“It’s only a number.” Just keep telling yourself, “It’s only a number.”
Why is it, do you suppose, that some birthdays seem overly significant? Why did Jack Benny reach 39 years of age and then stop there, perpetually at a number beyond which he might be perceived as “old?”
Why is it that we start having parties with black balloons at someone’s 40th birthday, or for sure on their 50th?
In the lyrics to “Strawberry Wine” the singer laments, “I still remember, when thirty was old.” And we (who have approached or passed that milestone) laugh, remembering when, as a teenager, WE thought thirty was old.
Frank Sinatra crooned about milestones in “It Was a Very Good Year.” He started at 17, and the small-town girls. Then at 21 he remembered the city girls. After a brief musical interlude he leapt to 35, remembering blue-blooded girls. But that’s as far as he went!
The very next line laments, “But now the days grow short. I’m in the autumn of the year.”
Damn. He must have turned 40, right? What an old guy he had become. He was remembering all those girls of the past because he was too old for girls now, I guess.
In case you’re wondering what I’m rambling about, it’s this: I promised some pictures of the surprise birthday party my family threw for me at the end of our ski trip. So I’m ready to show you the pictures, but they’ll make it very plain what milestone I’ve just attained and passed.
And I’m not sure I want to do that because most of you will think I’m OLD! Well, I’m NOT! So there!
I still run and ski and swim and snorkel and walk the golf course. My wonderful wife and I still have an active, uh, (sorry kids, I know this embarrasses you) physical life.
So go ahead. Look at the pictures. Figure out my age. Feel smug.
It’s only a number!