The one thing nobody tells you about turning 40 is that is causes a rupture in the space-time continuum such that every year thereafter passes three times as quickly as your pre-40 years. (Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist. I don’t know what the hell I am talking about here. I don’t even watch Doctor Who.) At least it feels that way. Sure, we all know that after 40 your fat cells turn to Super Glue and bond to your thighs and midsection with no hope of removal. It is common knowledge that the day after your 40th birthday, thousands of gray hairs sprout up like that stinky orchid that grows for decades before one day finally blooming in its foul splendor and then dies. That is what 40 feels like. The day before you start to die.
When confronted with the reality of turning 40, I tried to stall. Fuck celebrating. I wasn’t even acknowledging it. If I had my way, I would have been drinking all day until I blacked out and the day passed me by. Much like my New Year’s Eve plans every year. But damn that grown-up responsibility thing, borderline alcohol poisoning was not an option. I insisted on not seeing anyone or doing anything. No dinners, no cake, no night on the town. I was old, and old people don’t go out unless there is bingo involved.
One of my closest friends harassed me daily with options for celebrating. Had a root canal been one of the possibilities I might have been tempted. Finally I relented when presented with a take-out lunch and mani/pedi at her house. I only caved because my feet were so callused I looked as if I had just run the New York City marathon barefoot. Plus it involved no interaction with humans, aside from the Asian man I was expecting to pumice my heels. I didn’t have to get dressed up or do my hair. The icing on the non-existent cake was that I could day drink without the judgment of the women in the nail salon.
No sooner did we finish our Panera takeout when there was a knock at the door. I was confused, because the man in sunglasses did not look like an Asian nail guy. After he stepped in wearing his clearly fake police uniform I knew I was in the market for a new best friend.
Officer Dick Savage, as he introduced himself, was actually quite my type. He went through the standard list of cop roleplaying moves, but seemed taken aback when I said I was a lawyer and wanted my Miranda rights recited. I was clearly not drunk enough at 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon to fully enjoy this. My attitude slightly improved when he stuck my head under his shirt and I noticed he had really soft skin which made me wonder how much waxing was involved. He smelled of lemon and coconut, so naturally I thought of pie, and then I developed the urge to lick his abs, sprinkle some salt and do a tequila shot out of his belly button. Lemon….lime…citrus…close enough. Both prevent scurvy.
My moment of Zen was ruined when he tore off his pants and began twerking in my face. His aqua thong had a hole in the waist. What the hell kind of discount stripper was this? I made a face at my friend, who was sitting in her Brookstone vibrating chair with a bowl of popcorn and bottle of wine, thoroughly enjoying me being humiliated.
What ensued was 45 minutes of being tossed around, forced to do planks and sit-ups and handstands and being flipped around like rag doll doing all kinds of exercise I would never do. I broke a sweat. I was not happy. With 15 minutes to go, I called “Uncle!” I think Officer Savage thought this was some kind of kinky roleplay until I pushed him away before running and hiding behind a chair. I couldn’t understand why there was no legal waiver involved in this performance. Anyone who exercised as little as I did could have been seriously injured. Then I thought there could be a market for stripper lawyers.
Since I ended the show 15 minutes early, my stripper decided to engage in small talk about my birthday and turning 40. Apparently taking your clothes off for money makes you an expert in relationships. I was being counseled as to why I was divorced (very uptight apparently) and I needed to get back out on the market (and stop dressing like a lesbian). Fuck off holey thong man with the waxed body. If I wanted advice I’d pay my psychic.
I will admit, the ludicrousness of it all took the edge off turning 40. And now I will never again hear Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” without cracking up.