Today is my birthday. I’m 37.

When I was a kid, I looked forward to my birthday first and foremost as the day when everything would magically go right: there would be cake and presents and I’d be the star of the party. Oh, and presents. Wait, I already said that. At any rate, there would be wonderful awesomeness and it would rain down glitter and stars and balloons and even when I was in junior high (which I hated, hated, hated) it was still a pretty good day to be had.

The thing is, when you’re a kid, you spend a lot of time planning and daydreaming about your next birthday — usually starting the day after your last one — and then you get to the big day, and then you start daydreaming of the next one. These daydreams are punctuated in pause by Christmas (or Hanukkah or whatever other large family occasion one celebrates) and occasionally ameliorated by summer break or vacations.

In my 20’s, my birthday was still special, but of course then it involved alcohol, a check from my parents, and some sort of dining-out thing. Occasionally it included a trip to Vegas (for, living in San Diego, Vegas is a cheap and expedient trip). The amount of daydreaming and expectation surrounding the actual day, however, did start to dwindle.

In my 30’s, I had a child, sold and bought a house, got a divorce, and embarked on a new career. All of these things chipped away at the birthday expectation time, until we arrive to this, my 37th birthday.

I just realized yesterday that today was really IT.

Here is an absolutely accurate account of how I have spent this birthday:

1. Woke up. Late. As in, I hit the alarm clock one too many times. So, I spent my at-home birthday morning rushing around the house like a wildwoman, dressing in the first convenient thing (grey dress, black boots, tights), fed the dogs and off I went.

2. Oh crap, I didn’t moisturize. And I’ve run out of in-car moisturizer. Target time, where I buy moisturizer. And Oil of Olay’s latest foofy answer to wrinkles and eye bags (I kid you not). Anti-aging cream as the first purchase of the day: it says something, doesn’t it?

3. Oh crap, I didn’t eat breakfast. Ok. Top Pot time, even though I wasn’t  all happy about my weight (which was -2 on Thursday but +1 on Friday. I have worked 5 of the last 6 days so I do not know what is up there).

4. To work, barely in time for meeting 1. Then there’s meeting 2, some more work stuff, blah blah. Then it’s off to

5. The Chiro, who is Always Chiropractic & Wellness, and I highly recommend them.

6. Well adjusted, I went home to walk dogs and sort out this and that whilst I waited the 20 minutes for the

7. Parent Teacher conference for the boychild. Boychild is doing well, we have plans to increase the wellness. And stuff. So then I rush back to

8. Work, where there are more deliverables and stuff.

And that’s really my day. I may go out later … it’s looking like I will… but I can’t help but think this is a comment on my relative age: the day has revolved around the boy, wrinkles, work, and the generalized responsibilities of the suburban single parent. There is no birthday check in the mail, there will not be presents and cake and candles, and I’m fine with that. At least I haven’t got to the point where birthdays are a chore, or to be avoided.

I expect that’ll be next year.

2 thoughts on “Birthday”

  1. I’ll hit 43 this December and still have no plans made. Makes it worse having Jesus’ birthday so near my own. On my 40th birthday, I had a last minute business trip come up, so I celebrated in Detroit of all places, sitting in a dive sports bar, eating pizza and drinking beer with one of the whiniest guys from work. woohoo.

    At least you’ve got someone in your house who is still big on birthdays. Maybe he can pump some birthday cheer back into your special day. Oh, and Happy Birthday. Make it special no matter what you go do.

  2. Hope you get a chance to go out and have a good time tonight. Birthdays are, and should always be, special, just as you are.

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