Friday, March 12, 2010

Another bouncing birthday

Botox, barbells, a blood pressure cuff and a bigger purse -- can you guess by my wish list how old I'll be? If you guessed 4-0, you are wrong! I had a small birthday party recently with my family. My mother bought me a big, black bag with silver studs on it, and large, clunky earrings and a necklace to match.

"Kelly Ripa wears these, so I thought they would look good on you," she said.

Well, what's good for Kelly Ripa is good for me, I thought.

"It can be a new style for you," said my mom.

Why, yes, it could, I thought. Kelly Ripa and I could look like twins!

"You could call it a pre-40 style," she said. "Because you know you are pre-40 now."

Well, that took a little oomph out of it. (Surprisingly, Kelly Ripa is 40. I could have sworn she was about six years younger than I).

I know a lot of women who treat 40, or pre-40, as if it were New Year's, and not the party-till-you-drop part -- the resolution part. I do not.

In fact, I told my girlfriend recently, "Yes, I have a birthday coming up, and I do not want to run a marathon! I do not want to drink less, go to bed earlier, or even exercise more. I just want to go out to dinner to a nice restaurant and eat creamed cauliflower. I don't want you to pay for my meal; I don't want you to buy me any gifts. I just want to go on a girls' night out to my favorite restaurant, the expensive one that I never get to go to."

"Do you want us to donate money to Haiti in your honor like Melinda had us do on her birthday?" asked my friend,

"Well, no, I'm not that good," I said. "I just want you to show up!"

My other treat for my birthday was gluten-free cake. Betty Crocker has a version, and I was so excited that I bought it months ago and have kept it on the shelf just in case the store stopped carrying it.

As I bit into the wheat-free cake, I recalled how when I was a kid I couldn't wait until I was grown. I could eat whatever I wanted when I wanted, drink anything anytime, stay up as late as I desired and shop until I dropped. Money would be no object. I guess I still could (except for the money part) but now I know the consequences are mighty.

So, I'll stick to my gluten-free cake, and perhaps a little ice cream, chased down with some water since I can't have caffeine past 6 p.m. I guess I'm striving for a happy medium. You know, somewhere between marathon running and walking to the mailbox.

Oh, and that nice restaurant? We went, and do you know what happens when you're pre-40? You trip over the black high heels that you wore to match your pre-40 bag and fall face forward toward the sidewalk. And, suddenly, you find your chin within an inch of the pavement, and you are balancing only by your left hand (the right one is still clutching your new bag). Your wrist is sprained, and your pride is bruised, but you've discovered the best part of your new age -- pre-40 women bounce.

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