So, it’s inevitable. Every year it happens. Eventually, my birthday comes up and I have to add another year onto the old Age-O-Meter.
I hate it.
I hate my birthday. Some years I deal with it better than others, the years when I don’t think about it a lot, and suddenly it’s over. Those are the best. Other years I count down every day until the dreaded date arrives.
It’s been like this forever for a few reasons. My birthday is late July, a time when just about everyone is out of town, so from the start there were a lot of birthday parties thrown where my friends couldn’t come. School birthday celebrations sucked also, because they’d pile every summer birthday into one day. Everyone else has their own special day, but those of us who were born in the summer have a “Let’s Get This Over With” group birthday fiesta. It was nice that they were trying to celebrate us at all, but they were by their very nature, disappointing. Then I started to go away for camp, which always straddled my birthday. The best of these was when I turned sixteen on an Outward Bound excursion, wrapped in a tarp eating 13 M&Ms, while all the rest of the bounders fought all night. FUNBIRTHDAY!
Also, every birthday seems like a marker of the number of things that I’ll never do in my life. This started when I turned ten. Double digits, I was ancient, and I realized then: I would never be a ballerina. Not that I had much interest in dancing ballet, it was just something that I would never do, and I mourned it. (I DID have an interest in wearing tutus, which I was never able to fully explore.)
I realize that this attitude isn’t healthy and I try to fight it, but this year in particular, I’m having a little bit of PBS, or Pre-Birthday Syndrome. It’s pretty much exactly like PMS, it just happens before your birthday rather than your period, and lasts for a month. Besides for that, it’s exactly the same: mood swings, crying jags, cramps, cravings for ice cream.
But it’s still going to happen, and it will happen in just over a week. And I will smile and I will go on, and I will get used to my new age, and eventually accept it and dread the next one. That’s just how life works. And that’s great, I love life, I love doing things and making jokes and traveling and there are a whole lot of things I still want to do, that I haven’t done. So, no matter how I feel about it, I’m going to celebrate.
This clown cake knows how I feel. If you look at the tiny mouth inside, it looks like he’s smiling, (the caption read Happy Clown Cake) but if you look at the big mouth outline, he looks like he’s gasping in horror, like he just spotted a Mac truck barreling down on him. I can relate, clown cake. I can relate.