99 Silly Things

A little over a week ago, I turned 39.cake-35700_1280

Yes, that old. Also, the pic is a lie. There’s no more cake left.

Anyway, according to an ex-workmate of mine, having turned 39 means I have only about a year left to live, because at 40, you’re technically dead. I haven’t seen that guy for quite some time, but as far as I know, he’s past 50 now and still among the breathing, so of course that’s complete bullshit, but hey, that’s beside the point. Because whether or not you’re still alive a day after your 40th birthday, it means something. At the very least, it should mean you’re something of an adult.

I don’t have the slightest intention of becoming an adult. And I’m hereby setting out to prove it. A friend of mine, who like too many of us suffers from depression, seized his birthday a while ago to start collecting the good things coming his way – one per day, under the hashtag #365HappyThings, so that at the end of the year he could convince himself that it wasn’t as bad as it sometimes feels. I think that’s a lovely idea and I’m totally stealing it, but with a slight variation.

I’m challenging myself to do #99SillyThings before my next birthday. Silly is everything that falls broadly within the realm of the immature, childish, not-at-all-thought-through, spur-of-the-moment, ridiculous, or just plain stupid. I’m sure you get the picture. The most obvious about this – and I guess you’ve already figured that out – is, these things are not the type of things you set out to do deliberately. They just happen because you absolutely weren’t thinking. Means I absolutely can’t plan those 99 things. But I know myself. I can totally trust me to accomplish them. You see, it’s been a little over a week and I’ve already accomplished the first two…

…this is going to be one very embarrassing year…

One: Got into a totally ridiculous discussion on the Internet

Details: Someone remarked upon the fact that oh so many people are born in October. I couldn’t resist to point out that this means oh so much sex in January. Someone else chimed in that, no, in order to be born in October, you would have to be conceived in February. The adult response would have been to shrug, maybe have some secret nasty thought about other people’s math skills, but either way, move on. Ha. Not me. I found me a due date calculator on the Internet, and in reply posted the exact days on which a child born in October might have been conceived – and 21 of those days are in January. For my effort I got told that I had it wrong, and that the first two weeks of pregnancy you actually aren’t pregnant yet. At this point I was starting to feel a bit bitchy, because, well. I have two kids. I know about the 40 weeks / 38 weeks thingy. why-1641898_1280Still wrong maths. Nope, was the short answer, and, ’38 weeks make 8 months and 1 week.’ I then asked the person to explain how they calculated that…they told me to grab a calendar and do it myself…I told them I had already done that…I haven’t heard from them ever since. Anyway, assuming that the average month has 30.4375 days, further on assuming that a week has 7 days, 38 weeks make 8.739 etc months. And even if mothers have been known to lift trucks off their children, I have yet to see one bend time, hence 0.739 months are unlikely to make 1 week. There. If me engaging in this isn’t ridiculuos, childish, and just plain stupid, I don’t know what is.

A part of me is still waiting for someone to come along and prove to me that it’s my calculations that have been wrong all the time. I would so deserve that.

Two: Going for a swim at 8°Celsius

Details: The in-laws presented us with a trip to the Baltic Sea for my birthday. Of course, two days before we were due to go there, the weather changed from bright, sunny and warm to cold and rainy, with a storm on the horizon. img_3295Perfect conditions to go to the Baltic Sea. Not. But it was all booked and paid for, and school holidays to boot, so we went. The hotel had a small indoor pool, and an even smaller outdoor pool. The latter wasn’t heated. Air temperature was below 10°, and the water was remarkably colder than the air, so I judge it to have been something around 8°. The kids and I looked at each other and went outside, to stand at the water’s edge, already freezing, wet and only in our swimsuits as we were. I dipped a foot in. Said something I probably shouldn’t have said in front of the kids. Then thought, oh what the hell, and let myself drop in all the way. Shot out again like a rocket, because [insert expletive of your choice here]. I mean, I’m used to quite a bit as regards cold water, since I go swimming in the lake until outside temperature drops below 15°, but that was really something else.

And then along came this guy. Got in at one end, and swam all the way to the other. The kids looked at me. ‘Mom, can you do that, too?’ I laughed. ‘I guess I can. I’m just not sure I want to.’

Well…and then I yelled across the pool, ‘What’s this? A challenge?’ The guy didn’t even reply, he just grinned and swam on. So when he got out after two lengths of the pool, I got in.

Don’t ask. It was cold, and I was glad I’m female. When we got back inside, the guy was telling the tale to his wife and my husband, and all three of them were laughing their heads off. My very adult response was, ‘Well, he started it!’

By the way, feel free to feel challenged to do your own 99 silly things. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

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About angelikarust

My name is Angelika Rust. I was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, I live in Germany, with my husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, I now make a living knowing English. No, I haven’t yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I write the occasional book.
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