When we’re little, we can’t wait to celebrate our birthdays. We look forward to the occasion with great anticipation and celebrate in style – with party hats and plenty of crepe paper streamers. Why then, as we get older, do we have such mixed feelings about our birthdays?
I guess it’s natural to want to resist getting older. I know my own mother is all about denial when it comes to age. For most of my life she remained “39 and holding” when anyone asked how old she was. Until, that is, my niece Jessica made a very convincing case against her. Even at 8, she could do the math with her own age and my sister’s to figure out that “Gram” had to be older than she claimed.
My mother’s age, in her opinion, should be a closely-guarded secret. How unfortunate for her, then, that I have a tendency to tell everyone I meet how old she is. I am fairly certain, thanks to a comment she made just yesterday, that she’s still upset at me for providing “clues” to her age in the column I wrote about my parents’ anniversary. She’ll love this one, I’m sure.
In my opinion, she looks pretty darn good for her age, and I’d be proud of it if I were her. Hence my need to share it with the world. I hope I age as gracefully as she has.
Just because she doesn’t want to talk about her age, doesn’t mean she doesn’t celebrate her birthday, but I know plenty of people that try to deny that day even exists on their calendar. I don’t get it. Who in there right mind would turn down an opportunity to eat cake?
For some people, it’s the big milestone birthdays that get them: 30, 35, 40, 50, etc. Twenty five was actually the one that has bothered me the most so far, and I’m not quite sure why. The second half of 29 was no great shakes either, as I anticipated turning 30. But once I actually was 30, it didn’t bother me. Of course, a few days after my birthday I got carded by a strapping young bartender. That kind of lessened the blow, I think. I guess we’ll see how I feel next year when I hit the big 3-5...