Monday, November 18, 2013

Better With Age

Selfies at the theater. Is Husband a good sport or what?
When I was younger--much younger--I was convinced that the success of any particular year rested upon whether I had a good birthday or a not-so-good birthday to kick off that particular year.

Folks, this is a weighty responsibility for a single date on a calendar, especially a date that is somewhat capricious, if you believe that eating Chinese food or driving over railroad tracks can bring on labor, which the internet apparently does. Nonetheless, I spent all of my childhood and much of my early adulthood thinking that as Nov. 16 goes, so goes the year.

Unfortunately, a bad birthday was almost inevitable when I was in that stage of life. I mean, how could a day live up to the pressure? When a single hurt feeling or not-exactly-perfect present can throw off AN ENTIRE YEAR and my thin skin at that point meant I rarely went an hour without hurt feelings, much less a whole day?

It's only been in the past decade or so that I realize how inconsequential birthdays are. Not only does the day not determine how happy I will be in the coming year, each moment does not determine how happy I will be in the rest of the day.

BUT (and this is a big but, as I always think when I try on jeans) having a birthday gives a person permission to say poo-poo-to-you to the ought-to's and shoulds of a day.

So Saturday, when I ought to have been cleaning out my frozen-over flower beds and should have been scrubbing the kitchen floor, Husband and I were taking in a double-header movie in the Big City. We saw TWO movies I've wanted to see, including our very first foray into 3-D (I know! What century have we been living in?) and seeing a movie that critics say is a Sure Oscar Contender before it's released onto video (I know! Who are these people?).

For the record, the movies were Gravity,which I highly recommend if you've never seen tears floating out of Sandra Bullock's eyes and over your head into the theater, and 12 Years a Slave, which I highly recommend if you'd like to die of the weight of social conscience pressing down on you. (After the second one I texted Boy#2 and requested that he tell me a joke, quickly, before I slit my wrists from depression. "What did one snowman say to another snowman?" he texted back. I had no answer. "Do you smell carrots?" Hahahahaha! New favorite joke.)

Then, when we were stuffed with popcorn and despair, we stuffed ourselves again with hummus and warm pita and dolma as we dug into the deliciousness that is the Mediterranean food at my favorite restaurant. That's because this had been my lunch:
Yes. French fries and a Hawaiian Delight sundae. Because it was my birthday, and I'm a grown-up!

Birthdays are so much better when you're a grown-up.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I'm sorry I missed this post and didn't wish you a happy birthday on that date, but now I realize it doesn't matter when I wish you a happy birthday, so I'll do it now: Happy birthday... have a wonderful year (any new year that starts with French fries and ice cream is sure to be a wonderful year)!