This week I turned forty. While brooding about this momentous milestonein my life, I Googled “turning forty” and came across this article in The Guardian from 2003. Out of sheer boredom I decided to check which of these “40 things about turning 40” applied to me and which did not:
1 Gardening is suddenly good.
- Hmmm… It’s true that this year I finally have a garden I can call my own, but as for gardening, I’m not quite there yet.
2 As is Schubert.
- Schubert was always good, not suddenly so.
3 The prospect of dancing in public is terrifying.
- Always was for me.
4 You hiss when mobile phones go off at the Titian exhibition.
- (I had to look up “Titian exhibition”). I’ve always been fond of giving the dirty look to people who forget to silence their phones in movies, theatres, etc. One of the deadliest social combinations is an Israeli with mobile phone.
5 You have a Party Seven stomach rather than a six-pack.
- I’ll pass on this one.
6 You know what Party Seven means.
- Hah! Now it’s clear why I didn’t understand #5. I have no clue what “party seven” means.
7 Your younger colleagues think your libido requires chemical enhancement, or that it’s OK to make jokes about the probability that it does. The unfeeling brutes. (This may just be a guy thing.)
- I have had Viagra recommended to me, but I’m proud to say I never had the need to try it.
8 You buy more chart CDs than ever (in an attempt to hang on in there) but still go home and slap on Prince’s Sign o’ the Times.
- Haven’t bought a CD in years (isn’t that what MP3 is all about?) Never owned a Prince CD.
9 You start playing football.
- Only since about a month ago, when I purchased GameCube FIFA ’06 for my son and got caught up by the brilliant graphics of the game. Real football? Not in a million years.
10 You punch the next person who says “Denial isn’t just a river in Africa, you know” and laugh when anyone uses the word “closure” in a purportedly emotionally insightful manner.
- I actually never heard that one before (“denial”). Not bad. And yes, I find the americanism “closure” to be, like most americanisms, quite laughable.
11 You are more inclined to tell people to shut up.
- I don’t know about more inclined. Internally, I’ve been telling people to shut up since I remember myself.
12 If you’re a guy, harmless office flirting may not be so harmless. You don’t want to end up a dirty old man.
- Luckily for me, I seldom go to work in the office.
13 You know that texting has passed you by.
- Oh yes. Unfortunately, emailing on Blackberry has not.
14 You worry about rudeness, graffiti, the newspaper arriving late, the decline of public services and the possible truth in libido jibes.
- All true, except the last one.
15 Moisturiser for men is the new wet-look hair gel.
16 Thinking about death is the new thinking about nothing much.
- Not quite there yet, I’m afraid.
17 You sit at traffic lights singing along to Barry White. Small boys with squeegees laugh at you. Screw them.
- Who’s Barry White?
18 When your boss asks you when you can do some urgent task, you feel more free to say: “How about never? Is never good for you?”
- Oh, I’ve been saying that for ages. Internally, of course. I want to keep my job.
19 You think younger people who wear hooded sweatshirts with the hood up look stupid and sinister. You cross the street to avoid them.
- Stupid, definitely. Sinister?
20 You go to the pub less often due to the belated realisation that it’s rubbish and makes your clothes smell.
- Never been much of a pub-goer, but yes, it is mostly rubbish and the smoke is terrible.
21 You are less certain of things than you used to be.
- Oh, definitely so. And less certain every day that goes by.
22 You argue with the television. You always win.
- I don’t watch television, not for 5 years now. So as far as I’m concerned, I’ve already won.
23 Reading is the new staring into space.
- Frankly, I can’t remember when I last stared into space.
24 Board games are the new cocaine.
- Sadly, I never really got the habit of playing board games.
25 Childcare is the new nightlife.
- I thought this was about turning 40, not turning 30…
26 You find children less irksome than hitherto, and are less perturbed about making small talk with them.
- Not sure about this one. I don’t mind small talk with children, but I still find them irksome. Especially if they’re not my children.
27 You increasingly find cryptic crossword puzzles diverting entertainment.
- That’s not me. That’s my wife.
28 You’re temperamentally incapable of using the following phrases: “Oh. My. God”; “And I’m like …”; “And she’s all …”; “Whatever”. But, oddly, not “Well, duh.”
- Not true, true, true, not true. And not true.
29 You’re temperamentally incapable of doing high fives or other showy handshakes.
- I high-five my kids all the time.
30 You find solace in birdsong.
- Not much birdsong in my neck of the woods, I’m afraid.
31 You aren’t surprised that the Cheeky Girls were spawned by Ceaucescu’s Romania.
- Cheeky Girls?
32 You wonder if you would be shopping at Dunn and Co if it was still going.
- I have no clue what “Dunn and Co” was/is.
33 You pretend to care about J-Lo and Ben Affleck, subscribe to Heat magazine and have a Celebdaq account to stay in touch with celebrity culture, while simultaneously despising it.
- I don’t need to pretend; I simply don’t give a damn.
34 You think nothing of spending £8 on a bottle of wine.
- £8 = NIS66. True. Didn’t realise that’s a hefty amout for a bottle of wine.
35 You take a Thermos on demos.
- Nope. Bottle of water.
36 Actually, the rugby’s on. There are enough people on the march already.
- Oh, I thought “demos” meant presentations to customers… Just goes to show how much work is affecting my ability to think straight. Haven’t been to a “demo” since the peace rally on Nov. 4, 1995, the one prime minister Rabin was murdered at.
37 You write letters of complaint to Currys, Ikea, Norwich Union etc, while not expecting or receiving anything approaching a reply, civil or otherwise.
- Well, not to these companies, but yes I do occasionally shake off my apathy and write a letter of complaint.
38 It’s hardly ever quiet enough.
- How true.
39 It can be too quiet.
- Not in Israel.
40 You’re going to die sooner than ever.
- Thank you, The Guardian, for ending this on such a positive note…