Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Apparently the 3-0 is Big
I'm officially no longer in my 20s today. Unless you're my mother, who refuses to acknowledge a birthday until the actual time you were born, which effectively gyps me out of a full birthday because I was born at 7:30 p.m. Whatever. I want a full day, so I get a full day. So there.

I'm celebrating and not mourning today; I'm sort of shocked and saddened by the number of people I know who look at birthdays like they're a bad thing. Another year without winning the Nobel Prize, or having twins, or appearing on national television, whatever their big dream involves. Another year older, and tireder, and slower. Another year closer to death.

For me, my birthday is a day to follow my own instincts and indulge a bit, depending on where my whims take me. This year, that meant administering a cheesy redneck pedicure in the morning (slap a coat of nail polish on top of the stuff left over from Paris, then drive to work barefoot with the fan blowing at floor level), wearing a skirt and earrings (and a shirt, relax, I'm not that celebratory), and not listening to the news on the drive in. A story I heard yesterday is still bothering me, and I just don't want to go there this morning.

I just don't feel older, or worse, or sad, or whatever, this morning. If anything, there's a certain level of relief every time I hit a milestone. I've spent a lot of time doing things early in my life: graduating high school at 16 and college at 20, having my first baby at 22, buying a house at 23, and so on, and so forth. So when I reach that next milestone, and get older, there's a feeling that I'll get a little less of, "Oh, but you're so young." Not that I'm insulted by that, but, just, what do you say to it? It's not usually meant as a compliment so much as a vaguely shocked/critical sort of thing, and even when it is a compliment, what do I take credit for? Choosing a good birthday? Being born with enough brain and motivation and parenting to move myself along? I dunno. Feels weird.

So, it's a good thing, this birthday stuff, if for no other reason than I can unabashedly demand good behavior and positive attention from those around me. Most of the people I spend time with - even Perfect J, at work - are socialized enough to know that the correct response to, "Today is my birthday," is to smile brightly and say, "Happy birthday!"

So, all together now, you readers... today is my birthday...