Patrick, my high-school classmate, is getting married on Saturday. When he made the announcement three months ago, our high-school egroup suddenly came alive. Reactions ranged from "why only now?" to "who finally snagged you?" to "it's about time." Two crossing-Continents chat sessions and countless email threads later, one thing became clear: 40 is just as good an age as any for starting something.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude when he was 40. At 40, Albert Einstein gained scientific renown for his theory of relativity. Somewhere around forty was when Mother Teresa started Missionaries of Charity, Madonna came out with "Ray of Light" and Jane fonda started her workout mania. Nicolas Cage became a first-time father at 40.
For some, though, 40 is "old." It may be because the marrying age around here is "just a little after college," sometimes even in college. Given such, the equations can be astounding. While most of our batchmates, for example, are grappling with the reality of raising teen-agers, Patrick and his Vivian won't be there until 2021, at the earliest. Even as Patrick and Vivian are tying the knot, others are untying theirs. And while Patrick and Vivian are reading up on Dr. Spock, others have enough in them to write their own parenting books.
But "old" isn't something you'd associate with Patrick and Vivian and all the others who have the courage to start new adventures. Even if the adventure is, as the invitation says, "growing old together."
So here's to you, Patrick and Vivian. May the road to "partnerhood" at forty be just as beautiful...