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You’ve probably seen it circulating on Facebook already. A friend recently sent me the time-wasting-but-I-so-have-to-see-what-this-is survey, “Which John Hughes classic are you?”. Like any curious 40-something raised on John Hughes (R.I.P.) classics, I knew I HAD to open the link and take the survey. I got 16 Candles, one of my favorite movies. I remember seeing Samantha Baker hash it out with her big sister (and Farmer Ted played by the always hilarious Anthony Michael Hall) on the big screen when I was 13. Wow, to think I was as old as my son is now when I celebrated Molly Ringwald’s entire wardrobe and began reciting “Dong, where is my automobile?” “Jake, he’s my boy,” and “I can’t believe my parents forgot my &*^^ birthday,” on a daily basis. Scenes from John Hughes’ classics, from The Breakfast Club to Planes, Trains and Automobiles, became permanently locked in my brain, helping me become the person I am now. (Minus the laugh lines and back fat.)

As I face my 43rd birthday in April, I wish I could wipe the day from the calendar and just carry on as Samantha Baker did on that infamous day. I’m glad I’m alive and I’m thankful for my family and friends and all, but 43? It’s not exactly the most thrilling number. To quote Jake Ryan’s friend, “It’s…void.”

Things to keep in mind when you face 43:

• Teenagers will be calling you “Ma’am” until you’re 93.
• If your family forgets your birthday (like Samantha Baker’s), but remembers to pack carrot sticks, it’ll be a good thing.
• You may have reached total happiness and self-acceptance by age 43, but you will forever be immune to the fact that you’re viewed as an old dorky person in the eyes of every middle schooler in America.

With each passing year, you’ll look more and more like Elaine from Seinfeld when you dance in front of your kids

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• In your mind, you’re still a teenager, which means you’ll mentally be 40-something when you’re in your 80s.
• You are as old as your parents were when you were a tween.
• Wearing floral pants is a big no-no at 43 because no matter how cute they look on the mannequin, you know the minute you try them on, you’ll end up looking like Mrs. Roper.
• Your 40th birthday is just as memorable as your 21st birthday, but your 40th is probably the last birthday you will care to celebrate by partying after midnight.
• Going to bed by 10:30 p.m. is no longer a social embarrassment but a celebrated accomplishment.
• They don’t make candles, balloons or cards with the number 43.
• During your annual doctor’s visit, remember to remove all jewelry, shoes and socks before stepping on the scale. Then blame the **&&%$# glass of water you drank before the appointment on the shocking number.
• When you turn 43, your metabolism will slow to a screeching halt unless you exercise every day.
• After skipping a day or two of exercise, you’ll feel like your mind and body are turning to mush.
• Just Googling “heart health at 43” is enough to scare you back into jogging.
• For every sprinkle of salt you add to your plate, you can count on an inch of bloat that lasts for days.

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