Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Time Has Come

Faint and nausea. These were the two things I was feeling around ten years ago when my age was clicking to THIRTY. The feelings are still so fresh in my mind today. My family tried to console me but they could not. I was devastated. It's funny because although I felt like I was getting old, I had no idea what the real reason for my feelings was....until now.

In approximately 48 minutes, I will turn forty years old.

In the weeks leading up to this night, I was waiting for the same feelings to come back. The faint and nausea. They still have not. I've been dealing with questions from concerned family and friends who remember how I was emotionally when I turned thirty. I've been answering them honestly.....I feel no different than yesterday! It's so strange.

So I began to wonder why this was. It didn't take me long to get it....

Becoming 40, here are the things that dominate my mind most often:
  • How are my kids adjusting to life in Utah?
  • How am I doing as the Director in my new branch office?
  • What is my awesome wife making for dinner tonight?
  • Should I wear brown pants or black pants today?
  • Do I look fat in this shirt?

Becoming 30, here were the things that were dominating my mind most often:

  • I am getting married in less than a year. How are we going to pay for it?
  • My job sucks. I can't support a wife, let alone think about having kids.
  • I live in a small apartment in Voorhees. I own virtually nothing.
  • My car is 7 years old and breaking into pieces. Thank goodness I only drive an HOUR to work each way.
  • I just cut off my beloved long hair....not for donation but because you could see the scalp under most of it. Even my pubes are thinning. I think it's all going to my back.
  • I just asked my girlfriend to marry me and the only things in my name are a 7 year old car that is breaking into pieces, a new computer that I financed at 28% interest, some old baseball cards and a really cool Zebra picture that the band members signed in 1986. I am totally ready to get married.
  • Do I look fat in this shirt?

You see the difference???

In approximately 35 minutes, I will turn 40 years old.

So how do I want to spend my last 35 minutes of my thirties? I am in NJ visiting the family. Hannah is staying at Bobe's tonight. Deb, Elijah and Sadie don't arrive until tomorrow close to midnight. I am alone at Mom's computer. It's actually kind of nice...reflecting my thoughts into the keyboard as the magic number approaches. 11:28. Maybe I'll type one reflection per minute for as the clock moves towards midnight. Naah. Too cliche.

30 minutes.

I am not the first person in my group of friends to hit 40. Gary turned the trick in January. His was a graceful and effortless transition. Evan pulled it off last month. His was not so graceful. He struggled for a few weeks but tonight he told me he's righted the ship and is back in full throttle.

Thing is, once you hit 40 - the next milestone is 50. I'll guarantee you this - if I DON'T feel faint and nausea at 50, I am going to have to ask the doctor to up my dose of Geritol and Viagra because I might be dead and not know it! How can I not feel ANYTHING right now???

It's funny how people try to make you feel better about the big 4-0 by saying things like, "Forty is the new twenty." I say, "Bite me." Forty is fucking forty. It's the old forty, the new forty, the future forty - IT'S FORTY.

Forty does not even translate into anything cool. When I think of the number 40, all I can come up with is:

  • North Dallas Forty - that movie with Nick Nolte. Sucked.
  • 40oz Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sucks.
  • Steve Bedrosian wore #40. He sucked.
  • I once paid $40 for a personal ad in the Jewish Exponent. I had seven dates and one of them had a brother that hit on me all night. That sucked.

I guess one cool thing is that I can join an over-40 softball league now. The games are shortened to five innings and instead of a t-shirt and cool trophy, you get ace bandages in your team's color, an oversized jock and cup and a Propetia trophy at the end.

20 minutes exactly until I turn 40.

Today I took a new employee in NJ out to lunch to welcome him to the company. In the car he asked if I grew up in Cherry Hill. Of course, I came back with my obligatory answer to the "where did you grow up" question, I said, "I have not grown up yet...I'll let you know when I do." Still gets laughs. Then I told him I went to Cherry Hill East Class of 1985 and he said, "1985? Wow! I was born in 1985."

The car skid to a complete stop and I demanded he get out of the car. Then I fired him.

Deb is going to call me at midnight. Elijah told me Happy Birthday a few hours ago on the phone and I told him that the next time I see him I will be 40. He said, "Wow Daddy. I'll be 7 and a half." Amazing how the young mind works.

15 minutes left.

I remember when Mom turned 40 and we had a surprise party for her at Nora's house in Middletown. I was 18. I can't remember exactly what I was thinking but I am sure it was something along the lines of, "Shit - that's old. When I'm 40 I am going to have 2.2 kids, a white picket fence and a cool Trans Am." I mean, how can an 18 year old kid picture his life twenty-two years down the line?? Impossible. I know one thing's for sure. I didn't say I would have three kids, be a Sales Director and be living in Utah. Wo. That would have been totally cool if I DID say that though...

Saturday night there will be the party of the year here. Some 75 people are coming to celebrate my turning forty. THAT'S ultra-cool. Or as Deb would say, "that's SUPER COOL." 75 people from all over are coming to celebrate with me!!! ME!! That just blows me away. My Aunt Rocky from Jamaica is here, my two cousins from Florida are coming, my Aunt from Long Island is coming. I think there are 20 friends and their spouses. It's an old-fashioned keg party with BBQ and beer. Just the way it should be.

6 minutes.

Maybe that's what life is all about, right? Maybe, when you break it all down and sift through all the extra stuff that's in there, it's BBQ, beer, and 75 of the greatest people in the world. What a perfect union. You just don't get better than that.

So thanks to each and every one of you out there for making my turning 40 so easy. I have the greatest wife in the world and the three most wonderful bundles of joy that I get to play with every day. I have the two best parents and best sister in the world. I've got the 20 most amazing friends ever and an amazing family that stretches the globe.

Oh, and I also got BBQ and beer to go with it.

40 is cool. I can say that now, because I am.


Anonymous said...

I am the luckiest woman in the world. I am married to the most amazing, caring and loving man. He is an attentive, selfless, loving, understanding and loyal husband. He is the bestest father ever to our children and he is a wonderful friend... my best friend... June 7 is truly my favorite day of the year for it is the day I celebrate the love of my life, my soulmate, coming into this world... Lucky for me and lucky for all who know him. I LOVE YOU JORDAN SCOTT BORENSTEIN!

Anonymous said...

That's some good stuff right there. Classic post Broth-r! (and classic comments Seestrr!)
Happy birfday! Here's to 57 more of them. Whut? I mean why 57? Why not?
Luff ya like a broth-r :-)

Anonymous said...

Your home base of Middletown, NJ sends best wishes and each one of us wishes we were 40. Judy

DI_Dad said...

Happy belated birhtday. In about 2 hours plus I hit 43 years old.


Anonymous said...

well, not ALL of us wish we were 40. Maybe in a couple of years.....

Colleen said...

You are so funny. I KNOW exactly how you feel. I had a shitty 30th, too. I actually hit in my bedroom and cried all day. I refused to take any phone calls and refused cake. I REFUSED CAKE! I had the old, "My life sucks... I am 30... I have nothing but a car that my ex-husband bought... oh yeah, I have an ex-husband... AN EX-HUSBAND! I own no house, no pet, no child is mine..." it was awful and I I hated it.

Now that I am 40 + 1 week + 1 day, I see more clearly. Well, I wear glasses now to read, but things are spiritually clearer. I'm trying to enjoy the ride. My new mantra is "bloom where you are planted." I have great finance, who I believe was blessed with a later-in-life gift of patience, unless we are trying to figure out what to do for dinner. He's wonderful, and was a blind date, and my rebound guy after my divorce.

We are all blessed, and thank God we all have a sense of humor.

PS, I think my mom threw herself a surprise 40th birthday party at our house in Red Banks. I vaguely recall the drunken card club standing on the mantle singing, "That's What Friends Are For."

Good Times.

Happy belated birthday. Colleen

Anonymous said...

Jordan, do you think that Colleen forgot that I also check this out sometimes.....And she meant fiance not finance.

david b mclaughlin said...

HBD Late!

I am writing a book about the 40 most important things I have learned in my forty years on planet Earth.

You can check it out here: