The candles on my cake took an embarrassingly long time to blow out even with the help of The Teenager, fire extinguisher at the ready just in case. I was half-expecting the Birthday Fairy to present me with wisdom and maturity befitting my advanced years, but sadly it seems I’m off her list for now.
The Teenager had promised to set his alarm for 6.30 and make me breakfast in bed (probably a pot of yoghurt and a glass of milk – he seems incapable of working the toaster or kettle), but by 8 I shook him awake, starving and eager to open my birthday cards. My mantlepiece is now festooned with helpful reminders of my age, just in case MS cog fog made me forget.
As my official Big Birthday Bash isn’t till the end of the month, I spent the evening indulging myself in a 5-step ‘youth-boosting’ home facial. This included exfoliation, a time reversal face mask, firming youth serum, a lift and brighten eye complex (complex? Huh?) and finally a-stop-the clock moisturiser. The instructions suggested that ‘for the ultimate spa experience, light a fragranced candle and have some gentle music playing’. I didn’t have a scented candle, so I sprayed lavender air freshener around and instead of music, The Teenager was watching the Ashes highlights up loud.
After I had applied the final blob of moisturiser, I rushed to the mirror, hoping to see all 58 signs of ageing erased and a 20-year old version of myself staring back at me. Disappointment is below an understatement. Instead of baby-soft skin, I was greeted with a bright red face punctuated by two dots where my eyes normally are. Sigh. To help me over the shock, I had a third slice of birthday cake and a(nother) cheeky glass of wine.
I always expect significant birthdays to be like New Year’s Eve. At the stroke of midnight, I will be magically transformed into a brand-new, shiny person, leaving the baggage of the previous years behind me, like a rom-com film made real. That didn’t happen, so I waited til 8.04pm, the time I was actually born (spinning it out, yup). And? Nope, nothing. I’m still the same old me. I guess it’s up to me to make the magic happen…..