February 8, 2008

3 Proofs, (When What I REALLY want is 180)

I woke up this morning and went to check if I was still turning 40 later this month. Why yes. Yes I am. I am fussing about it. I am not going gently into that good middle age. I fuss about it to anyone who will listen, and so people who are pushing 60 say to me, “JUST YOU WAIT 'ENRY 'IGGINS it will be a) super or b) worse than you ever imagined. “ Meanwhile, people under 25 look at me like milk that JUST hit it’s expy date, as if I might need a quick sniff test for decay.

Perspective is everything; to a person over 60, 40 is a kid. But to a person who is 22, 40 looks like the yawping gateway to death itself. But is 40 old to people who are 40? I decided to look for EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE to prove and decide whether I am
a) old or
b) not old.

Old WON.

Proof 1 ---- This morning I yelled to Scott from the bathroom.
Me: ZOMGAH! I am getting OLLLLLD!
Him: The encephalopod nods.
Me: *pokes head out door* Did you just say “The encephalopod nods???”
Him: *leveling a bland, sarcastic gaze upon me* Suuuure I did, honey. That;s EXACTLY what I said. I said, “The encephalopod nods.”
Me: The encephalopod thinks I am old?
Him: *dryly* Apparently.
Me: Then tell the encephalopod to suck it.

He spent the rest of the morning doing impressions of a rather smug NODDING encephalopod.

What he ACTUALLY said: “Except you are not.” I heard it wrong because I am DEAF. Because my ears are old.

Proof 2: I used the word ENCEPHALOPOD! A CEPHALOPOD is a squid or octopus. Even young people can speak SCIENCE, but an EN-cephalopod is a face sucker from the movie ALIEN. Which released in, oh…1979. My Freudian MIS-hears are referencing a movie that is old enough to vote, drink, and run for a seat in the House of Representatives.

3) I had a THIRD proof, and ti was FUNNY! So funny I was cackling aloud as I ran to the computer to type this right quick, and DURING the ten minutes in which I typed the other two proofs, I FORGOT what had JUST happened that made me laugh and realize I was old. IT IS GONE! POOF! Because my brains are old.

Old ears, old references, old brains. Hmmm. The magic 8 ball is telling me it is time for flatter shoes.

Posted by joshilyn at February 8, 2008 7:39 AM
Comments

Well I am 41, and I am here to tell you that 40 is not old. Forty-two, however? THAT is old.

Posted by: Badger at February 8, 2008 8:01 AM

Forty is NOT old? Want to know how I know? Because I am only 4 years away from it and *I* am definitely no old, ergo, neither are you. :)

Posted by: Leandra at February 8, 2008 8:16 AM

I meant to say "Forty is NOT old" with a period. Not a question mark. Maybe I am old after all.

Posted by: Leandra at February 8, 2008 8:17 AM

Hey, 42, here - definitely old in some ways, but I can also tell you that it is still possible to be breathtakingly immature, as well. Is that a relief?

I, too, don't remember what it was, but I ran across something the other day that I remembered very clearly - that happened a decade before my 25-year-old friend to whom I was talking was born.

Phooey.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at February 8, 2008 8:44 AM

Proof #1 is proof enough. I do not know why, but old people always hear the MOST BIZARRE things instead of the most likely things.

Mom: (who voted absentee): I kind of missed going down and voting
Dad: Nixon controls the voting?

Posted by: Suebob at February 8, 2008 9:06 AM

I'd always heard that for a woman life begins at 40, so I decided to believe it. I turned forty last October and I'm still waiting to feel a differance. I say "differance" with a French accent. Because I am learning some French via the Michele Thomas cd's and later in April I'm going to France. Say "France" with a Frech accent too. "Accent" is also a word with French origin. I think most English words are of French origin.
And by the way, shrimp and pinot gris night was great. I do declare the First Monday in Feburary "Shrimp & Gris" Day. (In Swedish, "gris" is the word for pig. he heh!)

Posted by: Stephanie at February 8, 2008 9:33 AM

Apparently, while learning French, one may begin spelling phonetically in French. Difference. Differance. Also, pinch your nose when you say that. Differ-aaaaaance.

Posted by: Stephanie at February 8, 2008 9:36 AM

i just snorted my cinnamon dulce latte all over my keyboard.

oh joss. if you are old, i am an antiquity. (however, i still have a great vocabulary because i can throw out the word antiquity without having to think too hard. which is good, because i'm old and thinking too hard can sprain something)

Posted by: janet at February 8, 2008 10:04 AM

Just make sure your kids understand that it DOES NOT matter which child's name you use (or pet's name or sibling's name)...if you are looking at him, you are talking to him. Remember how your mom used to do that?

Posted by: AmyAlabama at February 8, 2008 10:26 AM

Hello and Happy Upcoming Birthday.

I just finished "gods" the night before last after a marathon session. I dreamt it. I couldn't bear to start a new book last night, so I read the excerpt from TGWWS, which I immediately regretted since I'll be stewing about it now until it's release.

"gods" was wonderful.

I turned 40 almost 3 years ago, during Lent. (I did not give up chocolate, or any kind of alchohol that year. I tried to give up yelling, but usually just realized it was WAY more of a habit than I knew after I caught myself. So I'm doing it again this year.)

I liked turning 40. My husband had a big dinner for us with friends and family at a restaurant. And, so far, I have to say, the 40s are actually pretty good. I hope you'll like them as well. :)

Posted by: JulieB at February 8, 2008 10:50 AM

I will be turning 46 in 5 weeks, which I'm pretty sure is OLDER than 40. So I think the fact that you think 40 is old makes you a big stooooopid poopy-head. A big stoooopid poopy-head with COOTIES, even! Hmph.

Smoochies,
DebR
(Who is NOT old, dammit. notNotNOT!!!!!!!)

Posted by: DebR at February 8, 2008 10:58 AM

I'm still on the sweet side of 40, thankyouverymuch. >
You're almost 40? ?? OMG, woman, you're ANCIENT!! mwah-ha-ha!!
That's a bitch of a payback for all the times you teased the 14 year old girls that YOU were old enough to DRIVE and they were NOT.
Oh come on, you know you teased them. You know you did. You probably stuck out your Mighty Rack and looked down your beautiful nose and smiled your sweet Southern smile and tossed your hair and said something like "Heh. I'm heading to the DQ now. For a peanut buster parfait. In my car. Because I can drive. Poor Baby, you're just not old enough yet, are you, precious? Don't worry, you'll be old enough in a few years."
I bet you did it at college when you were finally legally old enough to order drinks in a bar too, right?
And all the while, they were thinking "Evil wench. Just wait. You're going to be FORTY before me!! We'll see who's laughing then!!!"

And now it's happened.

But guess what. You still have the Mighty Rack and the perfect nose, and the sweet Southern smile, and you're still Pretty. Yes, veryVery Pretty.

It's just a number, babe.

Posted by: dee at February 8, 2008 11:42 AM

I loved Alien! And I am Not Old!


I think you should consult the lolcats, myself.

Posted by: Jess at February 8, 2008 12:40 PM

I'm 23. I don't think 40 is old. I don't think my mom is old and she's OVER 55. So I think you're doing alright. And that's coming from a young 'un.

Posted by: aka nik at February 8, 2008 12:57 PM

Okay, that was absolutely hilarious! Thanks for the laugh. I always looked younger than my years all through my early twenties. I was rather sensitive about it, in fact. And then, at 23, I became an English teacher to eighth-graders. They referred to me as 'old' and suddenly I wanted to look young again.

Posted by: Caryn at February 8, 2008 2:15 PM

I couldn't even read proofs 2&3 because I was too busy roflmao over proof #1. So you may be old, but you definitely still have your funny! ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at February 8, 2008 5:24 PM

1) I am going to turn 45 early next month. Think about that. I bet it will cheer you up.

2) Did you see the recent study published that the most depressing year to live is 44, and how nearly everybody feels MUCH better after that?

The point I loved in the article I saw about it was that 40ish is the "old age of youth," while 50ish is "the youth of old age." i.e. when you turn forty, you look at twenty-year-olds and feel ancient, and wonder what the hell you've accomplished in your life to date, and worry about gravity and the saggy bits and whatever.

But by the time you get to 50 you start to think, "you know, 20-year-olds can be really vapid and lame, and actually I'm kind of a cool person who's done some great stuff, and I might do lots of OTHER great stuff, too, before I check out of this vale of tears, AND... sometimes you JUST HAVE TO SAY WTF!!!"

That is my hope, anyway.

When I was coming up on 40, my mom said "40 is great for a woman, because you finally know who you are, and you stop worrying about who you're going to get to rescue you, so you roll up your sleeves and actually DO stuff." Which has been kind of true for me.

I look back on my twenties now and realize THAT'S when I had my adolescence, and I was such an opinionated LOUDMOUTH with no idea about anything worthwhile, except possibly original STAR TREK plot lines. Oh, and also I was drunk for at least the first four years. And played pinball badly in tons of bars.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at February 8, 2008 6:14 PM

I will turn 40 on Sunday. And I hurt myself laughing because this could have happened at my house. Except that my kids (17,14, and 3) insist that I am only 25 and that I had the two oldest when I was freakily young. (And -- HELP! I am not old enough to have a child that is ready to graduate from high school this year. I must insist that she stay in high school for another 10 years or so...) At least we'll be laughing a lot as we head into the dusk!

Posted by: Kelly at February 8, 2008 6:59 PM

I was going to say something that I hoped would be witty and charming, and Cornelia said it MUCH better than I ever could. That's why she's the author - like you, wonderful and smart and very pretty.

So I will say that, looking down upon your youthful almost-40 from my crashing-down-upon-52, you're going to give being 40 a whole new makeover and teenagers will be clamoring to be YOU!

Posted by: Fran at February 8, 2008 11:38 PM

Hey, thanks Cornelia!

Turning 40 didn't bother me, but I've been finding 44 rather depressing (because now I'm in my MID-40s?). Good to know I'm not alone!

Posted by: Brigitte at February 9, 2008 7:47 AM

40 old? Well let me just tell you, I will be 47 this May, yes, that is what I said and I will admit, I like my 40's a lot better than my 30's because I can be ME. I had to be careful when I was 30 to say the right thing but now with lots of prayer, research and thought I will let everyone know just how I feel and why. I think I have earned that. As for me, it is my eyes that are bad and I hate that, I always have to ask Katherine what something says and she rolls her eyes before she tells me. You go out there and take control of 40.

Posted by: Sharliss Arnold at February 9, 2008 7:56 PM

I'm turning 39 next month so I'm finding the string of comments quite lovely. We are definitely not old.

Posted by: Melinda at February 9, 2008 8:00 PM

Oh my word, dee up there just totally cracked me up!

And she is so right, too....

Posted by: Erin at February 9, 2008 10:20 PM

I LOVED turning 40 ... in Las Vegas, with Jay Leno and the Tonight Show, and Jerry Seinfeld and ... lots of chocolate martinis! Best party evah. Been planning my 50th ever since.

The best part of being over 40? The shocked looks of disbelief when I confess my age to other moms. I'm practicing that same look for when my friends finally turn 40.

Posted by: Patti at February 9, 2008 11:23 PM

I mis-hear things all the time, and like Alien, I was released in 1979.

Wait - I can *drink*???

Posted by: diane at February 10, 2008 7:24 AM

Turning this a bit serious here, I'm stumbling/lurching/crunching my way to 65 and getting great entertainment from the mis-hearings, and mis-readings. This is sorta like the 20s without the disadvantages of selfconsciousness...and the goals and responsibilities of the 30s/40s/50s have been met or discarded. No competition re looks and style...wash-and-wear hair, year-round sandals, comfortable bras, camos/jeans/sloppy knits depending on weather and chore (unimaginable freedom after years of fear of offending the neighbors and fellow shoppers). There's no longer a need to censor what I read, watch or put on my walls to keep my kids comfortable and avoid encounters with irate parents of their friends. I could go on with minutiae of the positive, but will admit to missing the dangly earrings, giant rings, and heavy textured bracelets...and intend to return to them when my skin is no longer at this inbetween stage. (I'm currently 'making do' with small dangly rhinestones to complement the sequined camos.) The main problem I've found is being polite to the Darwin Award recipients and their expectations expressed as "You can't be __ years old!" and the sub-text of 'STILL walking/thinking/talking/opining and it's NOT the partyline of my parents, grandparents, friends or pastor'.
Nora

Posted by: Nora at February 10, 2008 11:14 AM

I'm laughing here and thought of two or three things.

related to #1 - real conversation with a guy at work a few years ago.
"So do you get Linda to watch West Wing with you?"
"Yeah, as if Linda would watch wrestling with me."

Related to the age thingie over all. Cher once said in an interview (Vh1 interview I believe)
"I've been fifty, forty was better. I've been sixty, fifty was better."

I turn 52 right before your fortieth birthday (two days I believe - don't you and Natalie share the same birthday?) and despite being old, I remember forty being a good year.

Posted by: Cele at February 10, 2008 2:15 PM

I'm 19, but some people say that I act 50, so age is really all in your head. And I'm young, but I have had many incidents just like Proof 1, so that does not make you old. And yes, 40 is older than 39 or any year before, but the truth is, the people I look up to the most are all over 40. Experience makes you rich, and at 40, you've surely had a lot.

Posted by: Haley at February 10, 2008 6:48 PM

I remember 40. I was decided that I was NOT going to be old at 40 so I celebrated for most of the year.
Present #1: Belly dance lessons. That was 2 years ago, now I'm part of a professional troupe and co-owner of a dance studio.
Present #2: Belly button piercing. Looks great with the belly dance costumes.
Present #3: A tat. It's a tribal style heart with our 4 initials inside of it.
Present #4: A nose piercing. Granted it looked cool with the costuming but I couldn't wear it for my day job and it healed closed.

40 was most possible my best year yet. You can make it yours too.

Posted by: Debra at February 11, 2008 6:51 AM

You know, Debra, some may call that a "midlife crisis" rather than "celebrating"... :D

(I think it's awesome, though.)

Posted by: Jess at February 11, 2008 4:32 PM

You are not officially old until you purchase a magenta track suit, pair it with a lepopard-print scarf and don every piece of jewelry you own - and go grocery shopping.

AND force hard candy on strangers. THEN you will be old (regardless of your actual age) and not a moment sooner.

Posted by: City Girl at February 11, 2008 5:41 PM

Is it sad that this the third time I've read this post and I'm still sitting here, snickering to myself and muttering "the encephalopod nods"?

I am so going to say that whenever I'm stuck for a response:

"So, do you think you're going to get married again/have any more kids?" (I'm not currently dating anyone)

(Raising one eyebrow in a supercilious manner} "The encephalopod nods"

Posted by: Tina Cuchina at February 11, 2008 6:44 PM

HEY. I was flicking through your way-back archives and discovered that the cheer-yourself-up-at-40 present was supposed to be A PARROT. I think we may have to hold you to that. It would be excellent.

Posted by: Sally at February 12, 2008 12:27 PM