39 Clues…about being 39

Yesterday was my birthday and I turned 39. It’s the start of my last year in my thirties! Some people feel gloomy on their birthdays, but not me. I love birthdays, and also, I don’t want to be dead, which is the alternative to aging. Bring on the age, I say! One step closer to shuffleboard, slacks, plastic jewelry, and sexually harassing young male orderlies in the Home. I also think that birthdays are the day to party, caramba, fiesta, forever, and to also wear tiaras.


Thanks to my friend Rebecca and her girls for bringing it, tiara-style.


With the vantage point of being 39 and one day, I give you my list of 39 random thoughts about being 39.

1) I like the way “39” sounds. Not quite middle-aged, but old enough to OWN these forehead wrinkles.

2) I feel way more healthy and attractive than I did twenty years ago.

3) I’m confident enough to rock a bikini, which I didn’t do twenty years ago.

4) Still, I would like the girls to be more like they were twenty years ago, if I’m being honest. Gravity and age has been hard on my poor deflated rack.


Ah, youth. Remember drinking before going to the bar? It was all about economics.


5) This would be why I’m a Victoria Secret devotee. I need all the engineering I can get.

6) I think I have better style now than I did twenty years ago, but that might be due to the fact that twenty years ago I was wearing high waisted jeans and bodysuits.


And puffy pirate shirts.

7) Letting my hair go more than six weeks between colours is disastrous, not only for the inch long grey roots, but because the rest of my hair resembles orange straw.

8) Every morning I check my chin for long black hairs.

9) Despite checking every morning, every once in a while I will notice a one-inch black hair under my chin that wasn’t there the day before.

10) Although the whole world drools over Don Draper, the man I find most attractive on Mad Men is Henry Francis. And also, disturbingly, Jim Cutler.

11) In a similar vein, I find Mike the most attractive man on Breaking Bad.

12) I feel disappointed in a motherly sort of way when I think of Jesse. I do not find him attractive in the least.

13) I recently referred to Chris Evans as a “very nice looking young man”.

14) It’s been 25 years since my first viewing of Say Anything, and I still kind of identify with Diane Court. I AM a show pony, after all.

15) While at the salon on Friday, getting my grey roots and orange straw hair coloured, I read People magazine and realized – not for the first time – that I don’t know any of today’s hot new celebrities. Celebrities featured in People that I did recognize: George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, and Boo the Pomeranian.

16) I am older than Sally Albright, Mrs. Robinson, and Princess Diana when she died.

17) Of all fictional movie characters, I most identify with Sally Albright, even if I have a few years on her. This is especially true of the way I order food in restaurants. “On the side” is a very big thing for me.

18) My husband took the winter tires off my minivan and put on the fanciest rims you have ever seen on a minivan. My ride has been pimped, as they say. It’s like I’m having a midlife crisis, minivan style.

19) Because of these hot new rims, I feel like I’m going to be the bitchin-est mom at pickup. I already kind of look like this guy when I’ve got the beats going, but with a minivan.

20) Damn. It feels good to be a gangster.

21) My husband says I am the easiest person to buy gifts for, because I’m hysterically excited at just the thought of gifts.


Presents presents presents!




22) This was exemplified by my squealing excitement at the receipt of a dish towel from my children. But then, it was this dish towel, so that’s pretty amazing.



Easy as Pi! There’s even a graphic of a double cone. I’m sure there are some reading this who knew me in high school, and so “Conics Goddess” may have some meaning for those readers.


23) Last year I received a dehydrator and this year I received a juicer, and I am absolutely thrilled to receive kitchen appliances as gifts.


But then, I guess I’ve always been excited about receiving kitchen appliances.

24) I am old enough to see not only fashions from my childhood back in style, but also from my teen years. I’m too old to wear them though, so I guess I will leave the bubble skirts and gladiator sandals to the young people.

25) I use terms like “young people”.

26) When I read magazines that have those “Beauty At Any Age” articles, I flip to “In Your 40’s” because the advice for “In Your 30’s” feels a bit irrelevant. I feel like my fertile years are greatly in the past (knock wood).

27) I cannot blame my children anymore if I’m tired.

28) I cannot watch movies that are sad, scary, or violent.

29) I did, however, recently watch Love Story on a plane, and was struck by my teenage resemblance to a young Ali MacGraw. It must be the eyebrows.

 alimacgraw copy


29) I spend a great deal of effort plucking those eyebrows because these days, they would make me look less like Ali MacGraw and more like Martin Scorsese. See also: chin hair.

30) I can remember the song lyrics to practically every song I’ve ever heard, yet I need to write down “put out garbage” every second Monday.

31) I feel vaguely shocked when I hear of people going out at nine pm, even though I know I once did that too.

32) To me, a perfect evening sounds like watching Downton Abbey in my pajamas with a bottle of wine.

33) Only on weekends though, because I had one measly drink on Sunday night and my Monday morning yoga practice felt like I had turned into the Tin Man.

34) Speaking of which, I’ve never watched The Wizard of Oz the whole way through because it freaked me out as a child and it freaks me out now. Tornadoes, flying monkeys, general creepiness.

35) I actually said to my husband, when we were spring cleaning and getting rid of old toys, that “maybe we should keep that for our grandchildren”.

36) I don’t actually want grandchildren until my kids are 30 or so.

37) I point out pretty girls to my husband, who tells me that it is not normal to tell your husband “Look at that girl! She’s hot!”

38) I have friends who really get me, and every day I am awash in appreciation for them. You know who you are, you ladies who make me laugh and smile and think about things, you who I see daily and you who I only see a few times a year but it’s as if no time has passed, you who read my blog and you who try my recipes. I love you all! xoxo

39) Every day, I can’t believe how lucky I am. My family, my life, it all feels charmed. I’m filled with gratitude for every year and I’m excited for the years to come.


Lucky, lucky me!



  1. Happy birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday from a fellow sufferer of whatever causes my memory to hold with an iron grip to lyrics of songs from 20 years ago but cannot remember that we need milk at the store unless I put it on a list!

    I know it’s likely a horrible character flaw, but the person I find most attractive on MM is probably Roger Sterling. Sure, he’s a degenerate and kind of an asshole, but he gets the wittiest lines and John Slattery is a good looking man (I swear I am not biased by the fact that he grew up in my home town and went to the brother school of the all-girls HS I went to). IRL Ken Cosgrove (before this season’s iteration) is likely the closest to anything resembling a man I’d have spent more than a few weeks dating back before I was married.

    I’ve always been too old for Jesse Pinkman. Throughout the many seasons of BB he made me feel nothing but maternal: first disappointed that he wasn’t living up to his potential, then disappointed that he consistently made terrible life choices, then so sad for him and the mess of his life. All mom, all the time.

    • Are we the same person? Because Roger Stirling is #3 on that show. His lines are the best. “Lee Garner Jr made me hold his balls.” WHAT WHY

      I know – Jesse and his terrible, terrible life choices.

  3. Happy Birthday, fellow thirty-nine-year old! I am already thinking about turning 40, though it is 5 months away.

  4. The amazing appearance of a one-inch chin hair is something I deeply, deeply identify with. I check every day! Every day! And yet!

    One of the reasons I read People is to try to keep up on new celebrities. It’s not working. All it makes me do is feel out of touch with popular culture.

    • Yes. I feel like I’m from space when I’m reading it. The “star of x show” doesn’t help either because I do not know the shows.

      What I want to know is how a chin hair can magically grow to one inch overnight? And also, why is my hair grey but my chin hair black?

  5. Happy birthday! Hope it was wonderful. I loved being 39 – it was a year of chucking out a lot of “should do” stuff and replacing it with “want to do” sort of stuff. Plus, it ends with turning 40, which is plenty of cause for a minimum of three parties (best to start planning now, 12 months is barely enough time!). Have a fantastic year!

  6. I hope you had a wonderful birthday. I was (almost) 39 when J was born, so it feels pretty far in the rear view mirror now, youthful really. Of course, attending a book club that consists mainly of people who are 60+ when I am in my mid-forties makes me feel youngish some days.

  7. Happy birthday!!!
    I own these wrinkles. I blame my husband for them. Well actually, I have a massive forehead so when I was younger, I either wore bangs or gave my excited face…you know where your eyebrows draw upwards…yup…made them lines.
    I went to the bar with my much younger siblings and I had an old people reality check.
    High waisted jeans are back in style.
    I had to google Sally.
    And I am glad that you can find 39 reasons to feel absolutely wonderful on your birthday. Age is just a number except for boob sizes and jean sizes.

  8. And here I’m only turning 36 and yet I distinctly remember commenting on this post… then I checked back and nope, nothing. So I’m blaming WordPress even though I’m pretty sure we lay all the fault squarely on my uterus and how stupid I get one week a month now that I am careening into my late 30s.

    I feel the same way about People magazine. See, there needs to be a website for people older than 25 who want to know what’s going on with the celebrities we actually care about. Dagnabbit.

    And I have a mystery hair like the one you describe, except it will suddenly and overnight make an appearance on my right cheek. Always in the same spot! Snow-white! An inch long! WHAT THE HELL, FACE.

  9. Hey, you just want it the way you want it. 🙂

    I had SUCH a blast the month/year I turned forty. Sometimes I feel a pang when I realize how not-young I am, but mostly I’m totally in your camp – more comfortable with myself, less worried about what other people think, almost impossible to embarrass and yet feeling an immense joy in being embarrassing, especially to my kids. I love your attitude (always do – about everything.) And, as someone you’ve changed clothes in front of, bullshit about the deflated rack. xoxoxo

  10. Heather Hultgren says

    I am 6 months ahead of you, therefore 6 months to forty, and yes, you have nailed it!!! Happy Happy Birthday!

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