Monday, June 11, 2012


So: Some time this month (but NOT today), I will turn 59. Not 60, not 58, but FIFTY-NINE. The reason I'm drawing attention to the number is that I've been noticing a kind of ... maybe ... something of a ... possible ... TREND. It began a year ago, when a friend wished me for my 60th (with the best of intentions) and then apologized when I said that number was still 2 years away.

I didn't -- and don't -- mind! But many people are hung up about their age. Many women, in particular, treat the subject of their age as if it were their most precious crystal-ware, something that must not even be breathed upon and certainly must not to be mentioned in polite company. 

I really do not understand any of that. *shrug* Whatever. 

This year, someone else assumed that I would be entering the Six-Oh decade this month. So I corrected her. My birth year is 1953: hence there's one more year (and a few days) before I get there. I don't mind the mistake, but (like the spelling of my name) I think it's worth correcting. 

It got me to thinking about this number, this year, my 59th. Here's part of what I wrote to the one who wished me this week, about my response to each passing decade:

I remember the huge chasm that divided 9 from 10 -- the supreme excitement I felt upon reaching DOUBLE DIGITS!!!!

Then 19 to 20 was BIG too. No longer a teen. Childhood a distant dream (or nightmare). On the doorstep of majority.

29 to 30 was absolutely IMMENSE for me, for all kinds of reasons.

39 to 40 was an excellent transition. I had loved my 30s and loved my 40s even more.

After that, needless to say, passing the half-century mark was ... astounding. Humbling. Life-changing (haha). 

But now ... 59? I can't recall anyone making a big deal about arriving at 59. Of course all those earlier dates were from the "9"s to the "10"s but -- if you see what I mean -- the ten was so massive that the nine before it acquired a certain glittery thrill. 

59? Most people, I suspect, are going to treat it as "... oh, you're NOT 60 yet?" I mean, already, the friendly person at the Bonanza Bus ticket counter (in Newport, RI) has asked me, "Senior rates, right?" I smile sweetly and say, "Uhh ... not yet."

With all of this vaguely negative weight bearing down on the number 59, I thought it may be time to show it a little love.

To acknowledge that I'm grateful to have lasted so long. In reasonable good health and nearly always good humour. With a fair number of good friends and an astonishingly large crowd of Family. Still growing too -- I have two niecelets now, one seven and the other just turned one. 

Plus, I like both the numbers that make up 59, FIVE as well as NINE. I have a fondness for primes and a special fondness for 5 because it's so friendly, so reliable -- like a precisely ticking clock -- its multiplication table so gentle on the nerves that it takes no effort at all to know it.

As for 9! Whoa. It's got quasi-magical qualities, for which reason it is so often at the heart of number-puzzles. Its multiplication table isn't quite as obvious as 5's but it's still very cool. For instance the digits add up to 9 -- you know: 18 (1+8 = 9); 27 (2+7=9) etc. There's a lot of stuff like that connected with nine. 

And the other thing I like about 59 is the sense of being on the brink of the abyss ... SIXTY! Woof!

I mean, 60 is such a huge, old, old age ... I mean, really and truly SIXTY? Wow.

Part of my continual excitement about my birthday, every year, is that I never expected to live very long. I honestly didn't think I'd make it past 30. Yet here I am, close to being one year away from DOUBLE THIRTY.

Not quite there yet, but one year away. One measly year.

(and I may not make it. Who knows? There are no guarantees. Except the fact that there are no guarantees).





talonx said...

Congratulations! And thank you for making Target the magazine it was :)

- Long time lurker/reader.

marginalien said...

*grin* Welcome, Target Lurker! Glad you still keep the faith.

30in2005 said...

Wow. 59. Spectacular.

Have fun. Age sheds all the angst of years behind, insecurities and aims and life goals and such all met head on and overcome and new shoots to look forward to. Enjoy the year.

Happy birthday!

marginalien said...

Hi 30in2005! Glad to see ya here. Many hugz.

Hemamalini said...

Chuckled at the comment about the number 5 - I agree that it is the kindest of them all!

And happy birthday :)

Hemamalini said...

Chuckled at the comment about the number 5 :D - I agree that it is the kindest of them all!

And happy birthday :)

griff said...

Many happies! Wifout Facebook's help, I can't find the appropriate date. But happies, and hot chocolate. always.

Anonymous said...

hi jumped in after many months. you're kickin arse lady! no comments on 59 - but if i am around after a decade we'll wait for the witty ones..... regards gt