I promise not to keep harping on about the age thing. But for me, the best thing about nearly being forty is the queue of people telling me that I don’t look forty.
When I was, I think, 22 – still at college – I was walking home along a drizzly Trumpington Street when I was stopped by someone ostensibly doing market research but in reality trying to butter me up and sell me some timeshare. As a workshy layabout student with nothing but Neighbours and the Neighbours repeat to occupy my afternoon I played along with his inane line of questioning waiting for the inevitable reveal. After some nonsense about what type of holiday I prefer, locations, and other drivel, he asked me how old I was. I answered truthfully.
“Er,” he replied. “Are you sure?”
“Pretty sure.” A damp pause.
“Well, thanks for your time.”
Ah well, no timeshare for me.
Several years later when I was 28, the usual mob of that era were in a random pub. Toby’s then-ladyfriend was asked to guess people’s ages. For me, she guessed 38. Yeah, thanks love. Whatevs, as I believe the kids say these days.
It seems that my apparent age hovered well above my physical age until I hit my thirties, at which point it started to descend. When they coincided I don’t know, but now everybody seems to tell me I look a lot younger than I am. By everybody I mean about four or five people in the last few months, including Richard at work today. That’s approximately everybody.
I must have grown into my baldness. They can’t all be overdue for eye tests.
The scary part of turning forty is that it seems like ten minutes since I hit thirty. I’m half-expecting to wake up and find myself back in 1999 having dreamed the last ten years, with Bobby Ewing in my shower. It would certainly explain many things, not least George Bush.
But I’ve made some great friends in the last decade so it’d be a shame if they were all imaginary. I suspect some of my friends actually are imaginary, but not all of them. Hmm, if I do wake up tomorrow back in 1999 I’ll try to remember to make Flickr, and YouTube, and Facebook, and Twitter… I’ll fund them from my SCO options while they’re still worth something.