Forty Three

I’ve never trusted the number 43. It has always struck me as a surly and suspicious number–up to no good.

For instance, Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in the 43rd running of the Daytona 500. Don’t watch Nascar? Me neither. But I saw the movie Cars and it’s still ominous.

Our 43rd president choked on a pretzel and during his tenure the Twin Towers were attacked by a group of extremists looking to hook up with virgins in the afterlife. Then we went to war a few times. Whether or not you are a big fan of “Doubleya”, I think we can all agree that some bad shiznit happened during his tenure. And also that he can’t handle his snack food.

Chew your food and vote responsibly. (image via a magnet someone gave Hubs)

Not convinced?  How about this: Interstate 43 runs through Wisconsin, the dairy state. I’m lactose intolerant. And I hate cold weather.

The proof is there, people!

A psychotherapist would probably tell you that this prejudice is due to my mother’s death. She was 43.

I’m not going to argue the point. My mother’s death made me strong, independent and a wee bit effed up. If you are a parent, you should go out of your way to live forever or at least until your children reach adulthood. Untimely deaths in the midst of their childhoods will screw with their sweet little brains and leave them with baggage.

Like my extreme disdain for and obsession with the number 43. And my mild hypochondria. And deep abiding love of Carol Burnett. The list goes on.

The age of 43 has always loomed ahead with a flashing sign reading “Mortality”.  It is a marker, a milestone, a year of great meaning and pathos. My 26th year, the age of my sister when she died, was another marker. But 43 is 26 on steroids.

When I had my first child, a year older than my mother had been when I was born, the age obsession kicked into high gear.  You see, my fear wasn’t so much of dying as it was/is about leaving my children. Textbook, I know. If you want to bring me in to your Psych 101 class, you’re going to have to give me plenty of advance notice.

Anyway, today I’m turning 43. I’ve hit my milestone. And since I’m knee-deep in psychological baggage, I predict that this year will be full of personal wackiness. More so than usual. I could be a bit high-strung and so I felt the need to warn you, since much of it may end up in my posts.

Buckle up, folks. It may be a bumpy ride.

———————————–

Note: my son just came into the kitchen with his pants around his ankles and stated that he is 43. Then he turned around and waddled away. How he came up with the number is a mystery since Hubs keeps telling the kids that I’m 25. I think the fact that Conor was flashing me during his statement was significant, though in what way I can’t be sure.

No, I’m not making this up. And yes, it did completely freak me out.

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15 thoughts on “Forty Three

  1. Courtney says:

    I love the photo of the women surrounding your mother–she looks neat. And it’s such an evocative photo–reminds me of my childhood, because I, TOO, AM 43! Welcome! Honestly, the worst of the aging stuff happened a few years ago, so I’m practically unfazed by the stuff I’ve seen this year (like the loss of all skin tone right in my thighs, such that I look like a 78-year-old golfer woman from Scottsdale). But I understand the symbolism of this year, re: your mother’s death, and I feel your anxiety. I am sending hugs. You will be fine. This year will be good. And Conor and Riley will have many, many years to laugh with you and at you. 🙂

  2. allaire.henneman@portofportland.com says:

    I totally understand about the number thing. However I have found if I have a second vodka & lemonade, and I work a demanding sudoku, I seem to not care so much. Years later I sometimes think oh yeah. What a waste of 15 minutes that was.

  3. Deb J says:

    Happy Birthday girl!!! You don’t look a day over 42. 🙂
    And you will live forever… I have no doubt.

  4. Jessica Rick says:

    Happy Birthday Redican! If I could hitch up to your bumpy ride more often I would. You see, I have this concept of you as the center of gravity for the people around you (e.g. Connor, Riley, Rusty, me sometimes, people that follow your blog) because I find you oddly grounded (in that f****ed up my-mom-died-when-I-was-a-minor kind of a way you mentioned) and yet manage to be a burst of life too. I don’t know how you do it…don’t worry I’m not asking you because I’m sure you’re just a stumped – and we’re both pretty smart. Hugs to you.

  5. I am also 43. You’ve now officially freaked me out. But let’s pretend we’re not. Let’s go have a glass of wine somewhere, through back our coiffed heads and laugh deeply – as though 43 was simply a commercial interruption on the way to 44.

  6. Bird says:

    Happy birthday…. I will be 45 next month. Then I’m stopping with birthdays. Sorry about the loss of family members.
    And the thing with your son is freaking me out a little too. Being a mom is interesting, wouldn’t you agree?

  7. […] right now and wondering why this is such an astounding feat, you can step back in time and read this bad boy to catch up to speed. I’ll wait […]

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