Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Birthday season -- but why?

Remember when birthday parties were fun? I remember birthday parties with games involving clothespins and milk bottles -- I'd probably have to explain both to most readers -- which just means I am in that great in-between stage for birthdays.

When you're young, birthdays are exciting -- the prospect of staying up later -- friends coming over -- cake and ice cream -- presents! (even if the aunts and uncles just buy dumb clothes). When you're old enough, I suppose, birthdays may become exciting again: Once you've passed the biblical three score and 10, you're arguably playing with house money. I don't know about that, not yet. Woody Allen said that 80% of life is just showing up. I'm still in the just-showing-up stage. It's vitally important to keep showing up -- consider the alternative! -- but, in and of itself, my continuing to show up is not yet cause for celebration.

I think the in-between stage begins after the 21st birthday. After -- finally! -- turning 21, birthday celebrations become increasingly stressful because we begin to measure ourselves (at 25, 30, 50) against where we think we should be -- and where we thought we would be.

Long Suffering Spouse and I both have birthdays coming up. It won't be a milestone for either one of us, but neither one is particularly thrilled at the prospect of being one year closer to the End than to the Beginning. And we simply aren't where we wanted to be, and we certainly aren't where we thought we would be.

Three of the five kids will probably come over to the house on Easter Sunday (the oldest and the youngest are most likely unavailable), and our natal days will be observed on that occasion. Long Suffering Spouse will probably make me a cake. I hope the ants don't get to it before I do. If I do get a crack at it, I will wish for better for all of us in the year to come. I will wish for more. I will wish for the wisdom to see how to dig myself out of the financial hole in which I have buried myself. My wife will use the trick candles that don't quite go out no matter how hard I huff and puff. So it goes.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

ahhh, birthdays. other than cake i detest them. and i truly believe that after age, say 16?, that they should be ignored at all costs. except for cake.

happy birthday curmy.

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

I hate them too. On my last one I turned 60! My sensitive DIL says to me...."You mean to tell me you are only 60?".. Its a great life!

Jeni said...

Well, the very least I can do is to wish you and Long Suffering Spouse both a great day of celebration and some good, ant-free, cake! When my birthday rolls around -or Christmas or Mother's Day too -and my kids begin asking about my wants and desires, gift-wise, my standard answer is a "Winning Lottery Ticket." So far though, none of them has managed to get me what I really want and -like you -really, really do need too and if they ever do succeed in getting me what I want/need it better be from a really big pot from a Super Lottery type ticket! Peace, good luck with your wishes and just have as Happy a day as possible!