You’re How Old?

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Family, Health, Humor, Marriage, Migraine, Uncategorized
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Today I turned 46. I am not fishing for birthday greetings, so please don’t post any. I’ll just assume anyone who reads this is thinking, “Oh. Happy Birthday.” And in return, I say thank you.

Since I turned 40, I seem to have adopted this strange attitude about my birthday, that it really isn’t a big deal. I used to get excited about it. I would give The Husband and kids plenty of warning that it was coming, and joke that it was the most important day of their year. I even gave myself a birthday bash once, because I decided nobody else was going to do it. Big fun. Adults beat on, or swung at and missed, the piñata. It was hilarious. But that was a long time ago. Mid-thirties, maybe.

I’m not really sure when the happy went out of the birthday. It’s not that I am unhappy about my birthday. I’m not one of those people who seem to have said, “I’m showing signs of age. I must get a facelift and get someone to inflate my wrinkles. Stat!” No, I appreciate my maturity and all of the learning and growing I did in the years that are behind me. I have no interest in going backward. It’s just that somewhere along the way, I had a birthday that felt to me like meh

I am fortunate to have a husband with a good position with a steady income. We have a comfortable life, and I am well aware that a great portion of the world is not so fortunate. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I just lost interest in having a wing ding celebration in my own honor. Or, perhaps it’s just that I haven’t been in a celebratory mood since my migraines became chronic. Maybe it’s just that I’m so old that I can’t be bothered to keep track anymore. I don’t know.

One of the problems with my birthday is that it’s right around the American holiday of Thanksgiving. About every seven years, give or take, my birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving. Some friends think this would be great, because that means lots of presents, and all of the trappings of birthdayhood. Au contraire, my friends! The holiday generally means that nobody can keep my special day straight. Including the two people who created me (not including God, I’m sure He never forgets). One particular year back in the 1980’s, my younger brother greeted me with a friendly Happy Birthday, first thing Thanksgiving Morning. And that was the only one I got. Neither my other brother nor my parents said a word. Later in the day, my “Best Brother Who Can Actually Remember My Birthday” told me that he had reminded my parents that it was my birthday. Guess what, Friendly Reader. They didn’t believe him. Actually argued the point. The little bro shrugged, told me he was sorry, and walked away. I stood there and said to myself – this is my very own version of Sixteen Candles. At least my brother didn’t laugh and say, “Classic!”

Yesterday, Daddy ReloVertigo wished me a Happy Birthday twice. Because Mother ReloVertigo told him it was my birthday. One of his greetings was in Facebook. Of course, that brought on a cavalcade of false birthday greetings. Daughter ReloVertigo called. She never calls. I knew what was coming.

“Happy Birthday!” She said in a strange and uncertain voice.

“It’s not my birthday, but thanks.” I answered in my best Ben Stein impression.

“I KNEW IT!” She yelled at me. It was hardly my fault. “I thought it was tomorrow, but then Grandpa posted that it was today, and I thought…is it today? And I decided not to risk it.” I do love the Daughter. Cover all bases, and don’t make Mommy sad.

So, today when I got up, someone wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. I had to think about it. Was today my birthday? For goodness’ sake, Friendly! I had forgotten MY OWN BIRTHDAY! If people hadn’t been bombarding me with misguided greetings yesterday, I’d have been just fine.

Oh well. Let us take stock. I have parents who, though sometimes silly and forgetful, do love me and are still alive to show it. I have relatives and friends on Facebook that care enough to offer a kind birthday greeting. I have children and a husband who love me in spite of myself.

Not everyone is blessed with all of that. Heck, not everyone is blessed with a 46th year on this earth. I guess, perhaps my birthday isn’t just about me, but also the people around me. Maybe that is how I can look at it in the future. Happy Birthday to me, but thank you to those around me that make my life a wonderful place to be. You know how Sixteen Candles ends? Yes. Not so meh, after all.

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