Okay, okay. I can’t remember how old I am because I have ADHD, and my age keeps changing. I can’t remember my age for the same reason I can’t remember which toothbrush is mine. But I can’t just change my age to “blue” to help me remember. But here’s the story.
I dove in, like I always do. We were playing cooperative games, and they needed volunteers, so I stood up and walked into the circle. We lined up in height order without talking. We did a good job. No problem.
Then we got in order by the first letter of our names. Again, we did it. No talking, just signing. Some of us were wearing name tags, which helped.
And then I started to panic. We had to get in line in order of age, and I didn’t know the right answer. The only person in the room who could help me was KPD, and he wasn’t playing.
I ran over to him anyway, holding up four fingers on one hand, and two on the other, a questioning look on my face. I couldn’t talk, but I had to ask, “Am I forty-two?” KPD busted out laughing.
“You don’t remember how old you are?” He asked, somehow disbelieving, even after he had to limit me to blue toothbrushes because I kept forgetting which toothbrush was mine and using his by accident.
I stomp my foot, hold up my fingers.
“Yes, you’re forty-two,” he says.
And then I realize he’s wrong. He’s thinking I’m two years younger than he is, so I’m forty-two. But his birthday has passed, and mine hasn’t yet. Harpo’s birthday is next, and he’ll be six (forty-two in dog years) and THEN I’ll turn forty-two. So I’m forty-one.
I return to the game. We get it mostly right, and the game ends. I return to my seat beside KPD.
“I’ve already moved myself up,” I say, by way of explanation. “I know,” says KPD. “You’re like your mother. You age people like race horses: everyone moves up on January first.”
But I realize that’s not it.
I’m going to be forty-two. 42. The meaning of life. Several of my friends have already turned 42. My frigging dog is turning 42. I’m excited.
Usually, being a nerd helps you get things right. But not this time.