The big 5-0

I am going to be fifty.

There, I said it. It’s not happening today, this month or this year, probably next year. But, I’m not going to worry about that. OK, I might be worrying a little about it. I might actually be worrying a lot about that. But worry causes stress, and stress causes wrinkles, so I’m worried that my worrying is going to make me age pre-maturely. Although at pre-fifty, I think I’m holding up pretty well.

Recently, my daughters gave me a collection of pictures in which I am sixteen years younger. I held them up and remarked to Paul how black my hair used to be. I expected him to make a loving comment about how much better looking I have become.

“Yeah and look at how thin you were then, too.” He casually replied.

Paul really is of no help in this aging thing. And here’s why, he relishes being the younger one; the arm candy, the trophy husband. To hear him talk, you would think that there were multiple generations between us. When I talk about the pinnacle of TV programming in the 1970’s being the Friday night line up consisting of both The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family he stares at me as if I am speaking Chinese.

Oh, he tries to be empathetic. At a restaurant he’ll ask if I would like for him to read the menu to me. When I emphatically refuse, he’ll ask if he can hold the menu out even further for me to read. When I miss something that the waitress has said, he’ll shout out WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ORDER exaggerating the words while pointing to his mouth.

“I’ll just have the strangled chicken with bourbon satay.” I say, ignoring his taunts.

He rolls his eyes and whispers to the waitress “He’ll have the seared chicken with barbecue sauce” and the waitress nods knowingly.

“I only need my glasses for reading, I’ll have you know.” I say, offended.

“And the hearing aid to hear.” He whispers.


“Oh nothing, you know, from the neck down, you could pass for a twenty year old.” He says attempting to throw me a bone. I wish I could just accept the second part of that statement and ignore the first.

“So, from the neck up, I might as well be eighty years old is what you’re really saying. What if I decide to let myself go, get fat, wrinkly, bald and smelly?” I ask him.

“Ha! That will never happen; you’re way too vain for that.”

“Damn right....wait, I don’t think you meant that as a compliment…” I say narrowing my eyes.

He laughs at all of my facial lotions, creams and lighteners; better living through chemistry is what I have always said. No, the real issue here is that Paul is afraid I am becoming a literal “Benjamin Button” progressively becoming younger. Then he won’t be the young, pretty one.

To illustrate that point, I told Paul about a recent conversation I had with some female co-workers regarding the upcoming milestone birthday. “Oh, forty must be a tough one.” They chimed in. If bodily contact in the office wasn’t such a touchy issue I would have kissed them both on the mouth. Paul’s take on it was a little different.

“Aren’t they in their twenties? Do you think they even see a difference between forty and fifty?”

But, as I said, I’m not going to worry about it. I am not going to be fifty years old, but fifty years YOUNG. And it will be a celebration. I expect a crowd of at least one hundred of my closest friends, a DJ, go-go boys and maybe a special appearance by Rihanna. I let Paul know that he should begin planning this.

“And maybe Willard Scott can announce your birthday on the Today show too.” Paul said.

“Hell yeah…wait, I don’t think you meant that as a positive thing…”

Its jealousy is what it is.

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