On Monday I turned 40.
I wasn't looking forward to this week. Not necessarily because of the usual mid-life angst that accompanies turning 40. But because of the stupid way that people treat 40th birthdays.
More than anything else in life, I hate being teased.
A lot of this goes back to childhood. Being a smart kid was social death in elementary school, and in junior high school. I always ended up hanging out with the misfits ... and had to change school a few times because of the utter mismatch (usually intellectual). But there are always bullies who will find a way to build themselves up by tearing you down, no matter what age you are.
That doesn't mean I don't have a sense of humor. I can joke about myself and my own faults, and when people joke with me about those things, it's not bothersome. But when people tease me about things that I have no control over (like my age, or my intelligence, or my stage in life as parent-of-little-children), it really, really bothers me.
So I was really dreading this week ... figuring that someone would figure out that I was 40, and drag out all the tired "over-the-hill" jokes. And then I'd have to spend my time defending the fact that I mostly like who I am, where I am, and what I'm doing ... and then have to defend myself against the "yeesh, it's just a joke" justification that somehow makes teasing acceptable.
Gratefully, none of that happened. (Though I suppose there's still plenty of time for that to happen.) It was a rather ordinary birthday. Which is nice, considering all the disasters that happened afterwards.
Of course, trying to hide from people means that it was a lonelier birthday than many I've had.
Having said all of that ... I'm really physically and mentally tired. The end of the term can't get here fast enough.