Have it your way, age 43

Two days ago I turned 43. An age with no consequence whatsoever, other than offering an opportunity to obsess over one’s age. Which, come to think of it, will be the main function of all the rest of my birthdays for the rest of my life.

So have it your way, age 43. Here are my neurotic musings (and counter-musings) that you’ve so callously induced:

These are no longer just ‘grays’ in my hair. They’ve bred. I have to think of them as ‘streaks’ now. (But I have same-age friends who are bald.)

There are mornings when I look in the mirror and I seem to have leapt forward three years overnight. The new lines settling into my face seem to come into focus all at once, better to get their point across. (But I still look way younger than my age. TSA officers at the metal detectors say so!)

My three-year-old’s birthday serenade was unforgiving: ‘Happy buffday to you, you a hunwed and fwee, you smell like a monkey, happy buffday to you.’ (But what the hell does he know?)

I have soreness in my pinky and middle knuckles every morning when I wake up. Could be rheumatoid arthritis. (But probably it’s just that I type a shit ton.)

Then again, I ran down that wiffle ball earlier today for an out vs. my six-year-old son, who was home with pinkeye. (Though my knee hurt a few minutes later.)

My wife is not yet grossed out by the sight of me. (I think.)

I have just discovered and fallen in love with Car Seat Headrest, whose front man is a youthful 24. (But only because NPR’s Bob Boilen likes them, and he’s older than I am, and one of the reasons I like them so much is that they produce music well beyond their years.)

And I got a gift from my sister that beats back time a bit: a Pac Man shirt, complete with the maze, the dots, the ghosts, the power pellets, the high score of 16440. And it shaves off 5 years. And when worn with a baseball hat, 10 years. (But there in the middle, a sucker punch: ‘GAME OVER.’)

pac man shirt w quinn

game over

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