Friday, May 9, 2008

This is who we are … at 40

So here it is. The big 4-0.


The beginning of the slippery slope downhill. Unless you go by my Blue Zone score, which says I will make it to the ripe age of 94 but spend the last 15 years paying for the indiscretions of my youth.

I feel cheated. Had I known way back when, I would have picked way better indiscretions.

So, let me start the 40th anniversary of my birth by thanking my Mom. After witnessing the birth of my own two children, I can only hope she got a real long, solid buzz from the painkillers that day.

Of course, the fact my birthday occasionally coincides with Mother's Day pretty much relegates me to second-class status every few years, but that's not your fault, Mom. We'll blame Dad, you dirty dog, you.

Next, I'm happy to report there have been no major injuries yet to mark my 40th year. My Love, who is three years wiser than I, warned me back when I turned 30 that little aches and pains that never bothered me before would now start to appear. The next day, I promptly strained my back attempting a few laps in the pool.

On the plus side, my hair didn't suddenly fall out overnight. But I knew that wasn't going to happen. I was thinking more along the lines that it would go completely shock-white like it did for Lance Henriksen's character after he watched his wife die of the apocalyptic plague in "Millennium." Now, how cool would that have been?

Instead, I'm fighting the creep of a David Letterman-esque floating isle of hair above my forehead. I'm still only at the peninsula stage but I fear the shores are literally receding. Put me down as another victim of global warming.

So what have I accomplished after four decades?

Anyone? I'm open for ideas here.

Haven't writing the Great American Novel, Short Story or Pop Song. But neither have you* … so there!

Never had true, physical carnal knowledge of Cindy Crawford.

Sorry. … Wiping drool off keyboard.

My only great regret is never having mastered a musical instrument. But, I'm still surprised that I faked musical competence well enough to sing in a band in high school, even if we never played anywhere but the drummer's basement, and play some Casio riffs for the short-lived garage band we had in my newspaper days.

Thankfully, I have erased all the tapes. I think. The memory and the reflexes are always first to go.

Some may question whether I truly lived up to being voted "most likely to succeed" in high school. I know that, in at least one area, I fared better than my female counterpart. Last I heard, through an e-mail she circulated before the 20th class reunion, she was on the prowl for husband No. 3. I'm sorry I missed that party.

I guess it depends on your definition of success. I've had jobs in which I was underpaid and overworked, overpaid and underutilized, and paid a fair wage but completely unfulfilled. I had one great job and it paid only in free admission to movies (intern in the press office of the American Film Institute in Washington, D.C.).

But the best job, honestly, has been being able to hack away on a laptop from home over the past four years. That's because it means I:

1) never have to wear a tie,
2) never have to attend meetings in which I must pretend to be enraptured by the "insights" of my CEO-ass-kissing boss," and
3) get to spend lots of time raising Thing 1, Thing 2 and the Murphinator.

I owe it all to Al Gore, for inventing the Internet, and having a wife with far more ambition, business acumen and earning potential than I.

Also, she loathes shopping and housework. I, by contrast, feel it is my duty to read the care labels on clothes and sort them appropriately before washing. This arrangement of ours is what someone in her profession would call "having complimentary skill sets."

That means, if she ever used the phrase "having complimentary skill sets" in my presence, it would send the beer I'm drinking straight out my nose. It's all about balance.

I only wished she traveled less so we could be a family more often.

OK, I also wish she was Cindy Crawford. But then, she wishes I looked like Denzel Washington and did home repair like Ty Pennington. Someday, we'll start a really successful fantasy spouse league.

Well, here's to me at 40. Always home and uncool, but pretty OK with life as it is.


NOTE: An entry on the surprise party My Love threw for me last weekend will be coming soon. My colon needs more time to process the 60 pounds of barbecue and birthday cake that I wedged into it.

* Unless you are Marshall Crenshaw. Then you have written many Great American Pop Songs. Why you would be reading my blog is also a topic for later.


  1. Ewwwww you talked about your colon!

    Happy Big 4-0. I worked from home last year and it was the best thing that ever happened to me (except my husband, nephews and niece). I made hardly any $ but it ranks among the 4 happiest times in my life:
    2.became an aunt
    3.meeting husband
    4.working from home.
    If working from home is not a measure of success I don't know what is! From what you say about yourself you have certainly succeeded in many ways. I think I may have gotten that superlative too, now that you jog my memory.

  2. Happy Birthday!

    Your wife and I are going to get along swimmingly.

    I have no deep thoughts to deposit here today (heck, I have very few deep thoughts in general.)

    so I'll just make an observation that your balding pattern is the BEST way if you go bald at all. Losing it that way means you gracefully accept your hair comma until it gradually dwindles.

    Balding from the center out, the more traditional pattern, does nothing except encourage an unfortunate combover.

  3. I thought colons are what us old folks are supposed to talk about constantly. I have been misinformed.

  4. Happy Birthday, Kevin! My daughter turns 18 today, May 10th, so happy milestones to you Tauruses.

    You've crammed a lot of livin' into four decades, and you're not even at the half-way mark yet (I personally plan on living to at least 120, myself).

    Hope you had a great day with your family and friends.


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My Uncool Past