LIFE may begin at 40 but it’s also that time of life when you start taking stock of your existence. When I turned 40 years ago, it was one of the most memorable events of my life. It was also when the imaginary clock started ticking sub-Iiminally. Was the best really to be? I was in very stable relationship after my divorce, but could a better man be hovering in the horizon? Would my wildest dreams come true? Well, time has given answers, some of which I never even envisaged. So when Clara, one of my favourite cousins started making plans for her 40th, I warned her not to be very optimistic about the best that was yet to be. For a start, she was fat – a far cry from the svelte lady that walked down the isles 12 years ago. Her husband was bald with a contented pouch.
It was as if she was reading my mind when she bragged that, “On my 40th birthday, I intend to wow all my guests with my new figure”. What a dreamer! Just how much could you achieve in four months? She surprised us all by not only slimming down to a size 16, but giving herself the most flattering make-over. I was happy for her. Lately, she’d been critical of her marriage. Maybe this new, confident Clara would put a spark back into her marriage. Unfortunately, her husband seemed contented with his middle age spread and was quite oblivious of his wife’s new look.
“Kola is not really interested in change,” Clara said of her husband when I ran into her at a family get-together. She continued, “In spite of the fact that my friends praised me for looking lovely and fantastic, Kola didn’t appreciate my effort. Whenever I asked him how I looked, he’d just shrug and mutter ‘lovely’. The thing is, a group of my friends are having a party for me next week. No husbands! It would be fun if you could attend.” I promised I would like to, knowing I was only being polite. Clara’s friends are really upper crust and spend money with style. They make me a bit uncomfortable about their outlook on life. Was I getting old maybe? I knew I would have fun at her party but I didn’t want to rub shoulders with her care-free friends who are lots younger than I am.
When we met a few weeks later, I’d scarcely finished apologising for not attending her party when she confessed she was able to test her pulling power. Here we go again, I groaned. Apparently, her husband’s nonchalant attitude towards her new look made her desperate to prove to herself there was still some pulling-power left in her. “I had one of the outfits I’d reserved for my birthday party which I hadn’t the time or the nerve to wear. It was a skinny jeans matched with the most flattering top. Kola nearly had a fit when he saw me. He actually turned his eyes off the Supersports he was glued to. ‘You’re not going out dressed like that,’ he roared. I reminded him it was an all-female party and he grudgingly agreed for me to go, after the friend who came for me backed me up.
“My friends were surprised to see the new me. When I noticed that Sarah, the hostess had ‘chartered’ some men, I discreetly removed my wedding ring. It was party time! I later ended up in the arms of Idris on the dance floor and I showed the moves I’d learnt from my teenage daughter. When the music turned to a smoothy one, I clung to him – I even let my hand touch his bum! He pulled me closer to him and I was thrilled to feel how much 1 was turning him on.
“After three more dances and some drinks, he breathed in my ear we should go out for some fresh air. Clinging drunkenly to him, I let him lead me over to his jeep. It wasn’t the most glamorous setting for betrayal, but I was far too eager to worry. Sex with Kola was virtually non-existent – just a quickie every other week.
“We hurriedly clambered into the front seat he’d conveniently collapsed and I felt really wicked! Kola was a bore in bed, I reasoned with myself. I deserved a bit of excitement after all these years. Moments later, I was panting with lust. The seats of the jeep were rough against my bare bum and Idris wasn’t the gentlest of lovers. He pawed at my boobs like a big clumsy gorilla. But I didn’t care. This was purely about grabbing a bit of illicit fun! It was also trying to convince myself that life could really begin at 40!
“When it was over, we returned to the party. We had very little to say to each other after that. We’d both got what we wanted and there was nothing more to say. As my friend and I headed home much later, she sort of guessed what happened.
“Apparently Idris has this reputation of being a fast worker. She wanted to know how I felt about being unfaithful, and I told her I felt bad for not feeling guilty! I’d just cheated on my husband, had a seedy romp with a complete stranger at the back of his jeep and I felt great!
“I only experienced a slight pang of guilt as I had a quick rinse in the bathroom at home and crept into bed beside Kola. He was fast asleep and didn’t even turn. The next day, he didn’t bother to ask if I’d had an enjoyable time at the party. I’ve made up my mind that the next time any of my friends ask me out, I’ll say yes. Afterall, life’s supposed to begin at 40 and a girl’s got to find her own excitement somehow before life passes her by!”