Wait, I’m almost done with my 40s already? 

As most of you know every year on my birthday I take a picture of myself, a sort of “state of the Scalzi” photo. This is this year’s, brought about in part by the fact that my allergies have picked this very day to kick in and literally every other picture I’ve taken today makes me look like I’m about to burst into tears. This is the best picture out of, like, eighty. I honestly hope this is not a harbinger for the rest of my 49th year.

But I suspect it’s not. I already have lots of very cool things on the runway for this next year and plans with awesome people to do ridiculous things. You will get to see some of them! Promise.

In the meantime, on we go to the last year of my 40s. Ready? Let’s do this.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

35 replies on “49”

I desperately wanted to be the first pedant to point out that you’re entering your 50th year, not your 49th – but it seems I’m already too late for that.

I’ll just wish you a Happy Birthday instead!

I too am 49 (just this last January). So far it’s been a good year for me and I hope the same for you. Thank you very much for sharing your life with us. Know that those of us in your age group truly appreciate both your age-specific-in-jokes/writing/witticisms and also your open and honest assessments of growing older as a person, a husband and a parent. Know that there are many like you who read and appreciate knowing that we’re not the only ones dealing with X, Y, or Z (including reactions to, say, the current political clime). Happy Birthday! I hope you and your family have a great day and a wonderful year ahead.

Damn it, damn it. Yes, it’s your 50th year. (I’m 57; in my 58th year.) A true pedant isn’t annoyed by errors so much as by not being the first one to point them out!

Happy Birthday, John! Do awesome and ridiculous things! It’s a Scalzi kind of day.

In Japan they have this weird thing that you’re age one in your first year, which lasts until the new year when the counter clicks over. So it’s possible to be a day old (born on 31st December) and two [years old] simultaneously.

Happy birthday! When I was a kid (10), I told a bunch of other kids, in front of my mom, that she was “Half a CENTURY OLD!” The other kids looked at her like she’d come over with Columbus or something. One more year and you too can make small kids look at you like you’re a historical artifact too! (I passed it years ago, so I’m positively decrepit to them)

Happy birthday! I’m nine days shy of my own 49th, so I’ll be watching you so I’ll know exactly how the wheels are going to fall off. Hairline visibly receding? Beard getting scruffier? Abruptly go up a pants size? Enquiring minds want to know! (I want to know!)

(And boy, there’s a reference that anybody under 35 sure won’t get.)

Even if this is your fiftieth year, which it is, you still get to count it as part of your 40s.

Otherwise you’d have been shortchanged on your first decade, and that wouldn’t be logical or fair.

Happy Birthday.


The age when during your physical your doctor notes your age and begins to giggle maniacally. “You’re going to be 50 next year?” Chortle. “You know what’s coming, don’t you? Let me schedule that right now…! Buwahahahaha!” Next 20 minutes filled with ‘penetrating’ medical jokes.

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