Jul 31, 2008
That’s right; today, July 31st is my birthday and Lordy-freaking-Lordy, I am 40.
First of all, I’m happy to be alive, and to be healthy. I’m happy to have four special children, and a fantastic wife, and I’m happy to have my health. I’m very pleased to still have some hair. I destroy Matt Hasselbeck in that area.
And yeah, 40 is just a number, I know. Problem is, so is 87, so that little cliché offers very little relief.
I’m not real good on the aging thing, and I’m not exactly sure why. It may be because I reflect on the various phases of my life more than the average person, who just chugs along without really thinking about what’s going on. I was the guy in High School who said to people, “Man, these are times we’ll never forget.” My friends replied “Yeah, sure,” as they checked my fridge for human heads. Of course, many of those people now live in the past. I don’t live in the past, but I take note of all the phases of my life, and it’s never easy to say goodbye to one of them, as I did last night to my 30s.
Maybe it’s because I’ve always been very ambitious, and to be young and successful meant a lot to me. When you’re 40 and successful, it’s no big achievement; you’re freaking 40. You better be doing something if you’re goal is to be a mover and a shaker.
Or maybe it’s simply because I find my eyes drawn to fully developed female adults who live in my town and actually call me “Mr. Hansen.” It may take another decade to get used to that one.
It could be because whenever I go to a party or a barbeque, I always gravitate to the young people. Ironically, when I was very young, I hung tough with the old guys at such events, but now I’m very interested to talk to young guys in their early 20s to find out what’s going on with people who actually have legit social lives and the like. Like exactly what is standard these days in terms of the base attained on a first or second date, among other things. And these are certainly the only people I can talk to about music and other hip things that I still cling to at this point. At least in a party setting, I honestly relate to someone 22 better than someone 42. I had new neighbors a few years ago and hung out with them a fair amount one summer. I called over once asking for Bob. Only problem was, I was asking for “Little Bob,” who just graduated from college. Big Bob, about 7 years older than me, is a nice guy, but I was more on Little Bob’s wavelength.
Finally, I may simply feel the residual affects of feeling old for damn near 20 years. I got married very young, at 23. That wasn’t so bad, but I accidentally become a father, at 24. Apparently, antibiotics can nullify the effects of The Pill. (In my best Johnny Carson voice): I did not know that. And neither did my wife. I’m embarrassed to say, but I actually felt old at 24 because I was married with a kid. I have issues, I know. That son is now only two years younger than I was when I started dating my wife, and he’s exactly her age at the time we started going out. To put it in greater and more relevant perspective, I was 26 years old when I started this website. Unbelievable.
Ah, but it’s all ok. I just have to get used to another phase of my life and make some small adjustments. At 30, I acted like I was 20, so I guess I’ll roll with 30. I might even be able to pull that off visually. With a hat. At night. In a blackout.
I’m also a little freaked out this week because my wife threw me a surprise party on Saturday night, and I had absolutely no idea it was coming. Didn’t even think that I was out kayaking all day, something I do twice a decade, set up by her, with her cousin, who I last hung out with in 1993. That’s how shot out I am. It was surreal, actually, walking into my house and then into my backyard. Cars were hidden, and long story short she got me to approach the house on a specific street so I didn’t see them, still clueless. Best gift? Easy, someone gave me an unopened bottle of Chivas Regal, circa 1968. Cracked that bad boy open at the stroke of midnight today. It’s a big bottle, so if I take just one shot once a year on my birthday, that beotch might someday be 60 year old scotch.
OK, I better wrap this thing up before I’m accused of making people pay to read my (likely misguided) ramblings about turning 40. If you are annoyed, I have good news, at least on the aging front: I don’t plan on ever writing about my age again. Now that I’m 40, there’s nothing gained out of advertising that fact. Let people think I’m still a guy in my 30s, I’m ok with that that. I know I don’t “sound” 40.
This has been therapeutic for me, and I do feel a little better now. Yeah, I know, it’s better than the alternative, at least you have your health, and it’s just a number. Got it.
But before I go, I thought it would be fun to see who among the famous was also turning 40 this year, my fellow 1968ers. As usual, when I see a list, I can’t help myself but to insert some comments, so I figured I’d share them.
- Celine Dion – One of the most annoying humans on the planet in every possible way.
- Christian Slater – The dude was off the charts in True Romance.
- Patricia Arquette – Also bad-ass in TR.
- Debra Messing – Blah, blah, blah.
- Hugh Jackman – Not a big fan. Wolverine, ok, but that’s it.
- John Singleton – Boyz in the hood is one of my favorites.
- Mike Piazza – Scammed full credential access to Dodgertown in Vero Beach in ’92 and conducted interviews for my own personal enjoyment, some huge names, too. I blew him off 20 times because he was a nobody. Whoops.
- Naomi Watts – One of my favorites; Mulholland Drive…enough said.
- Owen Wilson – More talented than people think; wrote and directed some good movies.
- Tony Hawk – OK, can this guy officially grow up now? Or does he actually need more money?
- Ashley Judd – My favorite Judd, by far, and yours too.
- Brendan Fraser – I can do without him, but he’s ok.
- Will Smith – Like the guy, but he may have to start cursing on his raps to sell records now.
- Josh Brolin – Not familiar until No Country for Old Men, I now like him. If I could, I would name the sequel “No Country for me and Josh Brolin.”
- Kenny Chesney – Apparently, he’s a country singer.
- Billy Crudup – Big Fish, quality flick.
- Aaron Eckhart – Thank you for also turning 40 this year.
- Cuba Gooding – Show me the AARP card! Even the “quan” couldn’t prevent him from hitting the big 4-0.
- Eddie Griffin – The New Guy was an underrated comedy thanks mainly to him. Shoot the gun! (which means absolutely nothing unless you’ve seen the movie)
- Vanilla Ice – Alright, stop. Collaborate and listen: you’re old.
- LL Cool J – Sat right behind him once at a Roy Jones Junior fight. My boy was 4 ½ feet wide.
- Brad Johnson – Please stay in the league a few more years, Brad. Now that Vinny’s gone, you’re all we got.
- Traci Lords – Always enjoyed her acting, and the articles in Playboy.
- Mark McGrath – Don’t like him. My wife once admitted to finding him attractive, so I don’t like him. And now he’s a lame-ass.
- Heather Mills – Nobody likes her.
- Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Ironically, he’s actually old now.
- Anthony Michael Hall – One of the most famous lines ever uttered on the silver screen: Hey! He doesn’t even have his license, Lisa!
- Tracy Morgan – That dude is crazy. For some reason, I’m Brian Fellow! Was funny on SNL.
- Mike Mussina – I think he’s still pitching.
- Molly Ringwald – Never got her, but that’s my generation in a nutshell.
- Barry Sanders – Two words: 1. The 2. Man.
- Gary Sheffield – Shared an elevator with him at the Staples Center once. He was ok – and his wife was smoking hot, as you would expect.
- Pauly Shore – To me, Pauly Shore and crickets go hand in hand.
- Sebastian Bach – Someone please tell this guy that hair bands sucked, at least his did. And also that it’s 2008. Skid Row? More like Skid Mark.
- Edward Burns – A little too hung up on relationships in his movies, but how can you not like this guy?
- James Caviezel – Jesus, he’s old!
- Thom Yorke – Radiohead frontman. He did a solo album last year and his big song had the chorus “This is F#cked Up,” which is ironically a song I was humming myself Wednesday morning, my last day ever in my 30s.
- Gary Coleman – I’m not even going to say it, and you know what I mean. If you do remember him well in the 80s, this one’s gotta make you feel old. Arnold Jackson is freaking 40?
- Lucy Liu – Kick ass in Kill Bill Vol I
- Sarah McLachlan – 90s version of the Carpenters in a Tommy Boy sort of way and if you don’t get that I totally understand.
- Sam Rockwell – One of the best actors nobody’s ever heard of.
- Shannon Sharpe – I’ve met him, and I worked with his Bro for a year on NFL Network. Sterling used to crack up every time I passed the time by crossing my arms on my chest like in a casket because I had makeup on. Little anecdote there.
- Sammy Sosa – How about that interview regarding Steroids when he couldn’t understand the questions because of a language barrier? Meanwhile, he talks like John Houseman now.
- Bernie Williams – Gotta like what you’re doing when fans go first name on you.
- Rick Salomon – Of Paris Hilton video fame. Only reason I bring him up is I actually spoke to this dude several times, pre-filming. But that dude’s 40.
And finally, I’d like to thank Mike Gundy for making this whole 40 thing much less painful. You are the man, Mike, and for 12 more days, you are still 40!