IT’S nearly my birthday month and I’m bubbly with anticipated champagne brekkies, just-the-two-of-us suppers with the hub and egg-in-a-cup, in bed, as per my mom’s tradition. You can’t do a birthday without boiled eggs and soldiers.
I’m not in the least bit panicky that I’m hitting the last year of a good decade. It’s been a solid, sexy and successful ride. I’ve learnt that eyebrow-plucking works, I wrote a book and once – just once – I was thin enough to wear a lil’ black number without support panties.
So why the hell should I join sisters on the brink of forty-hood in their despair at leaving youth behind? I’m not there yet, it’s true, but I will be. And soon.
Turning 30, 40, or 50, doesn’t bother me, even though everybody says it should. And nope, I’m not going to get blind drunk and take out a loan to celebrate the funereal occasion.
Perhaps it’s because I’m bad at maths? Or I’m turning into the batty, purple-wearing, gin-swilling middle-aged woman the teenage me said I’d be one day. But whatever it is, I’m not buying the age angst exploding about like so much popcorn.
A thousand years ago, at my age, I’d be dead. And so would my common-law husband and probably almost all of my children and their children’s children, since, by now, I’d be a great-grandmother, wouldn’t I?
And early last century, even, I wouldn’t have had Jane Iredale mineral foundation, or leave-in conditioner, or SPF 50 sunblock to slow the sun’s ravage to my cleavage, or organic raw veggie smoothies.
Honestly, gorgeous gals. We don’t know how good we have it. They’ve done the studies to show it – 30 is the new 20, 40 is the new 30 (or, in Pamela Anderson’s case, the new 20) and 50 is a pleasure cruise.
Milestone birthdays were probably celebrated because you were damned lucky to wake up on the morning of your 21st, somewhere in Antarctica, thankful to have avoided bears and marauding men.
And as time went on and women were forced to give birth on their backs, you were doubtless in seventh heaven to have survived both your marriage and the male-dominated medical system at all – a damn good reason to host afternoon tea on your 30th.
But today? The world’s our oyster. I can tummy tuck, boob lift, face peel and, if necessary, get another degree, change my parenting style and my panties at will, vote and do, pretty much, what I darn well please.
That’s the difference between back then and right now. We’re not convinced that age is just a number – we commiserate as each birthday passes, instead of using the date as a good excuse to better ourselves.
It’s your party, so cry if you want to. But my advice? Forget facing 40. Face your fears instead.