So today is my birthday, which really only means that today I kick off another year of never knowing quite how old I am. Sara Gruen detailed this phenomenon quite aptly in Water for Elephants, wherein she said that after years of knowing how old you are down to the month, you hit a point in your thirties where you really have to stop and think about it. And Ms. Gruen, how right you are. I play this game a lot:
Well Meaning Person: How old are you?
Me: No wait. What year is this?
Me: Ok, never mind. I’m 33.
And now that it’s 2011 and all, I suppose that means I’m 34. I must admit that the allure of birthdays has completely worn off of me. I used to get damn excited for my birthday. Cake and presents and a day devoted just to me! Hellz yes! But then the years passed, and I just sort of … stopped caring. Sad. Oh bother. This is me when it comes to birthdays:
But as birthdays are meant to be fun, I thought I would banish Eeyore back to the Hundred Acre Wood for a bit and look back on some previous birthdays that stand out in my mind. Yay? Fun? Let’s do this!
1982: My fifth birthday. My parents let me choose what restaurant I wanted to eat at, and being the sugar-loving munchkin I was, I chose the Waffle House. The staff brought me a waffle with a scoop of ice cream and a candle, which blew my five-year-old mind (waffles AND ice cream AND a candle??), and I knew right then and there that my life’s ambition was to be a waitress at that fine establishment.
1990: My thirteenth birthday. I’ve given up on the Waffle House career path. I did get Super Mario 3 for my birthday, which made this boy down the street who I kinda sorta maybe liked jealous, so that was pretty sweet.
1994: My seventeenth birthday. Also known as the day that Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved by the Bell came to my high school because we won some national essay-writing contest. A few friends dared me to tell him it was my birthday and ask for a birthday kiss, but I chickened out. If only I’d had the balls! I’d totally be Mrs. Zack Morris right now. Right? That’s how that works?
1998: My twenty-first birthday. Moving right along.
2001: My twenty-fourth birthday. Moving right along.
2003: My twenty-sixth birthday. This is a hard one to talk about, even eight years later. This was a bad day. Very bad indeed. Back in 2001, I was a first-year law student in Boston. I went to the Boston Marathon and was completely in awe at all of the runners. I’d never run more than two miles in my life, but I decided right then and there that I was going to run that race. I soon discovered the 2003 Marathon was taking place on my birthday, and that just seemed like fate. 26 miles on my 26th birthday. Was there ever a more perfect slogan?? I started training the summer of 2001, and I made my way up to 22 miles. And then I got injured, and then I got sick, and long story short, I didn’t get to run the Boston Marathon on my 26th birthday. I made the mistake of going to the race anyway, and all that did was serve as a reminder that I had failed. Bad times, man, bad times.
2006: What a difference three years can make. My then-boyfriend, now-husband took me on a trip to wine country in California for my birthday. From the lowest birthday to the highest.
2010: A husband, a daughter, a dog, and a barbecue with my closest friends and family at my house. What else do you need?
My 2011 birthday is looking pretty chill so far, but that’s ok. That’s how I like them these days.
What about you all? Any memorable birthdays? You can plead the Fifth on any 21st (or 24th) birthday stories, but bonus points if you spill the dirt!