38: The New 40!

Appreciating the tourist invasionIt’s October 10th and I’m sitting in an armchair in my living room. It is 2:31 a.m. and I am eating a waffle. There is nothing on it. Until a few minutes ago, I was enjoying a blissful denial.

I am exceptionally good at living in denial up until a point. Then it falls apart. There have been so many denial campaigns: I choose to be poor 2001, She loves you 2006, Your feet smell fine 2003 and, of course, I just enjoy drinking 2001-2012. Today’s campaign, You’re still young 2012, just ended because in 21 hours and 29 minutes, I turn 38 years old.

In preparation for the mind addling that will lead to bingo enjoyment and knitting scarves for several cats, I feel the need to research what is waiting for me. And in this moment that I will relive in my dreams, I make a decision and get out of bed.

I go to the internet.

I open a search engine and enter the phrase: Good things that happen after forty. The answer to that search is: Nothing. However, according to the 5 or 6 million sites that do come up, below are just some of the awful things that are going to happen to me in a few years.


When you hit forty, your metabolism starts slowing down at 2 % per decade. Gone are the days when you could eat sixteen cheeseburgers, an entire pizza and Tupperware and still fill the toilet like the son of Jor-EL. This might explain why middle-aged people either glare or stare at teenagers, apparently they are trying to remember poop. I foresee a decade of stool softeners, enemas and laxatives. At least I’ll learn what it’s like to be Keith Richards.


It’s more difficult to build muscle after forty. Which is great because it’s something I’ve never had a problem doing. You might remember my many Mr. Olympia trophies and the time I got caught smoking pot with Arnold Schwarzenegger in that film. I am sure that women will overlook the muscular twenty-five year olds at the bar in lieu of my years of experience and my ability to explain gerunds.


Bone loss starts in your 30s at the rate of 1% a year. Uh…have you ever seen The Blob?


Stress in men and hormonal changes in women leads to loss of libido. I had a few really great jokes about how my browsing history indicates that this won’t happen to me. However, I then realized that with all the loss of bone, muscle and with the constant need to poop, sex probably moves to the bottom of your daily To Do list. Oh well, at least there’ll be no more pillow talk and more cereal.


According to this highly depressing article, the rise in stress in your forties is linked to work responsibilities, your kids and dealing with aging parents. At this, I saw a brief ray of sunshine. I avoid responsibility like a teenage convenience store clerk. My parents have three other children who live near them and neither myself, Petr Králík nor George J. McCartney (or any other alias) have yet to be tracked down by any paternity suit.

This ray of sunshine disappeared while reading about the imminent deterioration of my physical and mental conditions and my loss of libido.


It’s almost a kick in the pants that they list this one last. Have you seen the five previous sections? Who could read about the things to come and not be depressed? This article should be titled: Reasons You are Going to Drink So Much More in Your 40s!


I get back in bed and stare at the ceiling. I imagine my loss of memory and squinting with confusion at strangers I’ve worked with for five years. The loss of sexual interest and the guts filled with cement. Then there’s the image of my bones and muscles falling off in heaps behind me as children and dogs point and laugh (yes, the dogs are pointing too).

I am just in the midst of wondering how anyone gets through it, how anyone copes with it all, when I suddenly realize that I am plummeting towards sleep. In a moment, I have dropped off into a peaceful sleep, just as I have seen so many old folks do in the middle of daily situations.

Huh…well, that’s one good thing, I guess.

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