It's true. I had a birthday. I turned a year older, a year closer to leaving my 30s behind. Believe it or not, I'm okay.
I have this thing I do with my birthday year. When the new year flips, I flip my age. I realize that's almost a year in advance, but this way I am well-used to the age by the time I actually turn it. And I got used to it while knowing I was actually a year younger.
I will, if asked, admit to the older age.
This makes my husband crazy. He feels compelled---despite more than fifteen years of negative consequences for doing so---to correct me, "Well, she's not actually 29, only 28, she'll turn 29 in November."
Now everyone is uncomfortable, except him, who has gotten the Truth Out. I feel like a liar and am compelled to explain to the other person who doesn't care one iota about it, although no matter what, the other person likely thinks I'm a freak. I'm okay with that. I release my annoyance by slugging my husband in the shoulder. I also highlight his every single slightly less than completely and fully 100% truthful statement for the next week. Because I am big and mature and not at all into holding grudges or proving a point that way. (Psssst INTJ Scorpio...my bite is worse than my bark.)
Turning this age has ruled out a career possibility for me. I am now officially too old to be a foreign service agent. Believe it or not, this job possibility has been on my radar for a long time. However, now I am too old. The foreign service? Has no use for me now.
I was exceedingly happy to learn this from my neighbor's big personality Some Secret Agency with an Alphabet of Letters Not to Be Named agent friend. He observed---with an unholy degree of relish---that wow, I am years older than him (and his barely legal girlfriend) (just three older than him) (but about 17 years older than the girlfriend) (who was my BABY brother's age) (the one who when he comes to visit me I say obnoxious things like, "And when you get back to your dorm room call me RIGHT AWAY so I know you are home safely," and "NO SPEEDING, keep your radio volume low, and no talking on the phone while driving!" and he says, "Whatever 'Mom!'") and then went on to think a moment and say, yeah, now you're too old for the foreign service, too old to be any use.
As a consolation, he added that people my age could still get desk jobs.
I'm hardly so old to be put out to pasture, my friends, or to move from "jockey" to "desk jockey."
I promised to for real this time go take the foreign service exam, even though it "kicks butt" and us older folk sometimes have trouble processing and recalling.
The processing and recalling part is true, to a degree. However, the situation is that I now forget more than I ever knew a decade ago. So perhaps I'm still on the same level I was a decade ago.
A decade ago, my husband and I had been married for four years, were living in Massachusetts, and had just decided it was about time to think about having kids. I was excited about a prospect that, if you asked me, I felt had a low probability of coming to pass. From the beginning I had a weird feeling something wasn't right in my body and that I couldn't just "get pregnant." I wouldn't want to replay the end of my 20s for love or money, which were central themes of that time, as were hope, heartbreak and despair.
In fact, I would not want to repeat any of my 20s, which, looking back, seemed a lot like a repeat of my teens except with a larger paycheck and no curfew. Oh, and a husband, instead of a boyfriend (du semaine). I'm okay with this age. I actually feel really okay with my so-called oldness.
So what does someone turning this age do to celebrate?
The same thing someone turning 2 does to celebrate!
Have dinner at Lupe Tortilla's (and if you don't have one? I'm so sorry. This tex-mex restaurant is built around a sandbox playground and is an absolute Xanadu for dining families).
Have cake and ice cream.
Open cards and presents.
The only difference? Big girls get margaritas!
(This is the exact birthday my nephew had last weekend, minus the margaritas.)
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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