So, this year my birthday came and went and it felt…….blah. Yes, that’s exactly how it felt, why? Because birthdays are different when you’re an adult. All the fascination and excitement leaves when you’re the one that is planning your own party or birthday plans. Unless of course the entire world forgot your birthday then you have the right to go buy a couple of bottles of wine or coconut rum and have a party all by yourself singing “all by myself” by Eric Carmen. All the while talking to yourself sitting on your back porch patio set with your Bluetooth speaker as loud as it can go not caring if you bother the neighbors or not. Because those mofos play Karaoke at 2:30am on a freaking Friday night when you’re trying to sleep (you know who you are).
Anyway, birthdays lose their appeal as we get older, well at least for me they have. I turned (yikes) 49 on Saturday and I woke up not feeling special at all. It only meant that I became one year older and although I have accomplished a lot in the last ten years (bachelors, Master’s, new job and finally getting financially stable) it felt like any other day. But, I must say it was better than most years, especially at work. My new department goes out of their way to make everyone feel as special as possible on their birthdays. They decorate the office doors with corny birthday decorations and they take that person to lunch on their day. I even got flowers this year, and that alone is a big step from my previous department. In my last department I got overlooked for my birthday for the three years I was there, and that is just plain bullshit if you ask me.
As for my birthday at home, my oldest and his girlfriend bought me lunch and new iPad (yay!). My baby and his girlfriend took me to dinner at Olive Garden. And my middle son? Well he doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore since converting to Johova’s Witness. I respect his decision because he’s an adult and I will love him no matter what. But he did call me and said “Hey mom, so you’re the big 4-9 today, and I just want you to know I love you so much!”
That was his way of saying Happy Birthday without saying Happy Birthday and I appreciate it. My parents also came by and every year I hear the same story from my mom. She says “On October 4th I went into labor, and you wouldn’t come out. You kept me in pain for two entire days until the doctor said he was going to do a cesarean section because you didn’t want to come out.” And then proceeds to show me the scar on her stomach that I apparently left there, not the doctor who cut her open but me. And every year she brags about how when I was being born there was an earth quake that day in San Bernardino, but I looked it up and there was NO EARTHQUAKE on October 6th 1969 in San Bernardino California mom! And there was probably a good reason why I didn’t want to leave the comfort and solace of the womb.
But as for me sitting in my backyard swigging from the wine bottle like a railroad car jumping hobo, that’s what it took for me to realize that as an adult birthday’s are not as fun as when you’re a kid. I had my one and only birthday party when I turned 10 years old. I still remember what I got for my birthday gift, a beautiful silver watch. My parents bought it for me (I still have it) and my mom bought me a beautiful light purple dress with very small light blue, pink and yellow polka dots and a brand new pair of white patent leather shoes. I had a white and purple birthday cake from Greggerson’s Cake Cottage. I mean that was “the” place if you wanted to get a cake. Everyone wanted a cake from there, in school you were the shit if you got a cake from Greggerson’s. I had party bags with all kinds of candy and I had the best time.
Not that I didn’t have a great time all by myself (literally) on Saturday night on my back porch improvising karaoke on my Bluetooth speaker singing “I’m Just a Girl” by No Doubt so loud that my back neighbors two German Shepard’s were howling for me to shut up. But I was like “Suck it Rocco and Jerry, ya’ll keep me up at night when you howl at the damned police sirens or howl for hours in the summer when the ice cream truck passes by so now we’re even!” I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time, my son’s did a wonderful job of remembering and I appreciated their efforts. I’m saying that when you’re a kid birthdays seem so much more surprisingly magical. But I suppose that if I were a kid I wouldn’t be able to sit and have a couple (or more) Rum and Cranberry juice drinks while alienating my neighbors with loud music karaoke and fighting with their dogs and laughing loudly alone to stupid shit I say (to myself). Maybe next year when I turn the big 5-O I will actually plan my birthday party and have my boys, family and friends there to sing “I’m Just a Girl” with me. Here’s to next year, Cheers!Birthday’s Are Different When Your an Adult