I have never had a problem telling anyone my age. In theory. After a few milestones, I really couldn’t remember my age. I wasn’t sure how I’d react to forty, and surprisingly I was fine. I didn’t have a party or anything because a few weeks later my daughter would be turning one, and that was a bigger deal for her. My family took care of me though, and the year went on.
Forty-one hit pretty hard. I guess all of the mid-life angst that I didn’t have at forty came crashing down at forty-one. It was traumatic, and I couldn’t tell you why. I cried. But…at the end of that year was gong to be the best birthday, the birthday that would bring all the knowledge of the world, all the answers that I was looking for my entire life even if I didn’t know what the questions were, and that was:
Such a simple number, comes right after 41 but before 43, but still 42 held it all. The answer.
To life, the universe, and everything.
When asked how old I was, I grinned and said very firmly this is my Douglas Adams birthday. My year of Douglas Adams.
Most people understood, but many did not.
I did not suggest they read the book. I let them wallow in their ignorance. After all, I can’t complete everyone’s lives with one single explanation on the merits of reading one book, even if it is life altering, but it’s probably not for everyone, but I digress.
All I would say in response to Happy Birthday, how old are you was:
It’s my Douglas Adams year.
In answer to their quizzical look, I’d continue:
42. Life, the universe, and everything.
It all made sense.
That was my best birthday and it lasted all year.