all my birthday candles, and there wasn’t even forty candles on the wretched (there I go again) cake!
‘We couldn’t fit them all on,’ my daughter said.
Yeah right. I saw gaps where more candles could have gone. Although, if they’d filled all the gaps the cake might have collapsed, disintegrating into a thousand pieces, much like my dignity.
The gifts change when you get older too. Instead of receiving jewellery, make-up, and a subscription to Cleo magazine, I’m now receiving a chain to hang my reading glasses around my neck, anti-wrinkle cream (too late guys, but thanks anyway), and a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
‘Ah… forty,’ my aunt said, as she rested her walking stick against the side of the lounge and sat down next to me. ‘I remember being forty, such a good age; young enough to get out and about, but old enough to make wise decisions. Oh, what I’d give to be forty again! You know, when I was your age…’
Alright, maybe that go-kart’s not going as fast as I thought. I’ve got some youth left in me yet.
‘Mum, the dog’s chewing on your support briefs!’
What was I saying? Oh yeah. Birthdays suck.
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