Sunday, April 20, 2008

Of Being Almost-40

My neighbour, Mila came visiting yesterday with her husband and kid. Her house is just in front of mine but we don’t really make it a habit to visit each other. Occasionally we would be exchanging some samples of our cookings. We would chat a bit when we bump into each other at the parking lot or pasar malam. Friendly but not friends, if you know what I mean.

I went to her house only once, when she was in confinement. That was about a year ago.

Yesterday was only the third time she came over. The first two visits took only about 5 minutes - combined.

After tea was served, she asked me the weirdest of question. She wanted to know my age. I am not Ifa Raziah or Azwan Ali or the likes, as you must already know by now - I had no reason at all to hide my age and so I answered truthfully, 38.

Immediately she nudged her husband and announced, ‘Abang, akak ni dah dekat EMPAT PULOH!’ It was the way she said it, where the emphasis was put. And the husband turned to me and they both swept me up and down and up and down with their eyes. Like I have just sprouted out tentacles up my head. It was perhaps the most awkward moment for me in my entire life of yesterday.

Put it this way, I have NEVER heard fourty to sound THAT old. By the way, the ‘abang’ is 28 and Mila is much younger than her abang.

The conversation reminded me of myself when I was in ITM wayyyy back then. I was 19 and my dorm-mates were all older than me. I told one lecturer that my dorm-mates were all old, they were TWENTYTHREE, I said emphasizing on the number. I remembered Puan Hasnah laughing and telling me that nobody ever made her feel older than I just did. It wasnt intentional. But 23 did sound old to a 19 year old.

Soon I will be double of twentythree. Time sure flies, whether or not you are having fun.

My only consolation is this – age is just numbers. It doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t really bother me much, it doesn’t slow me down or make me start to choose brown over red and school boys over Yamtuan. I am cool about being 40. No sweat.

However, I do worry about expiry dates. I am aware of the laws of Physics, that things get oxidised, decayed and eventually cease to exist. Age (only numbers as they may be) has a direct correlation to disintegrations. Sickness, breakdowns and eventually death are all perfectly natural. In the same breath, ‘natural’ here equates to ‘inevitable’. They are not just bound to happen, they WILL happen.

I think of death and wonder about how my loved ones would fare without me and much importantly how I would fare in the afterlife. Have I met the KPIs? Self-assessment doesn’t give wonderful results. I cringe to think how I would score during His assessment of my performance.

Oh God, please, wont You please be lenient on me?


The sign on my hospital bed. Merenam Maria Tin nehi! Mana ada orang nama Tin? I am not Mrs Yap Ah Loy, am i?


Blogger shidah said...

this is not consolation - u look much younger than your age la.... that's why they scanned you down trying hard to find a single wrinkle or grey hair.... :) Anyhow, the expiry date do not care how you look. When it's time, it's time. May Allah be mercy on us all.

8:47 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

Shidah taukey minyak,

1a) not true. I have loadssss of grey hair. Dye pon useless, unless i go platinum white. (1b)Not true. Wrinkles are well hidden under the layers of make up, okay? Sshhh... rahsia.

2) true. When He calls, you answer, when He beckons, you go. Not how you look or even what's your age pon. Some days i worry more than the other.

May He has mercy on us all, ameeeen.

Bila nak balik?

8:56 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

oood, been there, the 19, 23, 38 and more after that - not that painful actually. We went back last year, as you know, and was interviewed by astro for a programme meant for warga emas. hmmmm!

10:17 PM  
Blogger noha chomel said...

itu maknanye akak nampak muda...pheewwwiitt....:) ok apa la tu, so tahun depan boleh beranak lagi ;)

10:49 PM  
Blogger JoKontan said...

Baru nak cakap,. Noha dah cakap dulu.


Next Year can get double promotion laa. From Ibu Beranak Tiga to Ibu Muda Beranak Empat.

Dun werry,. Allah Maha Mengasihani.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Tigress said...

Dear Ood a/p Tin,
No doubt, u are absolutely right. Age is just a number, and what counts the most is what u have successfully achieve and collected (tangible & otherwise) to sustain a better life and after-life. If u've managed to be a good wife, mother n fellow muslim, which I'm sure u have, your job is almost done. The rest is just a bonus.

N ahem... me going all philosophical, does not mean the end of the brown/red issue. Me not going down without a fight! (Coz, not everyone is blessed with 40-going on 28 appearances, kan... like one particular anak si-Tin tu..)

7:58 PM  
Blogger tajudin said...

satu tips utk nampak muda dan sentiasa muda ialah dengan banyakkan makan ulam mentah.....


12:39 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

kak teh,
the programme like you said, was meant FOR warga emas, because the warga emas care what younsters, like you and AG thinks.. See, silver lining! (and i dont mean silver lining on our heads either)

You and AG, are warga 'gems' kakteh!

noha babeh,
jom jumpa. You will wonder how the third one happen at all! Hehe...

Bro Jo,
pangkat Ibu Muda tu berminat lah jugak, Ibu Muda Beranak Empat... aiyoh... Tahun depan pulak tu? Habis tu, bila kawan nak pegi gym cari pinggang yang hilang?

3:14 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

i dont expect any less from you, girl! We can fight this thing. We'll be better if we team up. What say you, us Almost-40 to set up a Suruhanjaya Against Looking-40? If we can prevent Being-40, it will be better!

We can do this, comrade!

Corporal Timah Tin

kat kampung senanglah dapat ulam.. bukak pintu nampak pegaga, bukak tingkap nampak pucuk betik.. kat keluppo ni, bila nampak ulam, kena perah wallet dulu :( mahal.. (alasan tak suka makan benda pahit).

3:20 AM  
Blogger maklang said...

Alamak...kalau your neighbour sees me...dia panggil makcik!

Congrats ood on the new arrival...lambat dah ke nak ucap ni??

5:15 AM  
Anonymous anasalwa said...

Perhaps the Odd Couple never met a lovely "dah dekat EMPAT PULOH" woman before.

I think we all wonder about expiry dates even it is a familiar subject to us.

3:49 PM  
Blogger noha chomel said...

jumpa...bole...bole.... kat umah, leh tgk baby sekali...eeii...mesti best, bagi alamat ;)
email to me

8:10 PM  
Blogger Ely said...

oooooooooooooh, if THOSE were my neighbors, habis those cups of tea will be out flung out the door like them! hehhehehe...acah jer.

but come one, 38 is FAR from 40 okay. i am going to be 36 in october but NOT yet 36 okay and i think i am still far fm 36.

alamak, am i having a mid year crisis or in a state of denial?

eh i am here to advise u, not to make ME feel old hehehe.

anyway girl, u're doing awesome for ur age. age is just a number, an illusion.

but those neighbors of ur still bother me...ader ker 40??? maner ader!

8:37 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

selalu berselisih je kita kat 'pintu' blog Jo! Hari ni bertandang! Tak lewat lah, tenkiu!

i am home with nothing much to do! Have finished reading the books i stocked up for the occassion. Now what i do to kill time is watch reruns of ER. A lot of expiries there, thus why the mind keeps drifting to the subject.


it is absolutely fine to have a mid-life crisis now. I plan to have a few myself.

And sistah, you mustnt feel old before me. Cannot langkah bendol, okay? Let's look at Madonna (must aim high), if she can defy age, so can we! Hehehe...

9:20 PM  

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