... and you live in a zoo!
That's the version of Happy Birthday that one of my sisters insists on singing to me every year - obviously on my birthday, 8th March, which is tomorrow! Another one. Not fair. However, I've decided to shock everyone and admit my age today. Despite the fact that I can't quite relate to being this age, I clearly AM this age (checked and double checked the birth certificate, made my mum take a lie detector test and it's true) and therefore it's about time I faced up to it.
Oh God, I feel about 10 now and like I'm going into the headmaster's office to admit to doing something really bad! Don't want to, don't want to. Anyway I'm not 10. I am ..... 41!! I know, it's ridiculous that I should have got to this age and tomorrow, I'm obviously going to be 41+1. It'll take me roughly 364 days to be able to say the actual number out loud.
I've been practising saying it and last night Ruk the Tuk (my name for a driver I know) asked me how old I was going to be. So I told him. His reply was (and I tried very hard to see this as a compliment): "but you are so very handsome"!!
I am not sure why it bothered me so much before. Maybe because most of my friends seem to be a lot younger than me these days. Some have advanced to my age and some are EVEN OLDER (quite substantially in some cases, you know who you are) but most are a good ten years younger. Perhaps it's because I've not achieved anything like what I thought I would by this age but that's what comes of being obsessed with politics. And a little bit of it is because there were particular people I didn't want to know.
But now, I don't care, I really don't. I'm living in Sri Lanka where the average person has many more things to worry about than their age. Someone I know over here is 28, she lives with her parents, siblings, husband and child. She's up at 5am every day cooking meals for the day ahead, cleaning, washing - all without the aid of machinery. She goes to work at 8am, she works all day, she never gets more than 3 days annual leave at a time, she goes home and cleans, looks after her child, watches an hour of the soaps, prepares for the next day and goes to bed again. She never complains and I am certain when she is 41 she will not be moaning about it - probably not even when she's 41+1!
So, even if I am starting to look like the endangered purple faced monkeys above me in the photo, it doesn't matter. I'm not going to start using platitudes like "you're only as young as you feel" because that's rubbish, you're whatever age you are - face up to it people! And the other one that drives me mad: "I don't feel any different to I did when I was 21". There is clearly something wrong with people like that and I ain't gonna be one of them.
I resolve from now on not to give my age another thought. I can hear all my friends laughing in disbelief now but it's true. Well at least I'll give it a go .... right, I'm away to practise not caring.