Hullo Mur.

Hullo, 40.

You’re looking awfully reserved, Mur. What’s up?

I just feel like it’s a Big Day. And I don’t have a lot planned. Should this be big? I mean, I’m not freaking out over 40, and I’m only comparing it to my pediatrician’s 40th birthday party a little bit.

…you lost me.

Oh, my mom was a nurse, and her boss was my doctor. So I got to be in the exam room with the doc, and then in the break room with the staff. And his 40th birthday party was boob-themed. Boob cake, boob mug, boob buzzer that his 4 year old son kept pushing the nipple to make it go bzzz. It was the 80’s, so it was OK. I felt slightly uncomfortable, but am pretty sure no one is getting me boobs for my birthday.

Boob buzzer?

Totally. Bright red nipple, white boob. BUZZZZZ!

We will move on from this.

Probably for the best.

So what’s going on with you? Most people, when they come to me, have pretty big issues. What’s going on, besides the, ah, boob buzzer?

Well, I’ve achieved things, my “pre-40” bucket list, so to speak. I got a book on the shelves, I became a mom, the marriage is still awesome, and I’ve been nominated for two awards.

Hang on. 39 just passed me a note. “Yes, and please vote for Mur for the Campbell Award, voting closes July 31.

Seriously, Mur? You need to validate yourself with pleas for award votes? You don’t think your skill is enough to garner said awards? 

I’m learning the balance of publishing and the value of making people aware that a) you’re there, and b) you are nominated. Beyond that, they can vote however they want. I just want them to give me a thought. Or two.

Fuck that. You want the award.

More than I want air, yes. But since I lost it last year, I know I can survive losing it. They apparently don’t take the losers and kill them and pack them in salt to preserve them. This is a relief. And as a good friend recently told me, “we don’t write for that.”

Awards. Not avoiding salt packing. Although I feel like we do that every day. If I saw some asshole coming up the street with a knife in one hand and a box of Morton’s in the other, I’d run like hell.

Also, I’m pretty sure after 40 seconds or so of depriving me of air, if you gave me the choice between Campbell award and air, I’d choose air.

Exaggeration for effect. I get it. So you’re not freaked by me, but you did have a list of things you wanted before you met me. To me, that says I do have some semblance of meaning for you.

Well sure. Humans definitely like the round numbers. Someone doing something for 37 years is impressive, but OMG 40. You get presents at 40 years of doing anything. People expect you to grow up. Be responsible. Stuff. So I’m trying to think of what the next 40 years will hold.

That will bring you up to 80. Dude, she is a SHE WOLF. You do NOT want to meet 80 until you’re ready.

I won’t be ready for another 40 years. But I can handle her when I get there.

So, what now? 39 tells me you’re slightly obsessive and take negative comments to heart too much. You want SO HARD and your defeats are devastating.

Yeah, but I bounce back. I keep going. Can I get props for that?

Mur, 40 year old people don’t say “props.”


You’re embarrassing me.

I am tired of embarrassing people. If you can’t figure out what I’m about at this point, then don’t even try. I figure by the time you reach 40, you’re set. You’re done with the maturing, and if changes are going to be made of your personality, it will fucking take the ghost of your dead BFF plus three of his homies to change you. Otherwise, take me as I am.

Ghosts, man.

This is me. I write. I have ambitions. I sometimes stumble and let envy or discouragement stand in my way, but not for long. I say silly things as a joke, and if it doesn’t land, I move on. I’m me, and that’s OK. Mess me up, and we have a problem, apologize and we’re cool. Do you really not want to be my buddy, 40? Cause if you don’t, well. I don’t even know.

I do. I like people who know who they are at this point. Some don’t. Some dude in Canada did a “hey y’all, watch this” move, and got international attention, but he begged for reporters to mention the fact that he ACHIEVED HIS GOAL. Doesn’t matter what the world thinks, as long as his buddies think he’s cool, he’s happy. This dude is 47. 

47 came to me the other day in tears. Yo was saying that said dude’s mother had the luxury of hanging up on him and telling him he was an idiot (not in that order, I guess) but that yo would have to keep nurturing the dude for months. Yo can’t wait till he turns 48 and it’s not yo’s problem anymore.

I promise I will not drink 8 beers and swim to another country. I don’t drink that much beer, and besides, I don’t swim well. Also, fucking stupid thing to do. Also also, “yo?”

Gender neutral pronoun. We’re genderless years, so it’s appropriate. It’s catching on in Baltimore.

Oh. Cool. Didn’t you say 80 is a she-wolf, though?

Shut up. She-wolf is much cooler than “scary anthropomorphic year representing mortality and old people diapers.”

Fair enough.

So the moral of this story is?

You can’t trust the system?


Um. Be confident in who I am?


PS- It’s also Matt Fn Wallace’s birthday. Go tell him something nice and birthdaylike. He’s a whippersnapper. You can tell him I said that.

About Mur

Herself who runneth this site.
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