Everything I Like Causes Cancer

Where we've been convinced to write a new post on Dec. 2. Stay tuned!

In 40 short years I have gone from being this insatiably curious child:

to being this insatiably curious middle-aged woman:

No matter how old we get, some things never change.

Forty years ago today, at 4:36 pm, I was born in Carbondale, IL.  The hospital where I was born was condemned and demolished shortly after my birth, thereby making me the only Gwendolyn ever born there.  And today at 4:36 pm I will officially be half-dead.  Assuming, you know, that I'm not brought down earlier by liver failure, a heart attack or lung cancer.  (Oh, the irony!)

Women are most fascinating between the ages of 35 and 40 after they have won a few races and know how to pace themselves. Since few women ever pass 40, maximum fascination can continue indefinitely.
- Christian Dior

Over the past week, affectionately dubbed Rock Star Birthday Princess Week, I have been inundated with love and hugs, gifts and accolades, and wonderfully inappropriate advances.   While at times it was overwhelming, I loved every single second of it.  Many, many, many thanks to all the people who have sent cards and gifts, thrown and/or attended parties, called to congratulate me for surviving this long, written on my Facebook wall, told me how great I look for being so old, lavished me with gifts, and just generally been completely made of win.  I love you all.

Today's astrology reading which is spooky in its accuracy, except for the quiet part:

You are very strong-willed and proud, but intensely private and not easy to know well. Behind your quiet exterior lies a great deal of emotional depth, sensitivity, complexity, and also fierce determination. When you want something you go after it rather quietly but insistently and wholeheartedly - and you usually get it.

You are, in many ways, an eternal child. Your mind is bright, alert, curious, flexible, playful, and always eager for new experiences - and your attention span is often quite brief. You grasp ideas quickly and once your initial curiosity has been satisfied, you want to go on to something else. You crave frequent change, variety, meeting new situations and people.

I discovered yesterday that my favorite local columnist, Bob Rybarczyk, is my birthday twin.  (Happy Birthday, Bob!)  His column, published yesterday, hit the nail square on the head:  Forty doesn't feel old; forty isn't old.  Never before in my life have I been this self-aware and confident and fulfilled.  I wouldn't turn back the hands of time for anything.  All the hard work and strife and disappointments needed to happen for me to become the woman I am today.

Other celebrities who share my - our - birthday:
Anderson Cooper, Deniece Williams, Alan Ginsberg, Tony Curtis, Josephine Baker, and Dr. Drew.
A nice list, if I say so myself.

Here's hoping I make it to 100 with my joie de vivre intact!

39 comments:

God said...

Holy shit, you're ancient all of a sudden!

Happy birfday you crazy old bag! (Just kidding, you're not an old bag, but you ARE crazy.)

Sass said...

You share a birthday with Dr. Drew?!?!?!? Oh...how I love you even more now, and will think of you when I'm watching Sober House and drooling over him and his sexy little glasses.

And I won't think of you just because you belong there, nope. Not me...not once. Not at all. ;)

Happy birthday, sexy mama!!!!!!!

H said...

Happy Birthday Gwennie!!

Cowguy said...

HAPPY SNAPPY CAPLOCK BIRRRRFFFFFFFFFDAAAAAYYYYY! May all your wrinkles stick to the toothless wonder at the McDonalds drive thru.

Some Guy said...

That's a lot of spankings. Good thing you're into that sort of thing. Have a great birthday!

liberalmudhen said...

Wow - you share a bday with a bunch of gay dudes. That's so weird.

Jennifer and Sandi said...

Happy Birthday AGAIN! Love that you still curious! Great photo's!! and what in the hell is Cowguy talking about?

- Jennifer

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Happy birthday again and congratulations on reaching that elusive milestone! May you live for as long as you wish but not wish for as long you live!

Whiskeymarie said...

When I woke up this morning, the world felt a little crazier and a lot more awesome.

Happy bee-day, my fellow pooping monkey!!!

Cora said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you're taking the day off work to relax and play. You are, aren't you?! If not, I'm going to come over there and kick your ass!!

(Shut up. I didn't mean 'come' THAT way.)

(Although-- No, never mind.)

Nej said...

Buon Compleanno!
Joyeux Anniversaire!
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!
Happy Birthday!!!

SkylersDad said...

Wait?!? There is a birthday happening? How come none of us heard anything about it...? ;^)

Happyestest birfday of them all my dear!!!

mo.stoneskin said...

How many races have you won? I never knew you were an athlete. Marathons?

Kim said...

Hi!
You don't know me (or DO you???), but Ms. Whiskey Marie Vonpartypants told me to come over here and wish you a happy birthday and I always do whatever she tells me.
I just turned 40 in February and I can honestly say, wow, this is old as fuck. But you look amazing for your age, I'm holding up okay, so really that's all that matters.
Have a great day!
Kim in South Carolina

Dr Zibbs said...

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite bloggers. You don't look that old.

Please fling a sausage patty at yourself from me to you then punch yourself in the arm 40 times then one for good luck.

Soda and Candy said...

Happy first 40th birthday! I hope I look as glammo as you when I get there, although I think I'm already a bit behind.

; )

Char said...

Oh Gawd, to be 40 again! It's a great age....celebrate it well (& often). Happy Happy B-Day, Gwen!!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Yeah, but do you know who else was born today? Raul Castro and Janine Habeck. How's that make you feel now, you porn-modeling Communist?

Also, it's Saint Carl's day.

John said...

Happy Birthday Gwen! Any friend of Whiskey's is a ...

dangerous person.

words...words...words... said...

Happy Birthday! Again. Seriously, though, how long has it been your birthday? Was your mother in labor for 86 hours? Is it your next birthday yet? (Stop me anytime.)

Utah Savage said...

I came by way of Whishey's and now I'm stealing your http thingy to put you on the rss feed thingy.

We share an astrological sign, I'm born in the year of the monkey, and I'm bipolar so I'm sure we have a lot in common. You won't get to your maximum goodness/badness until you're in your mid fifties. Then, though you'll still look good, you won't give a shit anymore. Keep all your bad habits. My bad habits haven't hurt me any, but my friends who gave up their vices as they grew older are all now teetering on the brink of death while I just get better and better. So happy birthday you cheeky monkey.

katrocket said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GWENNIE! More later..

XO With love from your Kitty Kat.

BeckEye said...

Happy birthday, ya old broad.

Fancy Schmancy said...

The older the grape the sweeter the wine, my dear. Much xoxo on your day!

Anita said...

I hope you have a really great birthday and may it go out with a bang!

WM said...

Remember when you thought 40 was older than dirt ?

Oh cool then your memory has yet to go ;)

Happy Berfday!

Mwah!

J.J. in L.A. said...

Happy Birthday Gwen!!!

I'll be 45 next month and I'm here to tell you that we only get better with age! : )

Jules said...

Happy Birthday! I'm 2 years, 4 months, 3 days behind you, and, after reading this entry, I CAN'T WAIT! So THANK YOU for the party favor!!

mike said...

Happy Birthday, Gwen!!

I thought I remembered one post you wrote last year, saying you had been telling people you were 40 just to get it over with already. Who knows, I can hardly remember my own posts.

Either way, have a great year... You look great at 40 (or for any age for that matter) and, most of all, I like the Dora bag. Good stuff.

Suze said...

Happy happy happy Birthday Gwen. You're my favorite 40 year old monkey loving, pooping on things, blogger friend. Here's to joining the 40 something's generation. I'll use bigger fonts next time as I know the eyes are one of the first things to go.

EmBee said...

Dirty talk of monkeys pooping on things and happy birthday!

Sincerely,
A WM Blog Follower
:-)

sid said...

Happy birthday!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Oh, Gwennie of that i have no doubts!!!

Happiest of Berfdays!

A wise woman once told me, "At forty you are much smarter and will never make the same mistakes you did when you were younger."

Here's to having a great time not making mistakes!

Wide Lawns said...

Happy Birthday!! Now where are the pictures of you pretending to poop on things?

Stacie's Madness said...

you are fucking fabulous forty or not.

happy birthday to you! *cheers to 40 more*

TheHermanator said...

Happy Big Four_Oh to Ya Gwen !
I came over at WhiskeyMarie's insistence, as she wanted me to request more "Fake-pooping" pictures from your next "Meeting".
Hope you have lots of fun, but beware,..those strange hang-over monsters seem to attack much more often and severely, after forty !

Scope said...

If it I'd have known it was you birthday I would have sent you a card. :-)

hello haha narf said...

fuck, i am a terrible internet friend and totally missed your birthday. dammit.

i'm so glad you were born. you deserve to be celebrated.

belated very happy birthday wishes,

becky

Adi said...

http://ncnj09.blogspot.com/2009/03/gwen-ifills-closing-speech-part-1.html

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