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11 July 2008

Turning 43

If 45 is the middle age, then 43 is the dark age  TURNING A year older and being quiet about it is impossible within our high school batch, thanks to the very modern, very interactive, and very proactive Yahoo!Group Web site linking most of us around the globe. Expect a bang of birthday announcements immediately after someone posts a thoughtful "Happy Birthday Joey" message. Last month was monumental: the enterprising Leah Morris-dela Rosa collated the names of all June celebrants (“celebrators” in our batch lingo), and Richelle Joson-Ligot, the resident muse of poetry, song, and dance, decoded each one's name into witty birthday greetings (“Sana o-Kaye na o-Kaye Inductivo ang bertdey mo!&rdquo). Noise ensued.

In Yahoo!Groups, it doesn't really matter if the whole world makes noise about our age. Hey, we survived the age-defying adolescent years together, so what's the big bazooka about aging publicly? We all know how old we are. Besides, greeting each other is a big-heart gesture. Arim Fermin wrote, “the fact that people actually greet each other during birthdays over the e-group(s) . . . proves that the batch is a solid, friendly, and caring organization, with lots of good organisms.”

Personally, I don't mind noisy birthday celebrations. Dinner parties, SMS greetings, and singing Tagalog birthday songs in Ybanag delight me. And I don’t care if Anchie Casareo calls me “kuya” for being born a few months ahead of him. He looks younger, anyway. (He must still be using Eskinol Master for Men. I want to maim him right now.)

What gets my goat this year is that I'm much closer to being middle-aged than I've ever been before. According to Richie Rosales-Parr, middle age begins at 45—and that's two years away. I'm not sure if I'm ready to be called middle-aged, especially after living all these years of riotous singlehood. I wrote Chiqui Tolentino-Desphy this week:

Oh my, are we now middle-aged? Pero sige na nga, I'll accept the fact that I'm about to gray, my knees will shake and my lungs will scream when I climb the fourth floor of my flat building, my teeth will fall, and my buttocks will sag.

I'm not being vain. I'm moaning about health issues that come with aging, and I'm not sure I'm ready to cope with losing the agility of mind and body. I happened to be in bed surrounded by bosomy women the day I hit 43. A hospital bed, that is, trying to battle gastroenteritis with a squad of big (bosomy) Bengali nurses injecting my about-to-sag buttocks with antibiotics. Antibiotics on my birthday. What irony.

And take this: last Monday, the New York Times reported that a new research conducted by French scientists revealed that men in their forties may face serious fertility problems. It suggested that couples trying to conceive a baby when a man is over 40 years old have more difficulties than those families in which a man is younger. So much for the joys of bachelorhood. Down, boy.

Uh-uh, Four-Three, that witless figure, a number with no claim to fame beyond its resemblance to the Philippine president's height. It's a nuisance, an annoying figure that sounds like the equally annoying Punjabi money-lending scheme in the Philippines called Five-Six. And if 45 is the middle age, then 43 is the dark age.

Hmm. Say that again: I'm in the Dark Ages! ¡Qué horror! ¡Madre mia curdapia! ¡Dónde está cleofe cabel!

On that note, I look forward to the Middle Ages.

Related Stories: Turning 41 | Turning 42


Anonymous said...

You must have been a consumer of Eskinol for Men too, Paul. But you drank it instead of making haplos on your skin no? Maybe that's why you are so wonderfully witty, fantastically funny, hilariously humorous, and smashingly smart. Plus you are so optimistically pessimistic, energetically roderick paulatic, and so... 43ish!!! Appreciate you =)

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul! The thing i learned when I turned 41 is that you stop counting after (and that was three years ago...) You're in good company pal :-)

Anonymous said...

ginoong paul ancheta, wag naman po kayo mag isip ng ganyan. nasa isip lang po ang edad.

43? number yan ni richard petty. number din yan ni kendrick perkins ng boston celtics. madaming sikat na 43 so ibig sabihin sikat ka din. at higit sa lahat, dagdagan mo lang ng 1 ang 43, i love you na :)

at di din po ako naniniwala sa sinabi ng new york times. ang sabi ng kaibigan kong pt, hanggang nakakaakyat ka pa ng sampung baitang ng hagdan, kaya mo pang magka anak :)

maligayang kaarawan po sa inyo!

Paul Ancheta said...

RICHELLE : Speaking of Eskinol Master, na-master ko na finally yung "Together Forever" moves. Yung nga lang, dahil sa sobrang pag-band-aid ko sa ilong ko to get the Paulatic flat nose effect, pumutok yung kulani ko sa ilong. Kasalanan ni Anchie ang lahat.

GEORGE : Thanks for the tip. Sige, I'll start thinking I'm 31 years old from now on. I'm sure mag-iisip ang mga tao dito na masyado akong problematic sa Kolkata which is why I look 43 even though I'm 31. By the way, i agree with you: I'm in good, george-joos company.

TIM : Salamat sa iyong masigasig na pagbati, at pati na rin sa iyong masinag na pagpapaalala na ang idad ay nasa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa. At bilang ganti, diringgin ko ang payo na aking mga magulang. Yung nga lang, sumikabilang buhay na sila. Takut aku. May plans ka bang mag-travel to this part of this world? Aton and I will your hosts, Tim.

Speaking of isip, salita, at gawa, who can still recite the Panatang Makabayan? In the words of Romina Santos: "Itaazzz natting la-hot ang atting kanen na kuhmay at saboy-saboy natting bigkazin ang Panachang Makuh-bayun."

Anonymous said...

paul, nope, no plans of going to india anytime soon. sayang nga, although malayo naman sayo, but we were there in hyderabad and delhi in may of 2006. i think i told you, tama ba?

anyway, visit us here in new york! si gil amilbangsa is coming next week. tony pena is hosting a small get-together fro batchmates in his place in princeton, new jersey. time for me to distribute the lootbags :)

so come on up to new york! :)

Paul Ancheta said...

Yeah, I remember you mentioned this. You also mentioned visiting Doy Ver in Turkey at some point. East Coast is definitely in my travel plans in the next two years -- I plan to hook up with my brother in Toronto and sister in Virginia, so do let's volt in sa NYC when I get there, possibly late next year. Will let you know of course.

Enjoy kayo ni Datu Gil. Riot ang volt-in nyo.

Anonymous said...

Hiya P:

Sorry, now lang ako nagbukas ng emails kaya this is a late comment pero I'm sure you won't mind! Yup, we're in the territory we call mid-life (crisis?). We're in that age na malapit na pero kapag nagkasama-sama ang batchmates, we're still sweet(?) 16 na para bang na-timelock and mentality natin way back 1982. Anyways, a lot of us enjoyed being in that age na kaya it's okay!

BTW, when somebody inquires about my age, I always say 29 immediately and without batting an eyelash! (hanggang dun lang kaya kong magbilang ng edad ko e!)

Paul Ancheta said...

Verns, nakakatawa ka. You're the second person (after George) to suggest that I under-declare my age. Which is good, dahil maja-justify ang childish actions ko :)

You do look 29 years old in your profile pic!

Anonymous said...

tim, grabe ang 1-43 rationale mo ha. it is so baduy, it's so cute! haha! hey, vernon, talaga namang mukha kang 29 nung reunion e. =) that's what you call mercury youth. oops, bawal pala ang mention of that section dito. baka ma-delete ang comment na ito. bahala na!

Anonymous said...

paul, send this na to the batch-site. you don't have to include comments that have (mercury) in them. =) there i scratched it out, puede na itong isali?

Paul Ancheta said...

Pano nakapasa yang comment na yan dito? Better, pano nakapasok yang TheSectionThatMustNotBeSaid na yan dito? Buti na lang 1-4-3 (7 Mars Roc). In other words, maraming bato (seven in all) sa Mars.

Wala na akong maisip na quip. Yan ang epekto ng TheSectionThatMustNotBeSaid.

Anonymous said...

PAUL: Let it pass when you see the magic word that starts with an M and ends with a Y! Iba makapagmental block kasi yung word na yun, matindi!

Paul Ancheta said...

Oo nga, Verns, -M-entall-Y- -M-atind-Y-!

astuti said...

Dear Paul,
A very very Belated Happy Birthday. Was in bed myself. But I was just recuperating from a Virul fever. Hope you managed to have a ball when you were up and running.
Miss you!


Paul Ancheta said...

Hi Astuthi. Thanks for the (belated) greeting. I hope you're doing well now. It seems that viral infection is all over India these days, so take care.

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