I opted not to correct her math and mention that she actually was halfway to seventy. It was her birthday, after all. Besides, anytime I hear someone use the word "halfway," my internal life soundtrack immediately starts playing Livin' On a Prayer and I get happily distracted.
Months have passed since that conversation, and here I stand -- halfway to seventy myself -- on this very day. (Actually, I'm sitting, but it sounds better, metaphorically speaking, to be standing at this impressive tipping point in my mid-thirties.)
As someone who mostly has loved my thirties, I'm not bothered by this birthday one bit. Of course, I should admit that I did a double-take last week when I tried to recall how old I actually was, a moment that caused me to nod along with understanding when I recently came across this excerpt from Water for Elephants:
When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm -- you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not.
You're thirty-five.Yes, I am thirty-five. As far as I can tell, halfway to "forty" is looking good.