August 25 is one of the most important dates in history.
No, I’m not narcissistic enough to mean because it’s my birthday. It’s the day Born to Run (the album, not the song) was released in 1975.
Which was WAY before my time.
But many years later, on the same day, I was born. Call it destiny. (Or call it coincidence if you want to be difficult. I’m going with destiny.)
|Yup, that’s me. At an undisclosed point in the 1980s.|
And don’t worry about how many years later. I was born in the 1980s. We’ll leave it at that for now.
I think the world can be divided into two groups of people: People who love their birthdays, and people who celebrate their birthdays by hiding under their covers in the fetal position hoping that if they hide from their birthday, it will go away.
I am in the second group.
People in the first group don’t understand the second group. And people in the second group hate the first group people. Mostly because people who enjoy birthdays try to inflict celebration on those of us who are trying to hide from acknowledging that we are another year older.
I hate to break it to you birthday enjoyers: we’re not like the Grinch. After you work your magic, we’re not suddenly going to love birthdays. It’s just not in our nature.
My childhood birthdays were usually fairly nondescript. I blame school for this. Kids who have birthdays during the school year get cupcakes and balloons and all kinds of fun stuff. Those of us with summer birthdays miss out. A lot. I think that contributed to my hatred of birthdays.
But as a kid, it wasn’t so bad. At least I never had to go to school on my birthday. And I mean NEVER. My mom actually went into labor with me the day before she was due to start back at school, just as she was on the phone with her sub to say that it looked like she WOULD, in fact, be at school for the first week. I had other plans.
That was also the one and only time in my entire life that I was early for anything. Ever.
My sixteenth birthday was the first one that really sucked. Like every sixteen-year-old girl, I wanted to wake up on the morning of my sixteenth birthday and see a shiny new car, with a big red bow on it, parked in my driveway, waiting for me.
I knew it wasn’t happening. My brother’s bar mitzvah was the following weekend, and my parents had already warned me that I couldn’t expect a car. But I hoped that was a diversionary tactic.
The morning of my sixteenth birthday, I woke up and went to my window. I closed my eyes, making a desperate wish to see a car in the driveway.
And there it was! A red Honda Civic! EXACTLY the car that I wanted!
I felt such joy! I almost cried from sheer happiness.
Then the car backed out of my driveway and pulled away. It had been someone dropping something off for the bar mitzvah.
Then I got my real presents. My mom got me a throw pillow shaped like a car. She thought that was funny. It wasn’t.
This was when I realized that the Universe hates me.
My twenty-first birthday was even more disastrous.
Well, okay, actually, it was the day AFTER my twenty-first birthday that was so disastrous. I spent about ten hours that day praying to the Porcelain God. But it wasn’t my fault.
It actually wasn’t.
My doctor (who KNEW I was having a party for my twenty-first birthday because I told him about it) put me on medication that week. And neglected to tell me that it made alcohol two-to-three times stronger. Which explains why the twelve shots that I took almost killed me, because it was really twenty-four to thirty-six shots.
I remember lying on the bathroom floor that day, with my mother, who came over when I told her how sick I was, and crying because I felt so sick, while she kept telling me, over and over again, that I deserved it for drinking so much. She felt pretty bad when we found out it was the medication!
Twenty-two through twenty-four were okay, so I decided to quit while I was ahead. And I have not acknowledged a birthday since twenty-four. Therefore, up until today, I was still twenty-four. It was such a good year that I repeated it. Several times. My brother helped me out though, by agreeing, when he turned twenty-five, to become my older brother instead of my younger brother. Thanks Adam. That’s probably the best birthday present you could ever have given me!
But today, it’s time to turn twenty-five.
I think I’m finally ready.
And if you want to get me a present, order a copy of my book off amazon.com. That’ll make me VERY happy.
But I’m warning you now, if you try to tell me that I’m older than twenty-five, you are not going to make it to YOUR next birthday.
Unless you give me a REALLY good present. My parents gave me the Macbook Pro that I’m writing this on. They can say my real age if they want to. Everyone else, tread carefully!