I turned 36 years old on Thursday.
The week before, I was talking to some of my coworkers and I mentioned that I was dreading turning 36 a lot more than 35. 35 didn’t freak me out as much as 36 did. 36 means I am now in my “late 30s”, just four more years closer to 40, closer to “middle age”. I didn’t feel like I was 35, but I damn well feel like I’m 36 now. Don’t know what happened in the span of a year, but something did. Maybe it’s the significant amounts of gray hair that sprouted at my temples, no longer hidden by copious amounts of hair dye. Maybe it’s the crinkling of my eyelids, or the wrinkles appearing at the corners of my mouth. Maybe it’s the fact that when I get home in the evening, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything – I just feel like showering and crawling in bed. Even more so on Saturdays, when the day has run me ragged at work and I am bone-weary and tired beyond all description.
Ten years ago, I rolled out of the apartment on Saturday nights after 10pm and got drunk. Five years ago, I could still hit up the Dervish and dance until 3am, provided I had a good night’s sleep the night before. Now I’m lucky if I stay up until midnight.
I don’t know if this is what a midlife crisis is, but this freaks me the hell out, y’all.
So, to stave off the “oh fuck I’m 36 now” freakouts, my awesome coworkers and amazing friends made sure to keep me in smiles and occupied with lots of cake and laughter this past weekend. It was a little difficult to chatter and talk since I developed a pretty nasty cold that caused my voice to practically disappear. First, the Bra Genie ladies brought me lots of funny cards and a dark chocolate cake from Fresh Market that would make the most decadent chocoholic blush and stammer. I also got a Happy Birthday tiara.
Then, Thursday night, Doug and I went to Fontainebleau State Park with a group of good friends and spent the weekend sitting by campfires, playing charades (which I can be pretty good at when I have no voice), drinking, and playing other assorted games. Friday night they all surprised me with a giant chocolate cake and a huge party hat, along with a card signed by everyone and an old picture from when I first started hanging out with them. I admit, I teared up a bit. A lot of this crew are friends that I met when I first started dating Doug and working at Crescent City Con and CoastCon, and I have to say that these people are some of the truest, most loyal friends one could ask for. Moving away from the Southshore makes it a little harder to see them regularly (other than cons and such), and Facebook has helped some, but getting together with them every year like this is so much fun. Even though my sleep pattern is screwed up for a few days afterward, it’s worth it.
You know what? Maybe 36 won’t be so bad after all.