Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forty is the New Thirty (and other nonsense)

It was my birthday today. I turned forty. I don't know what it is about that number that makes it seem so evil. I suppose it's the fact that you've turned some imaginary corner, reached the top of the hill, and are now on a fast track, do-not-pass-go, path to death's door. But, on the bright side, being OLD has its advantages. I mean, think of all the incredible wisdom I've acquired over the years. In fact, as a birthday present to you, my faithful readers, I'll share some of my hard-earned wisdom! No need to thank me. It's what I do.

THE TOP TEN THINGS I'VE LEARNED ABOUT TURNING FORTY

10. People will tell you that 40 is the new 30. You know who says this? Old people forty-year-olds who want to make themselves feel better about being old forty. But no matter what cute catchphrases you use, you're still old forty.


9. People will tell you, "Welcome to the club!" For the past couple years, I've heard people welcome my friends into this exclusive "club". I wondered what all the hype was about. How did one go about attaining membership in this elite club? Was it just a matter of age? When one turns 40, are they automatically admitted? Do they have to pay dues? Are there meetings?

Well, now that I'm a card-carrying member of "the club", I'm privy to the secrets of the mysterious club. Here it is - THERE IS NO CLUB! There's no club, there are no meetings, and there are no secret handshakes. "Welcome to the club" is something people who are already forty and beyond say to poor, unsuspecting souls who are just turning forty. What it means is this: Ha ha! Now I'm not the only one who is old. You're getting old too and misery loves company! In your face! Ha ha!

8. You get depressed when you can remember back to when your parents turned forty and how old you thought they were back then.

7. You remember how old you thought you were when you turned thirty and you laugh at your naïve self.

6. Miss Clairol has a hard time keeping up with your ever-increasing production of gray hair.

5. Your kids stare at you in wonder when you regal them with tales of your youth, mainly because they're amazed you didn't have computers in school, you only knew one person who actually owned a mobile phone and it was as big as a shoe box, you didn't have a microwave oven until you were in fifth grade, your iPod was called a Walkman, there were like three video games and they all looked the same - two little squares that hit a third little square back and forth, and Facebook didn't exist. To add insult to injury, they then ask you questions like, "Did they have cars back when you were born?" and "Were dinosaurs still alive?"

4. When you get out of bed, your hands are numb and your knees creak. Honest to God, they make actual, real, creaking noises! That can't be good.

3. You find yourself telling the kids to "turn down that music!"

2. It's socially unacceptable for someone your age to hop from tile square to tile square while in a crowded mall while shouting, "Outta my way! I can't step on a crack or I'll fall in hot lava!"

1. You're suddenly moved into the "near death" demographic on Facebook and all the fun advertisements you used to enjoy will be replaced with AARP, denture cream, hearing aid, and incontinence ads.



On the bright side, however (there's always a bright side, right?), the following are positive things about turning forty.

1. It could be worse. Your child could be turning forty.

2. It could be worse. You could be turning fifty.

3. It could be worse. You could be dead.

Yeah, that's all I got. Ask me again in another ten years when I can look back and laugh at what a fool I was to make a big deal out of turning forty.

67 comments:

Jennie said...

It's only funny to me because I am 30 and a few weeks back I noticed before I was about to dye my hair that I had two gray hairs. I know..a whole two..most will laugh it off. But they are my first two and in that momentt staring in the mirror it was like holy crap- I'm getting old. I haven't dyed my hair yet cos it's like a little game to see if those suckers come back. It's just a really weird moment to watch your body change and I already don't like it! So thank you, your suffering made me feel better! :) No really, Happy Bday and I only wish for good things to come to you this year with all you are going through. You have a great, all natural family and I know the 7 of you will pull together even more.

Sherry said...

Thanks, Dawn. I am turning 39 this year. I don't feel bad about turning 40 at all thanks to your count down! I think I will just stay 39.... :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn!

Happy, happy birthday! Even if it's a number you don't like, it's still your birthday, which makes it special.

And I'm a firm believer that each decade is better than the last. My mother constantly worried about her age and, all the time, would ask us kids, "Do I look older than that woman?" gesturing towards some stranger. It was very annoying and got to be very tedious. She would also never say her age.

Soo... I've always embraced my age. It's something that's just part of who I am. And right now I'm 48 3/4 (my birthday is in June).

My 20s sucked; my 30s were better; my 40s have been the best; I can't wait to see what my 50s bring!

Sandy in Tucson

Anonymous said...

Oh, and here are some good things about being in your 40s:

1. It's hip if you suddenly change jobs or go back to school. You're "reinventing your life."

2. Unlike teenagers, no one follows you around in stores to see if you're shoplifting.

3. When you identify what you want, you have some experience and life skills to help you figure out how to get it.

4. You realized a long time ago that very rarely are things just handed to you so you can function much better in the real world.

5. If you want to load your grocery cart up with 5 different types of cookies and 7 different kinds of ice cream, no one thinks twice about it. Obviously, it must be because you have a children's party to buy for. Not, ahem, a marathon weekend of Twighlight episodes to look forward to.

6. People stop asking when you're going to have a baby (or another baby). This one has been especially helpful for me since I'm childless by choice...

Live it up, Dawn! You have a whole decade to look forward to!

Sandy in Tucson

(By the way, never mind cell phones. I remember when handheld calculators came out!)

Anonymous said...

ROFL!! Hilarious! Have you ever thought of submitting some of your top 10 lists to the David Letterman Show. Thanks for making me smile :) You're awesome!

Rebecca said...

Happy Birthday!


I remember my mother throwing my father a "surprise" party for his 40th. (We gave it away for two reasons: 1. I was 5, and couldn't keep a secret. 2. The house was UBER clean.) Of course, I already thought my father was old, because he had grey hair since shortly after I was born. He's now entirely silver, nearly 62... and acts like he's 35, so ... age is a number, right?

Lynn said...

Thanks for making me feel REALLY old now...I can't even remember way back when I turned 40...have vague memories of turning 50...and am sliding dangerously close to the next decade! Am over halfway there now...so yeah, no sympathy from me about turning 40! You have fun with that!
;o)

Frau Mahlzahn said...

Well, happy birthday!

But you know what, having a teenager in the house (or at least a kid that behaves like one) really helps making getting old so much easier. And I don't mean, because they make you age so much faster, ;-).

No, seriously, my oldest daughter is just getting into puberty and when I see what she is going through (you know all the little things that make live irritating an hard when you are a young girl trying to figure out life) I just thank the Lord that I am way beyond that.

I mean, I realized that I never ever want to be that young again! And I don't want to be thirty again, because that would mean I would just _start_ having kids and would have to go through it once more...

Really. Thinking about it, I think 50 will be great!

So long,
Corinna

Jen said...

Happy birthday dawn :) thanks for the laugh (I'll try to remember your list when I turn 40 :p)

Anonymous said...

What on earth does Facebook over there advertise? Here in the land of downunder as a 40 year old I get ads for cool shoes, cool clothes, cool bags...everything to make me a cougar (coolgar I think). Yawn. And still happy birthday Dawn. I notice nobody mentioned the (urgh) facial hair as yet. That's the downside. The only downside.
Vegemite Girl

Christina said...

Jennie, I'm 24 and have been getting the odd grey hair for a few years now :| I know it's because my hair is naturally very dark, but still! I don't know what 40 is going to bring!

Hope your birthday ended up ok in the end Dawn :-)

Sharon W. said...

One of my kids asked me it they had paved roads when I was a kid. Of course I said "Hum, not many." and they bought it. I'm in my 50's now and can almost laugh. But I topped that, my dad was born in 1933 and I asked him if he fought the Indians, he had just turned 40 and he told me "No, they pretty much had them contained when I was born." It took me several years to realize I had goofed. The magic of youth. Happy Birthday

tatterdemalion said...

Happy Birthday Dawn!!

I turned 45 last year and honestly it doesn't feel that much different than when I turned 40.

Perhaps when I turn 50, which sounds scary, I might have changed my mind 8-)

Holly C. said...

Happy birthday, pretty lady!

Sandi said...

want to know what the club is? it's getting chemical peels and botox.
it's getting the "other" region examined at your yearly GYN appointment.
it's getting even more gray hairs. do those things multiply at midnight or what?
and if you can, wear a Team Edward t shirt to bed and freak your kids(or husband) out!
welcome to 40, Dawn!

Carissa said...

Happy Day!

Number 7 is hilarious, cuz I'm turning 30 this year. I remember when I was turning 20 and never thought I would turn 30. So now, I can't imagine turning 40. ha ha.

Sarah said...

Thanks, Dawn, and I hope you had a good birthday. Belated wishes coming your way.

I'll be turning 37 this summer and each year struggle with being a year older and no closer to my dreams. But as you said, it can always be worse! :)

I hope you'll be able to go out with friends (or maybe you did) to celebrate or something...especially with the hard times your family is going through right now, you need to remember to celebrate the good things (and another year of life is a celebration, whether it feels like one or not).

:) Have a great day/weekend.

Sallie said...

Happy birthday, Dawn! I totally get the age thing, but here is another spin on "getting old" (which is the name of the game, isn't it?): I just turned 50, and I was totally proud to do so. Having just survived a year of cancer treatment, this was an important milestone for me. Plus, my Mom died at age 45, so each year beyond that is cause for celebration. True, I lost an account because someone "young and dynamic" seemed "a better fit" for the client (no kidding -- that's what I was told, and I am NOT in the personal training profession!), but even despite our youth-worshipping culture, I am proud to be growing older. So yeah, it is a club. It's a club called LIFE. No secret handshake, maybe, but a virtual high five from me. Congratulations!

joanne lendaro said...

Coming from a 50 something...Thanks to Sandy in Tucson!! You are right about looking back when you're 50!

Mamastiks said...

I loved this. I turned 40 in January. To this day my 2 year old will randomly look at me and say, "You forty" and laugh hysterically. If I ask her my name, she gets an evil glint in her eye and says, "you forty...[hysterical laughter ensues]." I did "love" the onslaught of the "freebies" offered exclusively to 40 year olds on facebook - your 40! get free uggs! 3 months later and facebook no longer cares that I'm 40. My new best friend (stranger sitting near me while waiting for daughter at Cubbies) told me she was sure I was in my early 30s. Happy Birthday.

Knitty said...

You had my sympathy until the crack about it could be worse, you could be turning 50. As a 57 year old, I was going to tell you all the good things that come with age but instead I am going to let you struggle and squirm and find them out for yourself.

Oh, and wipe that dried drool off your shirt. You must have dozed off with your mouth open, you old geezer.

Mandy said...

Do you realize you need to update your "About Dawn" that reads you are a 30-something yaer old stay-at-home mom...? Just thought I would remind you. Why do I have a feeling you aren't going to be right on top of that task? =)

Anonymous said...

I turned 60 a few months ago. My daughter WILL be 40 this year. I hated turning 60 and still hate it. I know, as many have told me, it's just a number. They lie.

Anonymous said...

The real killer will happen 10 years from now when you get your unsolicited invitation to join AARP. Totally bummed me out the day it came in the mail.

Pat

Anonymous said...

I felt the same way when I turned 40 (it was two short years ago).

Hubby turned 50 in January and received his application for membership to AARP two days before his birthday. Poor guy . . . he suddenly started walking slower with his back hunched over and saying things like, "Those darn kids are on our lawn, again!". LOL Just kidding!

Enjoy every age -- you're an incredible woman and should be proud of that!!!

Donna in PA :)

Chris P in MN said...

Happy Birthday Dawn! I turned 50 in December & life is good! I decided a while ago that any day above the sod is good! WHile it might not be socially acceptable to hop from tile to tile, it is perfectly fine to jump in the "bouncy house"! Though I do recommend doing it with your own child or a niece or nephew...they tend to frown on it if you just jump in with kids you don't know! Enjoy your 40th year, but know that the best is yet to come!

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

I still loved what my grandmother said on her 80th birthday. My dad called to wish her a happy birthday and wondered how it felt to turn 80. She said it wasn't as bad as realizing her oldest turned 60, that made her feel real old. Gotta love grandmas. Happy Birthday Dawn. Oh, and I love Sandy in Tucson attitude toward adding years on. It is so true. I would not go back to my teen years or my 20's. Maybe start the 30's over and do things I wish i had done by now, but looking forward to the 40 in 3 short years and hoping for good health to enjoy them.

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday!

By the way, forty is not the new thirty. Forty is the new twenty!

Enjoy your day!

geelizzie said...

I was quite depressed when I turned forty. I couldn't believe it either, but let me tell you it gets worse! I will be turning...ack, gasp, ugh...FIFTY-FIVE! this year. How did this happen!?! And where did all the years go between 40 and 55?

anolis said...

Happy 40th Birthday, Dawn!

I am 41 and I had a hard time with my 40th birthday. I'm not sure why...probably for all the reasons you listed. I have been coloring my hair for-eva and will until you have to pry the Loreal box out of my cold, stiff hand. Right before I turned 40, I joined a women's soccer league and am now playing with 20 year olds. It makes me feel young! I am not in the best shape but I feel pretty good for being in my 40s and playing soccer.

Also, my hubby bought me a "Team Edward" shirt for C-mas and I wear it proudly and feel much younger than I am.

Do whatever it takes to feel younger (legally)! I'm still waiting for all that wisdom to fill up my head...

Hugs to you, Amy =)

Purple Quilter Queen said...

So true Dawn! Try being 40 with a 1 year old! I turned 40 on 2/22 and just something about that birthday has been alot harder to swallow. I've already started getting emails from Prevention magazine and AARP. They hit you up early these days!! Take care and hope you enjoy being "in the club!" Jenn

Julie said...

My 30s were so much better than my 20s, I figured the 40s would rock. That pattern held true -- I honestly can't wait to see what the 50s bring now!

TornadoTwos said...

I'm not a big fan of my continuing to have birthdays. The last one I remember was when I turned 29, and I've managed to forget all the rest. Nevermind that my oldest is 12 and I'm coming up on my 14th wedding anniversary, I'll make it work.

Yvonnebarb said...

Hilarious! Have you ever thought of a career in stand up? I could actually visualize you up on a stage doing the "club" bit.

C Barnes said...

Hey Dawn,

I was one of the ones who welcomed you to the club. Why? Because when I turned 40 last December, I was welcomed by many of my friends who hit 40 before me.

One piece of good news for you - at least your husband (or family member or friend) didn't say, "welcome to 40....you're halfway there". Halfway to where? "Dead"

Hope you had a great birthday!

April said...

Happy Birthday, Dawn! Forty's nothing. I'm a firm believer in that the older you get, the sweeter life gets. I'm also a firm believer in "Birthday Week", which isn't a week per-say, but rather a dynamic stretch of time around your actual birthday. This paradox provides a means to obtain the things you want without the guilt. So enjoy your cake today, this weekend, and even into next week. After all, it's Birthday Week, and all indulgences are excused.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! You're still just a kid. I, on the other hand, am turning 60 this year . . . and to top it off, I have a child who is getting really close to 40. Yikes! Seriously, though, I would not go back for anything. Every stage of life is a gift from God.

jdb in AZ said...

When people turn 50 my husband thinks it's real cute to tell them they're half way to 100. pffft.

I was 29 for 30 years. Now I've stopped counting and tell people I'm umpteen.

Midlife Mama said...

Hey! Watch that "at least I'm not 50" comment; ya young whippersnapper! Remember... old people are cranky bastards! heehee!! :) Happy Birthday. And you are NOT old. Yet. haha!

Anonymous said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Dawn! I hope this time next year you'll look back and see that turning 40 was the beginning of your best year yet.

Lyuda said...

Happy Birthday, Dawn! You are hilarious! And the comments of Sandy in Tucson, Sandi and Midlife Mama made me laugh even more. I am in my early twenties, but it's still funny to read about people talking about getting ol-, ahem, maturing. :] I hope your birthday week is awesome! Thanks for making my day better!

Lu's Place said...

Your post is funny. My post today was " The word Elderly is Relative" It was a story about my mother at our lake house and calling her elderly and unsteady on her feet. I happened to turn over the picture and the date on the back made her 5 years older then than I am now. Hmm, Elderly is relative, don't you think? Hope you had a good day.

Carmen M. said...

I like your list! And #5 is soooo true. I recently cleaned my nightstand drawer and took out a waterproof Walkman (tape player), and a CD one and my kids couldn't believe their eyes!!! Imagine how those look next to my son's IPod shuffle! hahaha

Stressed Out said...

Oh, don't be so whiny... it could be worse - you could be turning 45 (like I will in a month!) Today was my daughter's 13th birthday. Today I offically ended my 3-1/2 week of bliss with no teenagers in my house. See, my son turned 20 on 2/17 and, well, I just said my daughter turned 13 today. (Old people tend to repeat themselves. Get used to it. It's a "club" rule...)
So, thus ends my 3-1/2 week soujourn with no teenagers. The ONLY time from 12/8/2000 to 11/22/2018 without a teenager in my home. So, like I said, things could be worse... you could be me! LOL

Happy Birthday, Dawn!

Jana said...

Well, hope you had a happy birthday anyway! I remember when my mom turned thirty, and I thought that was old, what a fool I was, well only being eight, I guess I was. Now that I am closer to forty than thirty, getting older sucks! The aches, the weird pains you get for no reason, it feels like you're falling apart, me anyway. Take it easy, Dawn, and have some cake for me!

Susie said...

As a 50-something reader, I can only hope that someone who weighs about 20 lbs. less than you starts complaining in your presence about how FAT she is.
That's how I feel when a young 'un like you starts griping about her age : ) j/k
>>>Happy Birthday<<<
I'm sure you'll manage the next decade just fine, even at your advanced age.

feistywon said...

I'm turning 40 in 2 weeks and have been agonizing over it for 2 months. I'm way past Clairol for the grey hairs, had to go directly to the SERIOUS stuff they only carry in beauty supply stores and all of a sudden, my up close eyesight is deteriorating. All this in 2 months, it's like a conspiracy. HOWEVER, like someone else said "the Club" is life, being part of the living and as the best friend of someone who died a few months ago at age 39, I think I'm really going to celebrate getting to 40. 'Cause you see, not everyone does. Instead of looking at it as a sad event, I'm really going to try to celebrate it as a special day that my friend would have loved to made it to. What an honor!

Deirdre said...

I couldn't read the blog yesterday, so I'll say Happy Birthday a day late. I'm turning 40 later this year, and I actually think I'm looking forward to it. Turning 25 was horrible for me, because I thought I'd never accomplish anything. Turning 40, I look at my wonderful kids, am thinking about going to grad school, and think, "Heck, yes! This is going to be good." I can't say I love the number, but it is just a number, and a I have a great person to color my hair. :) Happy Birthday to one of my favorite virtual friends!

Anonymous said...

Happy After-Birth Dawn, I hope your day was as fun as you are! The only age I had a problem with was 27 for some odd reason. Every other has never bothered me. I am now 46 and a cashier was carding me and I said I was 47. I really thought I was and had to check :) Oh and I've had grey hair since I was 19 and am 80 percent grey now :O You can say I have a Natural Instinct # 28G Love Ya, Kristine in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Well Dawn I was accepted to the club last year and welcomed my husband to it this year with a surprise party. He is always making those "older" comments. I haven't heard squat from him about being older then him in 3 weeks. I wonder why?

Its not so bad. Truly. Like you said it could be worse. Happy belated birthday

Natasha said...

Aww, don't 'Sweat' it! My mom turned 40 at the end of October... Heh at least you can say she's older than you... Oh, and, *Heh-hem* I noticed that you haven't taken the,
"I'm a 30-something year old
stay-at-home mom of 3 girls
and 3 boys. The original Brady
Bunch (without Alice!)"
down yet. Are we denying the truth? XD...


Oh, and look on the bright side; now whenever your kids smack you, you can yell "Elderly abuse!"!

Lisa said...

As my husband pointed out to me yesterday I am 10 times as old as my oldest child and 20 times as old as my youngest! He is too though.

Dawn said...

Dawn, here's what I told my older sister when she turned 40 and was bemoaning the fact.

'Your first 20 years of life aren't your own. You're still a kid,growing and forming. They don't count...
So, in reality, you've only lived an adult life for 20 years. You still have about 40 years of adulthood left!'

This was the wisdom shared by a then-30 year old me. I hit 49 in a few months... and still feel like I have lots of life left in me. I'm in better shape now than I was at 40! As I mentioned the other day, I plan on skydiving for my 50th! (my inner me still thinks I'm 25, btw)

Dawn in Michigan

Robin said...

You're 40 & FABULOUS!!! Enjoy it! No matter how old I am I'll always be thankful just to be having another birthday. :)

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday! My sis just turned forty, and I did indeed tell her :Welcome to the club! I didn't even realize people were doing this to you poor former 39 year olds! Ya it sucks, no sugar coating it.
I'm actually sitting here recovering from a total hip replacement at the ripe old age of 47......so ya it could be worse ;)
My only saving grace is, that I don't look my age, and get told this all the time. My surgeon told me this as I was still doped up..." I just have to say, you don't look your age." That is the only bright spot of my stay at the hospital...

Sorry for going on and on, but your really hit the nail on the head with turning 40!

Anonymous said...

You're a good woman Dawn. God loves you and so do we.

Angela said...

I've got another year and I'll be right there with ya!!

Hope you had a great birthday Dawn!!!!!!!

Magda said...

Happy birthday Dawn!!! I haven´t commented in a while but still follow you religiously. I heard 40 is the new TWENTY, not the new 30, so there you go.:). I´m turning 35 tomorrow and still can´t get my mind around it. REALLY??? 35?? I remember my mom being that age and man, she was OLD, heehee...
You are a beautiful, witty, fabulous, strong woman. Here´s to the next 40 being even better!!!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Happy Belated!!

I turned 40 a few years back, and it was traumatizing. I still can't believe it. Thirty was bad enough, but 40 is bad enough to kill me!

marythemom said...

Happy Birthday Dawn!

I'll be 40 in 3 short weeks and you've really burst my bubble about not getting to join a club!

I'd been working so hard! I'm wearing the club colors (started going grey at 21 so I'm more than 3/4 of the way there). Wearing the uniform (stretchmarks, cheaters and chin hair). And my kids have been telling me I'm already a member (gotta love teens!). *sigh*

Guess I'll just have to go on... with my crushed dreams.

Mary in TX

melech said...

Hey Meehan! You've been 40 for a week already,. STOP resting on your laurels.SuperGlue the kiddos to the fridge..and get yourself back to your keyboard. Just so ya know, I am 63..and I felt devastated each and every time my chronological clock demarcated first 30 (the WORST!!(, 40, 50 and finally..this dreaded SIXTY. Why, I've turned into my parents!!)
The Good News, from one who has "been there"..IT DOES get BETTER!
Look POSITIVELY..SPRING is coming.. Granted,its slightly delayed..but once those pretty little Chicago area CROCUSES(Croci ?) start pushing their colourful little noggins up out of the rich brown earth...YOU,Baby Sister will have a totally new and extremely pleasant understanding of just why the Good Lord chose YOU.Every nasty,sad,upsetting thing that has occured during your rather SHORT life, will be magically turned into Humourous GOLD..such that I foresee a TV series or Situation Comedy which will keep you in closer. When I first wrote to you,following your marvelous foray into baseball card land...I just +knew that I was dealing with a strong-willed girl(YOU will remain a girl until age 86..at which time you become Middle Aged) I guess you can NEVER be told enough..YOU are one talented and funny person...and WE, all of us readers) love you very very much!

Mark in MASS.

WarsawMommy said...

HA! I will be 'joining the club' in two years, and OLD people/40 year olds are already trying to make me feel bad about this. Darn them!

But adding insult to injury over here in our house?? My husband is 5 years younger than I am and all he does is moan about how old he's getting and feeling. When I point out to him that by calling himself 'old' he is actually insulting me (his wife and mother of his sons, who was PREGNANT when I was his age) he quickly says, "But you don't LOOK OLD... I do!"

Hmmm. So far, he's been allowed to survive. But he may well not live to be old/see 40.

Anonymous said...

As my Dad always says on turning 80-something, "It's better than the alternative."

Mimicutelips said...

This was great, the Club thing is hilarious. I turned 30 last year and I was awaiting my official induction, committee welcome and yeah NOTHING. I was also expecting this epiphany of monumental proportion to occur and yeah I got nothing there either.

I hope you enjoyed your birthday.

Barb said...

40 wasn't a big deal for me and I celebrated 50. Who knew I'd live this long!
Happy birthday!

A Mother's Thoughts said...

Happy Birthday (A little late), but you won't mind because at this point our mind goes on us a little too!! lol

Great list!

Lynn

msprimadonna67 said...

I can totally relate. I'm forty-two, and I have to admit a few of these rang quite familiar. Welcome to the Club (or, Happy Birthday!)

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