“I think I’m going to turn forty this summer.”

“No, you’re not,” says my mom, who – of all people – can call my bluff. And also she seems startled by my declaration. “I was there when you were born. It wasn’t forty years ago.”

“Almost. Close enough.”

“Tricia, you’re turning thirty-nine.”

“But how can that be? How can I not be forty?”

“These conversations are weird.”

“I don’t like thirty-nine. I don’t like odd numbers.”

“I know.”

“Plus, everyone will think I’m kidding when I say I’m thirty-nine. It’s kind of cliché, like people who don’t want to be older just say they’re perpetually thirty-nine. I, on the other hand, want to be forty.”

“It doesn’t work that way.”

“It could, though. Who really cares how old I am?”

“I do. As your mother, I care very much how old you are.”

“I’ll just be forty twice. This year and next year.”

“I am not playing this game for the next year.”

“You can say, ‘This is Tricia. She’s pretending to be forty.'”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“My thirties have been really, really long. I definitely feel like someone who has lived a decade like this one should be forty by now.”

“But you’re not.”

“I might be. Twice.”

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