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Four, the new three

Positive Characteristics: 4s are disciplined, strong, stable, pragmatic, down-to-earth, reliable, dependable, hard-working, extracting, precise, methodical, conscientious, frugal, devoted, patriotic and trustworthy!

Negative Characteristics: 4s pay for their stability and pragmatism by tending toward the boring side. This may express itself with a lack of imagination, emotions, empathy. 4s may not bother to put much care into their appearance, and their social awkwardness can make them seem vulgar, crude or jealous.

I make no apology for Posting this quote on the occasion of my 64th birthday, and I’m happy to attribute it to that invaluable website, Numerology.com (make sure you have the volume down, there’s an annoying soothsayer on a sales video that kicks-in automatically.)

If you have taken the time to read the extract, you will know pretty much all there is to know about me. Even the bit about me being a boring old arse.

I’m not sure about ‘patriotic’, in fact I have no interest whatsoever in nationalism of any sort, being too insular and self-absorbed to care about where I was born. Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner? Frugality is only a way of life that has been forced on me from time to time; as now, when I have but 60 pence in my pocket to last until Sunday and I have run out of olive oil.

Not sure I lack imagination, it’s just that my imaginative side is totally devoted to building defensive strategies: I will work through the probable consequences of my and other people’s actions many moves in advance and am very often accused of negativity as a result (although I am invariably proved right!).

Otherwise, it is an astonishing litany of qualities and deficiencies I would ascribe to myself. Certainly, I lack empathy. My usual question on meeting with an injured person, a child perhaps, is not: Poor you, where does it hurt? but: Why have you done this to yourself? And while my dress sense is advanced, I have been wearing the same chinos-and-T-shirt combination for months.

The only question I have then is, why am I a ‘four’? I don’t understand that part.

Whatever the reason, last year was a ‘three’ year, 63 being made up of two-threes-and-a-three, or three times three, times the lucky number seven. And, to be frank, although it has passed quite quickly, it’s been a frustrating year, with nothing achieved or changed for the better. They say that ‘time is money’, and 63 was just running out of both.

I blogged (Posts: 63, October 2012) how, on my 63rd birthday, no-one even remembered it. I spent the entire day delivering my son to a remote provincial airport, four hours away; got completely lost on the way home; then the lights in the house blew, leaving me in the dark without spare fusewire just as the garage closed. (I didn’t mention the urinary problem, that meant I had to keep stopping every twenty minutes to find a tree.)

Well, some people remembered me today, happily, though not my daughter; my mobile phone service provider sweetly sent me a birthday video featuring some minor celebrity I’ve never heard of, but it isn’t shaping up to be nearly such an eventful occasion as 63. Sixty-four is a ‘four’ number, I guess, being the cube of four, or the square of four-times-two. And judging by Numerology.com, ‘four’ sounds pretty uneventful. Dependable. Boring, even. Sigh.

Well, the old bladder (I christened it Blad the Impaler) is behaving itself today; otherwise, it’s predictably pouring down rain outside; no gardening work, there’s nothing in the diary except an all-evening rehearsal of a pantomime I rashly agreed to act in before reading the script. So reliable, conscientious, hardworking, etcetera am I, that I haven’t the heart to back out and let the director down (he’s a bit of a ‘four’ himself).

And still no-one buys my little house; my guitars. It’s incomprehensible.

Four, in short, is already beginning to look a whole lot like just more three.

Postscriptum

Oh, goody. The boy thoughtfully arrives through the rain, bearing birthday gifts: butter, for my bread; 750ml of olive oil, for my nightly fry-up of special-offer-priced onions and potatos.

Post-postscriptum

Two days later, the boy’s mother arrives for tea, bearing quite a decent wine, cheese and – oh, joy! – Turron. My 65th year is shaping up nicely.

Post-post-post, etc.

14 April, 2014…

Do you know what 64 is? It’s four-times-sixteen, that’s what. By my calculation, were I to have fathered a child at 16, and a subsequent family habit of feckless abundance had persisted down the generations, so that all my descendants had their first child at 16, then this year I could, both biologically and legally, be  anticipating becoming a great-great-grandfather.

Think about your great-great-grandfather. I bet you don’t even know who he was! I am lost and wandering, a shade flickering dimly in the mists of someone’s future genealogy. I’ll even bet he was a veteran of the Crimean War – the last one, I mean.

Bloody hell.

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