39, Give or Take 10

So hey, it’s my birthday, and as you can see from the title, I’m 29.

(Waiting to see if you’re buying that.)

Okay, I’m not actually 29, but I could pass for 29, from a distance.

(You’re not buying that, either?)

Okay, but I really could pass for 39. People often tell me I look younger than I am. Sometimes ridiculously so. Once when I was in the office of a co-worker in her late fifties, a client stopped outside the door and asked her if I was her granddaughter. I swear I’m not making that up. But, the client was in his nineties, so perhaps I shouldn’t go by that.

More recently, when I took my eldest to the doctor, I identified myself to the lab lady as the mother of the teen whose blood she just drew. She said, “My goodness, you could be sisters!” See?

I take no credit for this as I put no effort into it. In fact, one wonders if my lifelong refusal to work any harder at my gender performance than buying jeans in the women’s department has added years to my life. How many days/weeks/months would I have spent applying makeup, shopping for heels, and “doing” my hair if I did such things? Every day that I walk out of the house in comfortable shoes with my damp hair in a ponytail is a day that I have won back precious minutes that our culture tried its best to steal from me.

Anyway, I don’t really lie to people about my age, perhaps because I don’t feel that youth is inherently superior. I’ve worked hard to get to my age and I’ve got the scars to prove it. And screw you if you don’t like my scars, stretch marks, varicose veins, or hard-edged bitterness. Nothing really comes cheap, does it?

Plans for the day:

Since I had the bad judgment to schedule my birthday on a Tuesday, I’m going to work. But, my coworkers will take me out to lunch at a place of my choosing, which I haven’t quite chosen yet. Any suggestions?

After work, I will go out for pho with my kids. I like to go out for pho on my birthday. Actually I like to go out for pho on any day, but especially on my birthday. Noodles! Vegetables! Tofu! Your pho may vary.

I may even open a bottle of wine later on, something I haven’t done since The Separation. But I have a brand new red rabbit wine opener, still in the box, that really ought to make itself useful. I shall raise my glass to the upcoming year, in the shadow of fifty, yet starting afresh.


9 thoughts on “39, Give or Take 10

  1. Happy birthday!

    My pho DID vary. You are young and psychic.

    I’ve done all of that stuff (no makeup and a wet ponytail) and my hair is white and now my pants don’t fit. It must be something else you’re doing.

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