The Day That It Paid Off To Be Forty

Last week I had a moment when I was so excited to be forty, and I wanted to share it with you.

Normally, though I had a bit of angst when I turned the Big 4-0 in November, I don’t even think about my numerical age because I always feel so much younger anyway. It’s just a number and doesn’t really hold much importance. Until Saturday.

I took the younger boy out to lunch after his last band concert. We went to a new burger place, a “fast casual” restaurant. Orders are placed at the counter but they give you a number to put on your table; a server delivers your meal when it’s ready.

As my order-taker grabbed a table number for us and put it on the counter in front of me, I saw that it was the number “40” and didn’t think anything about it. I kept reading the sign, though, because this restaurant has witty signage all over the place and they are sort of known for friendly “smart-a$$ed-ness” (Nukedad, that one’s for you!).

It said, “If you are the same age as this card, you win a FREE MEAL.”

It took me about two-thirds of a quarter of a nanosecond to remember that I AM forty, and I COULD prove it, as the sign warned.

Totally channeling my mother, whose excitement on winning something is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever seen no matter what the prize*, I picked up the card off the counter and said, “OHMYGOD, I AM FORTY!!!!”

The order-taker said, “Really?”

The guy behind the counter next to her said, “No you’re not! (probably pouring it on for my benefit) Do you have a license?”

“Of course I do!” I said. I showed them my driver’s license and was presented with a card for a free meal on my next visit.

On the way to the table, I was all “YESSSSS! Free food! Isn’t that awesome?”

My son, who is fourteen and in that special teen stage where it’s fun to be a buzzkill, grinned and said, “Mom, you basically got free food for being old.”

I said, “HEY, I could’ve won if I were any age that matched that card! Good thing I just won free food or I’d be really ticked at you right now! Free food! Wooo hoooo!” (at that point I had to act really excited about it, you know, to get back at him for his comment)

When our food was delivered to the table by another employee, we thanked him and he said, “No, thank YOU. And congratulations on being forty!”

That was weird of him to say in that way. But I didn’t care. I won free food. Yay me!

*Once we went to a Client Appreciation party for the clients of a travel agency that my friend’s family owned, and in the door prize drawing my mom won one of those old-style airline promo bags sort of like these, and you would have thought it was a million bucks. She started shrieking from our table in the back corner as if she was Tennessee’s newest millionaire. But she wasn’t. It was just a bag. I guess if I look at it in different way, it’s just that my mom just really appreciates stuff. (Private note to Julesie: Reminds me of another post about stuff I have to do. ha ha)



  • House of Jules

    If it wasn’t so early, I’d be dying laughing right now. The crazy thing is that those Pan Am bags sell for about $100 now! Funny stuff…

  • Kat

    Free food? Only in America! LOL. Awesome really, see being 40 isn’t all that bad.

    Funny how teenagers always have to give their two cents and rub your nose in it but one day…. hehe

    Anyway enjoy your free food the next time around.

  • NukeDad

    I think it’s great that you and your Mom showed excitement at winning your prizes. The older you get, the less chance you have to celebrate the small victories. Hell, I imagine one day I’ll be all “Whoo Hoo!” in the nursing home after going 3 days in a row without incontinence.

  • surprised mom

    Free food for turning forty! What a bonanza! It is the little victories in life that can give us the biggest thrill. Congrats! I loved turning 40! It’s been the best decade of my life so far. Kids, always have to have the last word. And NukeDad? That was just too funny.

  • Tom

    Forty isn’t so bad. I’m more than halfway through, and I’m holding together still. Mostly. Anyway… free food! Yeah!

  • Melissa

    I love the “you just got free food for being old” Youch!! Looks like the youngest may not live to be the same 🙂

  • Mr. Man

    You and I have that in common…we amuse easily. Wish I coulda got some free grub. I’ll try not to be a hater.

  • Michelle

    Mmmm I dunno. I’m pretty psyched (psycho?) about winning things, too! 🙂 And mildly competitive. You’ll have to let me know where this fun place is. Just tell me it isn’t Five Guys — a friend of mine works for them and I hear about how good they are constantly but none near me. Yet.

  • Liz@thisfullhouse

    I don’t never get no free food for being forty-never-mind! Happy Belated birthday, by the way. Yah, I’m late and don’t act so gosh-darned surprised, neither!

  • Anonymous

    Grandma W says anything free excites me as you know. I wish I kept that bag $100 would be nice now. I am a Bohiemian (spelling?) And anytime I get it for free that’s great. Remember the old saying “why buy when you can get it for free” That makes the excitment of it all.

  • Huckdoll

    Can you keep going back every day…every week? Or do they have you in the big “40 YEAR OLDS” database?

    Zing 😉

  • The Microblogologist

    Congrats on the free food and not killing the snarky son, lol. Since I have not met you in real life I cannot say for sure but I suspect my mother could out do you in being embarrassing to an offspring. Of course I’m still waiting for WeaselMomma to make good on her promise to go to Boy Weasel’s school in her PJ’s, a robe and bunny slippers and sit in on his class if she has to bring him his book(s) again, that I think would win the grand prize (which should be a coupon for free therapy sessions)!