Friday, January 18, 2008


In two weeks I turn 40. I sure haven't been thinking about it at all. Not one bit! I mean, 40--what's the big deal? It's not like it's a milestone birthday or anything like that. It's not like it's the exact dividing number between youth and old age.

I remember when I was in high school, my dad decided he wanted very badly to get a red convertible and--less egregiously in retrospect, though at the time it seemed on a par--a suede jacket. He was closer to 50 then, but even as a kid I understood these impulses had something to do with that whole getting old/wanting to stay young dialectic.

Each of these purchases, and especially the two in combination, would have made him look like the quintessential JAP dad I so despised. You know the one: he's got tassled loafers and a cigar and a wife 15 years his junior, a daughter who wears a Rolex watch, which he gave her for her 16th birthday. Ewww.

Thankfully, I was able to talk my dad off that particular psychosocial ledge. That's because he valued my opinion more than anyone else's; I was kind of his wife. (You can read all about that in my book, which I won't link to because there's already a link over there, in the sidebar I'm modest about my accomplishments.) And that was the extent of his midlife crisis. Really, other than that one little blip, he was very graceful about getting old.

It's difficult to imagine what kind of mid-life crisis might emerge for me in these next couple of years, and how it will manifest. I've been entertaining an obsession with dying for a few years now. I'm already counting my wrinkles; I'm already panicking about the effects of gravity on various body parts. (Oh my god, my kneecaps are a disaster!) Besides, my entire adult life has been a string of crises (identity, faith, career path, hair color); what could I possibly do to top that?


dkuroiwa said... could be turning 40 AND pregnant like I was!!! Definitely NOT in my list of "things I wanna do in my life", happened and it all turned out okay. Now, as I am looking at 46 in the not-too-distant future, I'm thinking that it all works out...some things better than others. One bit of advice...keep your sense of humor. If you can't laugh at something, then, it's time for a change. And the saggy body parts? You learn to camaflouge and then emphasize the parts still where they are supposed to be. Bad knees? I'd say...make the focus be on the ankles!!
Hang in there...and are not alone...lot's of people out here to laugh with!!!

Paida said...

yes the knees - another thing no one warns you about...

Hope you get to celebrate your birthday by doing something you love.

Ginny said...

Pu-leeze! You are a mere child! And what IS up with knees? Oh. Yeah. I guess I could drop 10 or 40 pounds...hmm... but that's not your predicament. Oh, well, have a great birthday!

Aaryn said...

hey, did you have the grass-is-so-much-greener-over-there- maybe-i'll-have-an-affair crisis yet? that's a doozy. avoid that and you're golden, as far as i'm concerned. sagging knees suck, sure. but they'll suck worse if you dump the only person who's gonna love 'em 'til you kick it.

Deb Abramson said...

Glad to hear I'm not alone in the sagging kneecaps department, y'all. (And just for the record, that marks the first time I've ever said "y'all.")

Aaryn, I've managed to dodge that maybe-I'll-have-an-affair bullet--though perhaps this has as much to do with my diminishing libido and my very limited exposure to other men as it does my commitment to my marriage. :-)