Friday, 4 March 2011

Marginal Fail, Nul Point! and Ringing in the Changes

I might as well live in Antartica. Apart from the fact that it would probably be marginally warmer than London at the moment, it seems that - with a few notable exceptions - most of my social interactions this week have been conducted via the computer.

I'm not complaining. No. I'm moaning! Only because today happens to be a very special day. It's my father's birthday. And my birthday too. A whole year older! How does that happen? How do I manage this incredible feat, every year, of ageing an entire year on the night of March 3? As a child and up until the age of 25 or so, being a year older was exciting. (I remember this one year, when I turned 7, overegging the anticipation and woke up thinking I was 8.)

Nowadays it's still thrilling, but low key. I even start using my "new" age from January 1 (does anyone else?). Then around the start of February, realise that I'm not quite that old yet and it makes me feel like I've defied Time! (No, really. It's a great feeling.)

I don't have any children of my own so there are none of those kiddy milestones to make me conscious of the passage of time. I no longer think I'm the same age as teenagers (that stopped when I realised they couldn't spell) but when I see a bunch of 20 somethings, they feel like my contemporaries. Of course all it takes is for one of them to call me Madam (I live in the UK) or for an adult talking to a child to refer to me as "the lady". As in "Don't make so much noise Justin (Justin? Who's he?) you're disturbing the lady."

The other age marker is watching teachers with their young charges. (There's a primary school around the corner.) Since when did teachers get so young? Mine were old... or were they? An old school mate sent me a copy of our school picture from year 5 and I remembered my teacher as a rather old and fat and sour woman... looking at the photo now, she was probably my age. She does still look rather pinched though, I got that bit right. Ah, the cruelty of youth!!

So today is my birthday and I am nursing a wounded ego. I failed my Financial Regulation exam yesterday - BY ONE ANSWER!!!! - because I didn't study hard enough for it... because I didn't think I needed to study that hard... because I thought I was clever enough to "wing it"... because I like sailing close to the wind... because being clever is my favourite defense mechanism as in.... "well maybe I didn't get (they didn't give me) the part in that play/commercial/film but I'm clever, I've got 2 Masters degrees, so eat my socks!" Now I have to face the fact that this exam is designed for clever people, who are expected to study HARD and LONG and the fact that the pass rate is only about 50%... so even amongst clever people who study hard, it's a tough one. I also have to face the fact that he passed it the first time round (although he did take the training course which I didn't). Oh dear, and face the fact that I now have to study HARD and LONG for another week or so until I take it again. And pay the (outrageously) expensive exam fee. Again.

Where was I? Today is my birthday. In spite of what I said in the beginning about my limited social interactions in the flesh as it were... I am looking forward to having birthday cake this afternoon with a kind and beautifully sexy Brazilian professional samba dancer the combination of which (cake and Brazil) is the equivalent of heaven on a stick and I couldn't ask for a nicer birthday treat!

Feliz Aniversario to me!


Cathy Kozak said...

Happy Birthday Isabelle! May this year bring you a sail full of wind in the direction of your dreams.

With age the fact is that when we turn, say, 20, we are in actual fact beginning our 21st year, so I am always telling everyone I am a year older than the official count. And now that I've passed that dizzying age of 50, I'm deliriously keeping track again, as if I am now sliding down the mountain, effortlessly, instead of trudging up.

MuMuGB said...

Happy Birthday Isabelle!
I have decided to stick to my twenties, which means that I am 28 now, 29 next year and 20 again the year after.
I have a theory that failing an exam is the ultimate act of freedom (you choose to fail, you didn't really want it, etc...). I know it is a bit far-fetched but I am convinced of it.

Anonymous said...

Isabelle, thanks for visiting my blog! I thought I'd visit yours, and I see that you have two, each with a different perspective. I'm interested in this, because I've often found my "literary" blog a little constraining - might be freeing to have two.

After reading about you and some of your posts, it sounds like you lead a very interesting life! I could not miss the opportunity to wish you a very happy birthday.

Best wishes.