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Forty Isn't Fatal

In fact, it's something you can celebrate! Here's why.

Turning 40 meant admitting I'm no longer a "miss;" I'm a "ma'am." A hot date with my husband now consists of his-and-her chiropractor appointments. I wear Sagamore-brand separates because, frankly, I do. I get zits and wrinkles. Even my deodorant has a moisturizer in it. So what was there to celebrate about The Big 4-0?

Oh, my friends celebrated. They surprised me with a cake decorated with a tombstone. Others sent me dead roses and black balloons. They wrapped up Ex-Lax and Super Poli-Grip in ominous "Over-the-Hill" gift paper.

My family knew they'd better watch themselves, or they would have eaten their last hot meal. So they gave me a box of chocolate turtles and my annual mysterious kitchen implement. The children smirked as they sang "Happy Birthday," but diplomatically avoided the "How old are you?" verse. My husband, Steve, told me I was more beautiful than when he married me (thankfully, he's always been delusional). I was relieved when the hoopla died down.

The truth is, after I ...

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