I know it is almost spring because the flowers are blooming, the
California sun is shining and I’m starting to look ridiculous
wearing my mittens and winter snow boots. But for me the most
telling sign of all is that my birthday is coming up, AGAIN.
I know it is almost spring because the flowers are blooming, the California sun is shining and I’m starting to look ridiculous wearing my mittens and winter snow boots. But for me the most telling sign of all is that my birthday is coming up, AGAIN. Now let me just stop right here and say I’m not usually the type to complain about birthdays. I mean, what’s not to like about a day that’s all about you, you, you?
But, face it, after a certain age, all birthdays do is just call attention to the fact that you’re now a year older. And, no, my bad attitude is not because I’m having a milestone birthday this year. I’m still in the same age group that’s somewhere between low-rise jeans and orthopedic shoes.
It’s just that having a birthday brings up all sorts of issues that you can conveniently ignore the rest of the year. Like, for instance, facing my favorite category: The Things People Your Age Have Accomplished. I mean, on the lifetime scale of success, I usually rank myself somewhere between a five or a six, depending on whether it’s a good hair day or not. But let me tell you, there’s nothing like a birthday to drive home the fact that maybe, just maybe, I should be doing something more with my life than watching reality television and spending it shoe shopping.
For instance, by my age Robert Jarvik invented a pneumatically powered heart. I invented 32 different ways to make macaroni and cheese. James Marshall discovered gold in California. I discovered a way to get stuck bubblegum out of a toddler’s nostril.
Physicist George Simon Ohm discovered Ohm’s Law which states that the electric current (I) flowing through a given resistance (r) is equal to the applied voltage (v) divided by the resistance, or i=v/r. I discovered the Mother’s Law which states that you can win just about any argument by bringing up diapers (d) plus colic (c) and stretch marks (sm) and multiplying by the length of your medication free labor, or (d+c+sm)mfl=guilt.
Sharon Adams became the first woman to sail across the Pacific Ocean alone. I became the first woman at the park to survive being stuck in the house with the kids all winter without the help of cheap cooking sherry or prescription medication.
German chemist Friedrich August Kekule discovered the ring structure of the benzene molecule. I discovered that if you mix toothpaste and baking soda you can get crayon rings off the wall.
After raising an army and defeating Anthony and Cleopatra’s forces in a naval battle, Augustus became the master of the entire Roman world. After making breakfast, driving the carpool, sorting laundry, folding clothes, taking the kids to karate and dance lessons, making dinner, washing dishes, folding laundry, then checking homework and putting the kid’s to bed, I became master of the entire house.
So you can see why a person like me can feel somewhat, well, lacking.
However, when I brought up this whole problem with my good friend Lisa, she said, “Don’t worry, way back in those days being 38 was like being 68 today.” And of course she’s right. Besides if you look at it that way, I’ve got 30 more years to catch up and win the Nobel Peace Prize or invent an artificial brain or a self-cleaning garage.
If that’s not the perfect birthday gift I don’t know what is.