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6:34 a.m. - 2002-01-19

UNCLE BOB TURNS FORTY. LEAVE YOUR PRESENTS AT THE DOOR.

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I SAY IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

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IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TOO YEAH!

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I SAY IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

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WE'RE GONNA HAVE A GOOD TIME!!

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I SAY IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

Sorry. Ripping off the Beatles early in the morning as always been a fantasy of mine.

Soooooo...this is what 40 officially feels like.

Tell ya what...it feels a lot like 39 did. Except my lower back hurts a bit more and I keep saying "When I was your age..." to everyone younger than me.

Originally, we had thought about going to the Great American Garage Sale today. It's held at our local coliseum and it's a buncha people that would normally have their garage sales today have them all at one big place so you can go to several garage sales at one time.

But if you get there after 7:05 in the morning, all the good stuff is already snatched up. And I use the term "Good stuff" loosely. You'd be hard pressed to find any good stuff there. Unless you're a big fan of somebody else's stained shirts and broken George Foreman grills.

For those of you who have read my last two birthday entries, you would not only know but have committed to memory that today is also my wife's birthday, who turns 37 today, a scant three years younger than me.

She still looks 21 to me. She really does.

But then again ... my eyesight ain't what it used to be. I'M FORTY YEARS OLD FER CHRISSAKES!!

I was reading somewhere a while back and I think I've already written about it here, but it's in my mind so I'm gonna puke it out again on this page. In your 20s, you don't really care about your body because you feel invincible. In your 30s, you pay for that and you realize that you're NOT invincible and you start to panic and go to the doctor and find out you have diabetes and heart problems and shit.

But your 40s are generally known as the "Fuck It Forties".

This is the decade where I say "Fuck it". I'm in my 40s now, if something's gonna kill me, let it kill me. I don't care. Rather...I say ... "Fuck it". Bring it on. BRING IT ONNNNNNN!!!

That said, I'm having a French Fry Ice Cream Sundae for breakfast. Yeah, I've got diabetes. You know what?

Fuck it.

Yeah, my kid's only 14 months old and needs a Daddy to look up to as he grows up and if I go back to eating unhealthy, I die. You know what?

Fuck it. There's tons of single men out there that'd marry a beautiful blonde widow with hefty hooters and a darling little boy.

I'm gettin' in the whole swing of the Fuck It Forties right off the bat.

WHOOOOHOOOOOO!!


So anyway, we were going to that garage sale thing but have decided against it, because Susie wanted to sleep in today.

We haven't bought each other any presents, which is kinda par for the course. Some years we do, some years we don't. She never would tell me anything that she wanted. I gave her a list of specific titles of DVDs and books that I would like.

Neither one of us got anything. Something tells me I got the short end of the stick here.

So today, we're going on a little shopping spree and buying ourselves gifts which we would rather do anyway.

Except that means that Andrew and I have to stand around while Mama tries on blouse after blouse after pair of pants after pair of pants.

That's about as exciting as a Barbra Streisand concert.

Then tonight, Susie's Mom (and rumor has it...her no-good, loser, use-my-computer-to-surf-for-porn-and-not-pay-us-our-six-grand-back brother) are coming over to watch Andrew while we go out to dinner and a movie or something.

There's no movies we really wanna see though. I'd go see "Orange County", but I don't have the desire to actually wait in any line to see it.

I wish more independent films played in our town, since I'm more a fan of independent films over the big heavily-hyped blockbusters.

Susie's ORIGINAL plan was to throw a big 40th birthday bash for me, she confided last night over dinner.

Why didn't she do it?

She didn't think anyone would come to it.

Wow. Thanks a heap, hon. I know we've pretty much dropped off the society map since the baby's been born but I DO have some friends left.

Then again ... I don't like parties and I'm not a big fan of people making a big deal about my birthday. A nice card and a Happy Birthday are usually enough.

But this birthday is a MILESTONE, BABE!

I remember the days when I didn't think I'd live long enough to see 20. Twenty seemed "so old" to me. Forty?? Hell....I KNEW I wouldn't live to see 40.

I told Susie last night that it was 20 years ago last night that I got my ear pierced.

Granted, pierced ears on guys now are no big deal. But in 1982...NO NORMAL GUYS had their ears pierced. If you did, you were labeled gay. Gayer than gay. You were so gay, you had your ear pierced so you'd look more like a woman. Gay boy. Gay boy. Gay boy.

I didn't care. I was drunk, my buddies were drunk, we were at the mall, we each had six bucks in our pockets and by God, we were getting our damned ears pierced.

I was in school at the University of Tennessee at the time. It was me, my best friend Bill and my second best friend Thomas, plus two gal pals who already had their ears pierced, but they were our designated drivers since it was afternoon and we were blotto.

Bill went first because Thomas and I were scared to death it would hurt.

Bill didn't even flinch as the piercing gun went through his earlobe.

Me next. I remember a short, sharp pain and it was gone. I was the proud owner of a pierced ear.

Thomas was this crazy black guy with a huge afro still leftover from the 70s. He was real jumpy in the seat, as it turns out he had a deep aversion to pain.

He flinched just as the girl pierced his ear and his piercing was on the outer edge of his ear rather than centered on his earlobe. He looked like an idiot.

I tried to talk him into letting the girl do it again because he looked like an idiot. Thomas had no intentions of doing it again. So rather than look real cool, he looked like a guy that flinched in the piercing chair and now had an earring that was barely on his ear.

He was cool with that.

We left the mall and a freak ice storm had hit. When I was in college, I didn't pay much attention to anything that didn't include alcohol or drugs in the equation. So I hadn't been paying attention to the weather reports.

We slid to the parked car, all piled in and tried to drive back to campus. We made it about a mile before the car ran off the road, leaving the five of us in a Toyota...stranded.

We got out of the car and all promptly fell on the ground since we couldn't figure out how to stand on solid ice. We literally CRAWLED up a large hill on the side of a busy road to a Darryl's restaurant. The restaurant was about half full and here come three guys WITH PIERCED EARS and their two female companions. None of us had much money and just explained that our car had gone off the road and this was the only place we could find shelter, so do you mind if we take shelter here?

We were given coffee and allowed to take up a booth's space. The management announced to everyone in the restaurant that if they wanted to, they could spend the night in the restaurant, as the roads were basically closed.

So we sat there all night, getting stares from the older customers directed at our earlobes. We thought we were rock stars and they apparently did too as you just didn't ever come into contact with men wearing earrings outside a gay leather bar.

I don't remember much more about the evening. It seems like we left the restaurant about 3 a.m. and somehow got back to campus which was probably 7-8 miles away but I don't remember how. Luckily, Bill had brought a cigarette pack full of joints with him, so us guys would go outside once an hour and smoke a joint to keep our buzz going all night.

Good times, babe.

I kept my ear pierced until about 1987 or so when I finally let it close up. Susie and I got engaged in 1987 and I thought that I should quit wearing earrings because I was a grown-up now. I was engaged. Ain't got no time for no damned earring-wearing....I'M OLD NOW.

...Granted, I wasn't forty.

Now forty...I can tell you from experience...THAT'S OLD.

Twenty-five ain't old. Enjoy twenty-five. Embrace twenty-five. Give oral sex to twenty-five. Twenty-five deserves your love. Twenty-five is a young, carefree, free-spirited lover who is full of vim and vigor.

...Forty is a bitter and angry former lover that you run into in a rundown pool hall who gets in your face and wonders why the hell you treated it so bad all those years ago.

Fuck it.

I'm forty.

Life goes on.

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