It was the 8th of October 1999. Almost the end of a year, a Century and a Millennium. The Cold War was over, Nelson Mandela was free, at last, and the Internet was changing the way everyone worked and lived their lives. It was also Lisa Grant’s 40th birthday.
After yet another dreary day at work, she was not in the best of moods, even though it was a Friday, her birthday and she had the weekend to look forward to. She was feeling depressed. Early onset mid-life crisis perhaps?
It hadn’t helped that one of the bright, young grads at work had asked her if she remembered the Queen’s Coronation Day. She thought she had kept her composure rather well, by calmly responding, ‘Actually … my parents didn’t even meet until six years after the event,’ whilst thinking you arrogant little tosser, as the question had made her blood boil. But, rather than leaving his awkward question to fester in the ether, the socially inept Generation X-er, had followed it up by saying ‘You must remember black and white TV though?’
Turning forty is a defining moment in one’s life. The day you leave your chaotic younger self behind and morph into a mature, erudite woman. Not open day for the younger generation to ask flippant and ridiculous questions. The question she had been angsting over for months was, after forty years on the planet, what had she got to show for it? Apart from forty-year-old blubber, wrinkles, and facial hair? Zilch. Nada. Nothing. No relationship, no children and a stagnating career.
She had worked so hard to reach the top of her tree but, over the last few years, some of the branches had been lopped off. Her career had become a downward spiral and her life an uphill struggle. She was tired, disillusioned and had subconsciously resigned herself to the fact that this was how things were going to be on the path to becoming a Grumpy, Lonely Old Woman.
The chances of her becoming an elderly primigravida were slipping away as her ovaries were shrivelling by the hour, given that there was no significant other in her life.
She needed to address this unsatisfactory situation because it was not going to go away on its own.