Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I have half a mind...

Today is my half-birthday. I am exactly 42 1/2. No one in the world besides me cares in any way about this, but I think it's cool.

We mark half-birthdays in our house, or at least I do. And Chloe, too. Last week Chloe turned 15 1/2, which is significant in that it's the age in Ohio at which you are allowed to obtain your temporary driver's license. Chloe doesn't have her temps yet, but you can be sure it won't be long.

Because I have a head for dates, I'm generally the one who remembers that it's someone's half-birthday. Like Terry's is on September 18th because her actual birthday is March 18th. Every September 18th I remind Terry that it's her half-birthday, and every September 18th she tells me I'm a weirdo and openly wonders why she married me.

I can't help it, I just think there's something kind of cool about the concept of being half an age. On that particular day, you're exactly as far from your last birthday as you are from the next one. It's why I've always liked June 25th, too – it's the halfway point between Christmases. You probably don't think that's significant. I do.

You want to know what's even weirder? I remember details about specific half-birthdays. Not birthdays, mind you half-birthdays. Like, for example, I'm pretty sure I remember what I did on May 2nd, 1987 (25 years ago today). It was a Saturday, and I drove to Brush High School in the morning to take the SATs, then to Solon High School in the afternoon to run in the Solon Relays track meet.

Why do I remember this? Why?!? I don't know, but I'm sure I will never forget it. I did OK on the SAT that day, and I remember having a fairly mediocre performance at the track meet, so there's no real reason to remember that day other than it was my 17 1/2th birthday and the details stick with me.

(NOTE: I realize "17 1/2th" isn't the way to render that, but I have no idea what the ordinal form of 17 1/2 is. I probably should have restructured the sentence to avoid the problem, but I thought I might figure out the answer by the time I finished typing it. I didn't.)

Anyway, I'm 42 1/2 today, which means I'm exactly six months away from being 43. The only significance I attach to 43 is that it's the first age I remember my mom being. She turned 43 in April 1975. I would have been 5 years old at the time, so I guess that's about when you become aware of your parents' age and the fact that it's a lot higher than yours.

Now, suddenly, I'm what my mom was in 1975. Minus the semi-bouffant hairdo and mad rush to menopause. OK, I made that last part up. I have no idea when my mom went through menopause, but I thought it sounded good. She's 80 now, so I can only assume that, yes, The Change did come upon her at some point. I should ask her.

Speaking of my mom, we spent a couple of hours at her house tonight, and it was great. Melanie and Jack stayed in the living room and watched TV while Mom and I sat in the kitchen eating dinner and talking. That doesn't happen very often anymore. It used to happen all the time when I was little and Dad was working a night job.

Oh, and speaking of Dad and night jobs, the best one he ever had was as a manager at a Convenient Food Mart. One time he took me to work with him and I was allowed to eat and drink pretty much anything they had in the store. And he would always bring home piles of snacks and junk food that had passed their expiration dates but were still perfectly good to eat. That job only lasted a year or so, but we never lacked for cookies and chips the entire time.

I just realized: You know what else is interesting about 42 1/2? It means that today I'm officially a quarter of the way through my 40s. It has been 2 1/2 years since my 40th birthday, and 2 1/2 years from today I'll be talking about how I'm now undeniably in my mid-40s. I wonder how I'll celebrate that fact?

Probably with some rambling, incoherent blog post...


  1. Bryon ThornburghMay 2, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    This reminded me of a former colleague who later became a good friend that when we interviewed him for the job he was eventually hired for he told us in the interview he was 23 1/2. Obviously we didn't ask him how old he was since that is the handy list HR gives us when we are interviewing people to remind us what questions will keep us out of the courtroom. To this day we still give the guy a hard time that during his interview he told us he was 23 1/2. It was like he was six and bragging that he was almost 7...but with a suit on.

  2. Awesome, Bryon. I think I'm going to use fractions when giving my age from now on. "Well, I'm 54 and three-quarters. I'll be 55 in a few months!"