The Big Four O

I turned 40 a few days ago. I don’t feel any changes physically or mentally, it’s still the same. I met up with a group of university friends a day before the big day, who have already hit the big 4. The general consensus seems to be “I can’t believe I’m 40 now!! OMG!!” There’s also the stupid Eldershield from CPF board to remind us. Why the hell do they send that to people who will turn 40? And calling it Eldershield?? These public service people are such lazy bastards that they couldn’t think of a more decent name! How about calling it “Disability protection” which basically is what it is about? Or even “mobility protection” sounds better.

Anyway my friends started talking about being afflicted by back aches, the presbyopia problem (老花眼) setting in. Worst for those who had LASIK in their younger days, they are developing myopia. Reading glasses are required now, what does this say about aging? Apparently the body just starts going downhill from 40. One friend, who wears glasses, said nothing seemed to happen after she turned 40. Then she found her eyesight couldn’t focus very well when she read. It appeared rather minor initially, and suddenly, overnight, the problem got worst. Uh oh, does this mean I’m going to get it soon?

My husband, who is 43, removes his glasses when he reads, and I thought that action gives away your age. He did try to get a pair of bifocals but doesn’t like it. I wear contact lens, I can’t remove them to read. So I probably end up holding the reading material an arm length away. I have thought of going for LASIK, but was told to drop the idea now. It’s too late for me!!

To be honest, all the talks on the problems of aging don’t have to be pessimistic. There is a way to reverse the aging process (though not the eyesight problem) and that is exercise. But there are caveats. I’m referring to aerobic exercise of which running is the best. And I’m not talking about being weekend warriors. Running for 30 minutes or even 1 hr during the weekends doesn’t cut it. I’m talking about regular exercise, 5 times a week, at least 45 minutes each time. That way the body will constantly repair itself .

Anyway I celebrated my birthday with my husband over a special dinner, which we do every year, and this time we chose Morton’s The Steakhouse. We been there once before and I really enjoyed the Alaskan King Crab legs and the warm chocolate cake. I love the crab legs, and I had really awesome ones at Joe Stone Crabs at Las Vegas. So I ordered the same, and my husband asked for steak, as well as 2 vegetable sides, and a crab cake for appetizer. Morton serves onion bread to their guests, and it’s fabulous especially since it’s served warm. We only had half of it, should have doggy-bag the rest.

Me waiting eagerly for the Alaskan crab legs and warm chocolate cake

The crab cake costed more than $20!! But we realized it was actually one big lump of crab meat. It was quite tasty but didn’t have the “wow” factor.

I asked for warm crab legs which were served with melted butter. I have to say, I was disappointed with them. They were not as fabulous as I expected, definitely not as good as what we had at JSC in Vegas. Even the melted butter didn’t have the same wonderful flavor. My husband tried it and thought it was not bad. He said I was spoilt! What we had at Vegas was fresh crab legs. I was asking for the impossible if I expected the same in Singapore.

The steak my husband ordered turned out a little over cooked, not the medium rare that he asked for. So it was returned. He was starting to regret the Morton choice. The second time, the maitre’d came to serve the steak to my husband and requested he cut it to make sure it was done to his request. This time, my husband felt the steak was cooked perfectly. But he wasn’t happy with the two vegetable sides: pan fried button mushroom and asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette. The mushroom was teenie compared to even what Marche served. The asparagus was not fat and juicy.

As for the warm chocolate cake, which was supposed to be the other highlight. It was good enough but again, no oomph factor. So basically, it was just an ok dinner. Our wait staff is very friendly and helpful, though on the whole, the restaurant should raise its game in the service level. They served the onion bread with butter but did not provide butter knife. In fact we had to ask for it twice. One interesting side note, the service staff appear to be all Singaporeans. I’m glad that at least the restaurant doesn’t try to replace them with foreigners.

The restaurant did provide some nice touches. The cake was served with a candle, and the staff even offered to sing me a birthday song, but I declined. If they had offered the Cantonese version, I would have accepted. There were many Scorpio babies in the house that evening, a lot of birthday celebrations among the guests including a gay couple. The staff also took a picture of us with the cake, using not just our iPhone, but also their digital camera. They printed the picture and put it in a birthday card for me. Not only that, the cake was on the house. So that’s a very nice gesture.

So that was my birthday celebration this year, as I start on the 40’s journey. I wonder if 50 will be the gigantic five O, 60 the ginormous six O and 70 the “I’m gonna conk out soon” seven O? Let’s see. Like what I told my friends “age is just a number”. I don’t think I’ll go for Botox to remove the wrinkles on my face, since I hate needles, and even less going for a face lift. The most I’ll do is the Thermage or mixto treatments. Most importantly, stay healthy by eating right and moderate amount and exercise, and you’ll age gracefully. Still I won’t be saving money on skin care products any time soon.

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