What’s the big deal about a birthday? I’ve got one coming up, and I got to thinking about what I could do to take advantage of “my special day”. Well, this may come as a shocker, but I can’t think of a thing I want or need, except maybe a jackpot at the casino. Birthdays dwindle in importance the older we get, as they should.
I don’t understand the concept behind birthdays to begin with. Shouldn’t we, the birthed, be thanking Mom and Dad, and showering them with gifts, for having that fruitful roll in the hay? Mother’s Day and Father’s Day could merge into Birth Day. Parents could reap the benefits of the birthdays of their children, who should be thanking them for all those years of sacrifice.
Of course, when I was a kid, birthdays were right up there with Christmas. The anticipation was mind boggling. What surprise gift would I receive? As I matured, the year span between birthdays seemed to shorten, and before I knew it, I reached 40. There was no emotional breakdown, or slide down the proverbial hill.
By birthday number 50, I realized that I was still in pretty good shape. I could still play a pretty good game of “one-on-a-half-of-one” with the nephew, get up from a chair without the involuntary grunt, and stay up past midnight. I gaged my opinion by my childhood evaluation of what I, at the time, considered to be old. Parents were old. Teachers were ancient. Gray hair meant the lid was closing, and gnarled hands and a cane meant a dirt nap was just around the corner.
When birthday 60 knocked on my door, I began to understand what Hubie Blake meant when he said, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Granted, he was ninety-nine I think, but we all know I’ll never see that, thank God, and I was just happy to be mobile and somewhat coherent after the years of abuse I had inflicted upon myself.
Approaching my 62nd year, it seems miraculous that no one has killed me yet, although I have learned to sleep with one eye open. The “downward spiral” everyone is so fearful of really isn’t so bad…yet. Sure, I’m dead set in my ways, to which any of the kids around here will be happy to attest. I’m bitchy, but I always have been. I remember once complaining to the ex that I was suffering from PMS. He said, “How can you tell?” I seem to have misplaced a few brain cells relating to memory, gravity has taken its toll, and what was once pumped up has a slow leak, and what isn’t leaking waddles.
All in all, it’s been a bumpy ride and I’m still coasting. So, what would I like for my birthday? I’d like to be able to thank my parents for my life. It has been everything they wished for. I would like to tell them that my birthday wish would be that the kids in this crazyhouse look back on their own lives many years from now and say they are as content as I am now. That would be….just perfect.
As it stands now, I’m shooting for the kids not fighting for a couple of hours, a yellow birthday cake with white frosting and minus the blaze on top, and a few scratch tickets.