Forty two years ago today, my brother cried. He was bummed that his Mom birthed another baby girl. He already had four sisters, and he really didn’t want a fifth. Nowadays, my brother does his best to make me cry, while his wife does her best to keep us separated during family gatherings. I’m kidding. Sorta. My brother and I definitely (and sometimes deliberately) push each others buttons, but we have a healthy and happy brother/sister relationship. (Oh hush, Joe D. We do, too.)
Today is my 42nd birthday, which (according to my brother) means I am beginning my 43rd year. I’ve always wanted my birthday to be all about me. 42yrs later, I am still self-centered on and around my birthday. [Fine. I’m self-centered 365/366 days of the year. Whatever.] The difference now is the fact that I don’t feel the need to wait for others to acknowledge my birthday. If you are my Facebook friend, no doubt you are laughing out loud and spitting out whatever food or beverage you are trying to consume. But, it’s true.
As a kid, I wanted presents, balloons, banners, cards, treats, etc. It was my birthday, and I wanted my day to be celebrated. God forbid if I lived a day like the chick from Sixteen Candles, when her family forgot her birthday, because it was overshadowed by her sister’s wedding. *shudder* By the same token, I do embarrass easily, so I struggled with wanting to celebrate openly while staying hidden. (In addition to being self-centered, I am complicated.)
Nowadays? Nowadays I’m still self-centered on my birthday, but I don’t wait for others to wish me well. And, I don’t allow myself to be silenced by silly embarrassment. Nope. I wake up with a bull-horn, shouting to anyone and everyone, “Today is my birthday! I’m still here! And, I love it!”
I don’t know if it is a law in every US state, but in the state of Georgia, you have to have your car emissions tested each year before your birth day. Yes, birth day. The Environmental Protection Division is not looking to wish you (or anyone else) a happy birthday. So, as I do every year, I went to my local mechanic to have the emissions tested on my car. I noticed an older woman waiting in the waiting room when I arrived. She was sitting up in the chair, with one hand on her cane and another hand holding a book, which she was reading intently. Her hair was white as snow, and the lines on her face seemed to reflect the presumed intensity of the book. I’m guessing the woman was in her late 70s or early 80s.
The woman’s name was called before me, and she answered the call by walking up to the counter with the assistance of her cane. Shortly after she went to the counter, someone called my name. While paying for the services rendered, I heard the woman say, “I guess it is good I am here again to get my car tested. It means I made it another year.” I laughed. Words of wisdom, I thought.
Well, I made it another year, folks! God willing, I’ll make it another 42 years (or more). Thankfully, my friends are humoring me with well wishes, and I hope I am humoring my friends. No doubt, my friends have come to expect this type of behavior from me. So, rest assured, I am milking my birthday for all it is worth, in case it is the last one I celebrate. I will enjoy a Dutch Monkey Doughnut, ice cream and a Guinness. I will annoy my husband and kids, as I dance around my house and sing “It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!” I may even call my brother and remind him of what happened 42 yrs ago today. Then again, I better not. Chances are the plan would backfire, and I’d be the one in tears. I’m kidding, Joe D. Here’s the love —–> LOVE. See?
Oh, and I cannot sign off without wishing my West Coast Twin – Hillary – a happy birthday, too. We both have two of the cutest (and blondest) kids ever!
P.S. Today is my birthday. I share that with you again, in case you forgot or didn’t notice. Cheers!