Monday, 12 November 2012

What's the magic number?

The first sign I see every day -
 it's a conspiracy

According to De La Soul's 1989 hit, "3 is the magic number". According to my least favourite author, the number that makes the world go round is 50 (and let's face it, it's worked for her given that's probably how many millions of £s she's made from peddling questionable mummy porn). But I have discovered evidence to the contrary. You know how, when you buy a new car, every second car you see is suddenly the same? Now that I'm only two days away from my milestone birthday, the number 40 keeps assaulting me from all angles.

It starts when we're born. The average pregnancy is 40 weeks. We're born, go to school, learn that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights during the great flood (Noah's Ark, not the one in Lynmouth in 1952), spend 40 days every Lent being coerced into giving up something we truly love, maybe end up with a job that gives us the pleasure of paying 40% tax, develop a 40 a day habit, monitor our football team to make sure they achieve the 40 points they need to avoid relegation, get done for doing 48 in a 40 speed limit and then we die. Admittedly that's much later on (hopefully)  but the average life expectancy in the UK is 80 which means I am 2 days away from being half of my potential average.

How depressing is that? If we look on the bright side, apparently life begins at 40. Whoever came up with that? It is actually a modern saying because until the early 20th century, life expectancy was indeed only 40. Death begins at 40 may have been more appropriate then.  I can't imagine that everything is suddenly going to change on Wednesday. Unless the meeting I have in Park Royal on Thursday is going to have great significance for my future which I very much doubt.

The shoes - lasted about 40 seconds
It's not all bad though. On Saturday I was whisked off to a "surprise " party. You know it wasn't a total surprise because I'd already mentioned that my good friend had copied me in on an email replying to the invitation. Which, in hindsight, was very fortuitous because on Thursday The Monkey asked "Mummy, do you know you're having a surprise party at the weekend?" Don't tell a 5 year old anything. He assumes that because he doesn't like surprises (carrots in his shepherds pie, spiders in the bath, trips to Legoland etc), no-one else does. So I went to my surprise party intending to act very surprised. No need. There were people there I genuinely had no idea were coming and how much of a bonus is that? I was surprised though that I had to remove my unfeasibly high heels at the table. You know you're getting on when you can't even sit down in them.

I did prove that I still have staying power though and managed to drink 40 glasses of wine and stay up until 4.40 am (give or take 40 minutes). Then I was up at 8 with the kids, had 40 cups of tea in quick succession, savoured a medicinal Bloody Mary, made a Meccano motorbike (thanks dad) and watched 40 Year Old Virgin. I lied about that last bit - I've never seen it so can't comment on its artistic merit or otherwise but it would have made quite an appropriate end to the day (apart from the virgin bit). Didn't manage to squeeze in 40 winks during the day though which is something I think all 40 year olds should probably do.

Oh and, before I forget, forty is the only number whose letters appear in alphabetical order. You're never too old to learn something new.

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