Tomorrow’s my birthday, so I’m going to give myself the best present I can think of.
I’m going straight to forty.
I’m so completely over this thirty-something bullshit, I can’t take any more of it. I’m done. Most of my friends are already in their 40’s, why do I have to spend more time mucking around in the ‘I’m still finding myself’ decade?
I’m done with all this almost shit. It’s been almost forty ever since I turned thirty-five. Let’s just round up and get on with it. I’m tired. I’m tired of pretending I’m not tired. I’m exhausted. Call it a pair of Jacksons and let me sit down for one goddamn minute.
Forty. Feels like, finally. Feels like, fuck it.
Look, plenty of women lie about their age, they fudge and they fake. Some even get forms of identification forged to shave off a few years. No one’s going to raise any ruckus if I skip ahead a year or two.
And isn’t it true that the Chinese call a newborn baby a one year old? Or something? Don’t google it, just agree with me. Dragon. Rabbit. Whatever. I’m a big fan of their medicine, they’re probably right about most other things, too.
Thirty? Blah. I don’t need that dental fricative involved in my self-definition. And if you’re turned on by my tenuous grasp of linguistic nomenclature, then you’re forty. Maybe not in the flesh, but in your mind. And that’s what counts.
Like when you go to the Philly Cheesesteak Shop and instead of mushrooms and onions they give you spinach and peppers. A lot of peppers. But you catch it at the shop before you get all the way home, because you unwrap it and check that shit. Because you’ve been bitten by that bug in the past, and now you know better. Because you’re forty.
Or like how it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you - and not in a douchey kind of way, but in a humble way, like you’re no better and no worse than anyone else, and you don’t need anyone to remind you of that anymore. Because you’re forty.
Or like how you’re not going to date anyone who was in algebra class when the twin towers were hit, not again anyway. It’s not that they’re too young, it’s just that you prefer to hang around people who have something to say, for a change. Forty.
I climbed the hill in my thirties and now, I’m over it.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.