Mean Things to Say to Someone Turning 40

My beloved husband turned 40 yesterday. Poor thing, there is surely no hell like living with me and having a landmark birthday.

I’ve given him no peace since the day he turned 39. I’ve built quite a repertoire of age-related snips and facts… I have a right, of course, since… for exactly four days… he’s a full two years older than me.

For the last 19 years — since our college days, when we were just friends and when that age difference loomed much larger than it does these days… I’ve given him crap about his age. It’s just one of our “things”… ok, it’s one of MY things. He merely endures it.

Little factoids like…

You know, you aren’t really 39… you are finishing up your 39th year and beginning your 40th because we don’t celebrate birthdays until after you have lived through that year. When you are one, it means you have survived your first year…


You know, you are really 9 months or so INTO your 40th year (this was at his 39th birthday) because you were conceived and we didn’t “start the clock” until after you had been around for nine months and were actually born… so you are really MUCH older than you think.

My sister-in-law offered the biggest stinger for his actual 40th birthday…

“Tomorrow, and every day thereafter, you will be closer to 50 than you are to 30.” (that one even left me dumbfounded — and I thought I was immune!)

There was the usual smattering of “gray hair” comments, cracks about his lack of memory (which is either something of serious concern, or something that is incredibly convenient), and I “helped” him walk to the table in the restaurant saying things like “careful there, old timer” and “Oh, my, you need to watch that step, ya don’t want to break a hip.”

I assume it is wise to chronicle this to remind myself of it later… because I’ve got a heck of a payback coming in my near future and I need to start toughening my skin now. My father has offered to support with time, money and energy anything my husband wants to do when my 40th arrives.

I’d be more worried, but with Pop’s memory and hubby’s memory combined (and therefore doubled) I’m probably still in no danger that they will even remember.


But, just in case… I’m going to have to squash the age jokes, quips and cracks… and be a good…. and… ahem… MUCH YOUNGER… wife.