I generally like having birthdays.
I’ve never been one of those “oh please don’t make a big deal about it” kinda girls. I’m not gonna lie, I like me some ice cream cake from Dairy Queen with the crunchy chocolate filling. Oooh, and, cards from friends and family, and presents wrapped in pretty ribbon. Yup, as long as there’s cake and cards and friends and presents, I don’t care much about the number of candles.
But, I knew my latest birthday was going to be different when, a few days prior, the kid in the Second Cup drive thru window passed me my coffee and said…and I quote…
Poor guy. If only he knew the things I called him as I pulled away.
I know I really shouldn’t have been so surprised. I haven’t been ID’ed at a bar in almost a decade. (Thumbs down!) I might still feel like I’m 19, but even I can admit that I probably don’t look the part. I’m thinkin’ the mini-van and the emerging crow’s feet were the clinchers ;-)? Still, his comment was like pouring salt on an open wound. The idea of turning 39 had been quietly knawing at me for weeks. But, there’s nothing quite like being called “Ma’am” by a 17-year old to get the Pity Party started.
A lot’s been written about turning 40. But, for the life of me, I’m not sure why there’s not more written about the experience of turning 39. Even a support group would do ;-). After all, 39’s the last birthday you’ll ever have in your 30s. Certainly, that must be cause for some amount of psychological crisis, right?
I loved my 30s. Turning 30 wasn’t at all a biggie for me. I embraced it. At 31, I had our first child. At 32, I spent one glorious year at home with her. At 33, I went back to my decade-long marketing career. At 34, we built our new home. Somewhere in there, I’m sure I turned 35, but it slipped by, happily unnoticed. At 36, we had twin boys and our daughter started Kindergarten. At 37, I was a sleep-deprived, diaper-changing ninja. And, at 38, I came up for air long enough to start this website.
And WHAM, out of the blue: along comes 39!
39 is a slimy little monster that creeps up behind you, taps you on your left shoulder, and shouts “Boo!” in your face.
At least 40 announces itself. Months in advance, 40 puts you on notice: “I’m coming for you!” So when it arrives, you’re ready for it. You’ve consulted with ‘The 40 Year Olds’, aka, a crew friends who’ve already turned 40. You’ve read all about how “40 is the new 30” – all written by 40 year-olds btw…just sayin’. You’ve drank the Kool-Aid. So, when 40 comes, you welcome it with open arms, exclaiming all kinds of crazy things on Facebook like “40 is awesome!”, or my personal favorite: “Forty and Fabulous!”.
But 39?!? Think about it: when have you ever heard anybody say “39 is awesome”? Or “39 is fabulous?” Never, I tell ya, that’s when!
Logically, I know that every birthday’s a gift. (Believe me, I truly do.) And, don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for all that I have. How can I complain when my birthday included a hubby-planned spa visit, two toddlers holding a bunch of over-sized helium balloons, and a daughter with home-made cards? Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that.
So, I’m sure I’ll settle into 39 just nicely. But right now, I’m inclined to say that turning 39 is a stinker; ya know, just as birthdays go.
So have you turned 39 yet? How’d you feel about it?
Was turning 40 any better? Please lie, and say yes. 🙂
Until next time,