39 Feels Like

When you’re an adult, birthdays that fall mid-week feel like Ted telling JD it’s his birthday:

I couldn’t remember how old I was. I tried using a calculator. “Well, that can’t be right,” I though to myself and ended up having to ask my parents.

“You’re 39.” they informed me, matter of fact.

People joke about it all of the time on Twitter, but 39 is when you start to jam out to your old favorite songs playing at the grocery stores. Literally who else would know all of the words to BBMak’s “Back Here” besides the elderly Millenials.

39 plops down in the hairstylist’s chair and asks for “whatever the young people are having.” But when they tell me what young people are having, I respond, “oh, but not that.”

39 feels like Mary Chapin Carpenter’s 90’s songs hit too hard.

39 wonders if there was a greater summer hit than LFO Summer Girls. 

39 thinks Dwight Schrute had some good points.

39 finds myself telling the kids, “I wasn’t born yesterday!” effectively making the transformation into my mother complete.

39 still quotes Mean Girls and Tommy Boy, Zoolander and Anchorman.

39 resists the urge to weave, “I have nipples, Greg, can you milk me?” and “Boo you whore!” into every day conversations.

39 finds myself talking to old people about other old people getting older, going “so-and-so is turning 85? What? They look so young.” And then you’re like 85 isn’t young and they don’t look that young, I’m just getting old lol.”

39 spends a PTO day making a will.

39 veers into a Talbot’s, and decides to check it out.

39 is really into fragrances and when someone describes mine as smelling like a “grandmotherly marshmallow” I am not offended.

39 lets the nice young man at the UPS store quickly adjust my phone’s screen brightness so they can scan a QR code.

39 wistfully browses through the clothing at Kowalski’s.

39 buys a new work outfit. When someone says it makes her look like she’s from the future or in a cult, she thinks, “ahhh, perfect.”

Everyone’s headlights are too bright. Most things are too loud.

39 understands knows her mom burned the grilled cheese all of the time.

39 feels like if Perkins ever dies, I, too will die.

39 makes a calendar reminder to go to a local grocery store’s 40th anniversary celebration because it mentions “giveaways, samples, and more!”

39 thinks U2 starts sounding good again.

39 goes to her 20 year high school reunion and has a great time.

39 has entered her taupe era.

39 likes her soups really piping hot.

39 feels tired, grateful for every day of good health,  very young and very old at the same time, still kind of like a child struggling with “adulting” but also all to aware of my mortality, like time is moving all to fast, like I am running out of time, but also kind of frozen in time. . . hi 39.


  1. michelle

    Happy birthday!

  2. Amy

    Happy birthday! This list gave me a good chuckle and I feel this one: Everyone’s headlights are too bright. Most things are too loud. From, nearly 42 ?

  3. Sdpfeiffy

    Love this!
    At 50+ I’d add, 39 is having more to look forward to than look back on.

    (This year, my parents asked me how old I am! And yes, I had to do the math.)

    Happy Birthday!

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