The other day, I rang my husband at work.
“Let’s pretend for a moment that one of my aims before I turned 40 was to get quoted in the Australian Women’s Weekly,” I said. “You know, instead of getting a book published or becoming a syndicated columnist for a major print and/or online publication…”
“Uh, ok-ay,” my husband said slowly.
“Well, guess what?!” I enthused. “I was quoted in this month’s Australian Women’s Weekly and I’m turning 40 next week! Yay, me!”
“Yay you!” my husband said. “That magazine has a circulation of about two million, you know.”
“Well then guess how many people have already searched for ‘Not Drowning, Mothering’ today probably as a direct result of that article?” I asked.
“Three!” I exclaimed. I think I might have punched the air as I said it.
“Quick, let’s monetize them before they read any more of your blog and and you lose them forever!” my husband replied, no doubt with dollar signs in his eyes.
I’m not sure if monetizing those three readers is going on my ‘bucket list’ for turning 40. And if you don’t know what a ‘bucket list’ you can either accept my definition of it as being a list of those things you hope to achieve before you drink champagne out of a bucket at your 40th birthday party or you can click here.
Somewhat predictably, my list is getting less and less ambitious the closer my fortieth birthday gets. Of course, quite a few have been ticked off – e.g. convince someone to marry me, convince someone (preferably the same person) to have kids with me… But gone are all hopes of, say, a lucrative book deal, spending six months drinking wine in the south of France or even finding the perfect pair of red shoes to turn 40 in.
At the moment only three things on the list, with one week left to achieve them. They are:
1. AVOID GASTRO “LIKE THE PLAGUE”: Every time anyone mentions the word ‘gastro’ in my presence, I physically jump back a metre from them. One woman I saw at the shops, pointed at her son (who was wrestling with my Tiddles McGee at the time) and told me he’d been firing out both ends for nine days. Nine days. It was all I could do to pick Tiddles up, throw him over my shoulder and run from the building screaming. If I’m going to spend my fortieth dealing with vomit I want it to the be excessive-alcohol-induced variety. Just sayin’.
2. BE COLDSORE-FREE: Just two days ago, my top lip suddenly exploded into song, that song having something to do with the fact that the lip had herpes.
I rang my dear friend KT, a fellow HVP-1 sufferer, and she helped me do the maths.
“You have ten sleeps until your party,” she said. “You’ll be fine. Your coldsore couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Uh, my coldsore might have thought about coming after my party. Nobody wants to go to a party with the birthday girl looking like this:3. MOUSTACHE-BE-GONE: The volume of dark hairs on my upper lip has been causing strangers on the street some gender confusion lately. Getting rid of it is easier said than done, of course, because it’s currently sharing the same real estate as the cold sore and I’m afraid the anti-moustache lotion that I bought might anger the cold sore unnecessarily and cause it to stage some kind of hostile invasion of my entire mouth and then I won’t even have my moustache to help conceal it. It’s a bad situation.
Of course I realise that, now I’ve blogged about these things, I’ve totally jinxed myself. Which is why I’m now planning to wear a bucket on my head on my 40th birthday. Not only will it hid my coldsore and my moustache from the world, but it will come into its own when the gastro hits.
I may even decorate it with the pages from ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly’ article I was quoted in, just to show people I’m not a total loser.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do so love it when a plan comes together…