Damara Hutchins

Lordy, look who's 40

It happened last week. I am officially 40.

I don't feel a bit different. I will revise that last statement: I feel slightly different in that I am a little less smart. The show "Jeopardy!" proves this to me week after week. I used to be a sharp cookie, but my children suck away my intelligence the way a leech feeds off the blood of its prey.

I should add that my anti-seizure medication has a side effect that makes it more difficult to instantly recall information. This would naturally make it seem like Alex Trebek is mocking me when he's merely being the same Canadian super-braniac guy he's always been. I'm just slowing down.

I promised myself I wouldn't get depressed for my birthday and I didn't initially. It helped that my best friend, Cozette, took a flight from Washington State to celebrate with me.

My son and I drove to the airport, which is one of my least favorite things to do. We arrived early so we wandered around checking out the tourist stores while we waited. I allowed a woman to step on my foot just to see if she would because she was not watching where she was walking. She was horribly sorry. I patted her arm and told her it was okay, then I laughed and told my son to pay attention because these people would run you over.

It was probably mean of me to do that, but I'm always conducting a personal social experiment to see how invisible I can become in well-lit areas. It isn't like I'm a small person who is easy to walk into. You really have to try to do it.

Somehow, we missed Cozette. She slipped past us while we were in a store. After about 30 minutes, we found each other and headed out to dinner.

I can't explain the giggle-fest that happens when I get around her, but anyone with a true best friend probably understands. We fall right into that comfortable talk and inside joke routine. It doesn't matter how long it has been since the last time we've seen one another.

While I had Cozette, my daughter was spending a couple days with her best friend/cousin who was in town from Jacksonville. They are like two peas in a pod.

I had a small party that was going to be much bigger, but evidently Thanksgiving weekend is not the most convenient time to have a 40th birthday party. On a positive note, the core group of fun people was there and we had a blast. Some of it got on video. This may not be a good thing.

Cozette went home, my niece went back to Jacksonville and the blues settled in my house.

It doesn't help that my washer and dryer are on the fritz and I have to go to the laundromat. Sitting in that place just gives me more time to think about how much I miss my friend and how I can't stand living so far apart.

All this past week in school, my girl has been on yellow and orange for behavior. She's having a hard time getting back in the swing of things too.

Hopefully we can shake these funky feelings soon. Our kitten doesn't care about our mood. She chews on our feet and hands regardless of how we feel on the inside. It keeps us grounded.

Unless something changes, I'll just continue taking the days as they come. Fifty, I'm coming for you next.