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Happy Birthday to Me

It’s my birthday, and I’m practically 194 years old.  I told the twins that I’m now an old crone, with shriveled up ovaries that don’t work.  Josh pointed out that my ovaries didn’t work back when I was 27, so this isn’t a new development.  “Fine, then my hands are gnarled and liver spotted.  And my hair is grey.”  They didn’t even look up from their nutella-slathered challah.  That’s how old I am.  No one even looks up from their challah when I talk because my voice is so frail that my words just crumble to dust in the air.

We went to this odd beach yesterday.  Usually, when we’re in Chincoteague, you look out at the ocean and feel so insignificant in this vast world.  It feels like you’re standing on the edge of the planet, the last bit of land.  This beach was right before you cross the Bay Bridge.  So you’re sitting on the sand, watching all the cars crossing the water, going to other places.  It makes you think about other places.  But the beach was also only 45 minutes from home, so it won when we were looking for something to do on a Saturday.

I didn’t feel that vastness until we tried to park in downtown Annapolis, inching forward in a long line of cars until I told Josh that we needed to leave.  There were just too many people.  There is no ice cream in the world worth navigating that many people.

I have no clue what we’re doing today.

I am funny about my birthday.  I know it’s supposed to be a happy day; I mean, the universe gives you a freakin’ wish on your birthday and you can use it on anything you want.  And it has to come true, just because it’s the day of your birth.  But I always feel this strange sadness, a combination of perhaps too much cake and the lethargy that comes from any excitement.  The quietness of a balloon deflating.  I don’t love getting older.  I’ve been a big fan of my thirties, and I’m not exactly thrilled to be on my final year.

I’m 39.

Happy birthday to me.


1 Jodifur { 06.02.13 at 7:58 am }

Happy birthday Melissa! I hope it’s a great day. I’m funny about my birthday too.

2 missohkay { 06.02.13 at 8:00 am }

Happy Birthday. I still love birthdays but then again I’m only the advanced maternal age of 35 🙂

3 HereWeGoAJen { 06.02.13 at 8:01 am }

Happy birthday, birthday twin! We aren’t doing anything today either. Probably out to eat at some point.

4 Monica { 06.02.13 at 8:01 am }

Happiest of bdays to you. And may it be a sparkling year Mel.

5 Sara { 06.02.13 at 8:51 am }

Happy Birthday Mel!

6 Amel { 06.02.13 at 9:04 am }

Happy birthdayyyyy!!! Hope you get to become a fan of your forties as well then. 🙂

7 lostintranslation { 06.02.13 at 9:20 am }

Happy birthday Mel! Hope you’re having a great day, even if you’re not doing anything special. I like celebrating birthdays, but mine have been rather low-key the last couple of years. Hitting the big 4-0 in a little over 6 months makes me feel a bit funny though…

8 Nonsequiturchica { 06.02.13 at 9:23 am }

Happy birthday! I think that as we all inch closer to 40 the birthdays are more low-key. Hopefully the weather on the east coast is better than the dreary, 55 degree weather here in Chicago!

9 JB { 06.02.13 at 9:45 am }

Happy birthday, happy birthday to you. I thought your words today were particularly poignant. Watching the cars all going elsewhere is such a beautiful yet almost depressing image. I hope you have a good day 🙂

10 loribeth { 06.02.13 at 10:17 am }

Happy birthday, Mel! You’re still a young’un (compared to me, anyway :p )… and as Jack Benny proved, it’s possible to stay 39 for a long, long time. 😉 (And, as my wise grandma used to say on these occasions, “Consider the alternative…!”) Have a good one!! 🙂

11 Peach { 06.02.13 at 10:30 am }

Happy Birthday!!! Just think, there is so much wonderful in the years to come as your family grows and develops…so much to look forward to!

12 Kacey { 06.02.13 at 10:54 am }

Happy birthday! I’m turning 30 today and struggling with it, too. Funny how these completely arbitrary numbers can get inside your head, isn’t it?

13 Karen { 06.02.13 at 10:56 am }

I’ve felt that way about my past few birthdays; I’m not sure why. Happy Birthday to you, sweetie. xoxo

14 Catwoman73 { 06.02.13 at 10:58 am }

Happy birthday Mel! Whatever you decide to do today, I hope it brings you out of your slump.

I’ve always been a bit funny about birthdays, too. But I’m determined to change that. I just turned the big 40 in January. Aside from the inevitable pitfalls of aging, like not being able to eat whatever I want and stay skinny, it’s not so bad. My 20s were rough for one reason, my 30s were rough for another. I’m determined to make this decade the best of my adult life. And it will be for you as well… but you have one more year of being 30-something to enjoy- embrace it! And have an awesome day!

15 Wolfers { 06.02.13 at 12:45 pm }

Happy birthday, Melissa! Knock ’em out! 🙂

16 Bionic { 06.02.13 at 1:31 pm }

Birthdays. So much pressure to feel! Really! Special! And do! Something! Significant! Gets me into a funk, every year. The next day is always much better.

So, happy day after your birthday to you!

17 Jennifer { 06.02.13 at 1:33 pm }

Happy Birthday!

18 May { 06.02.13 at 1:38 pm }

Happy birthday! Peaceful and plentiful icecreams forever!

19 Another Dreamer { 06.02.13 at 1:42 pm }

Happy birthday!

20 Cherish { 06.02.13 at 1:53 pm }

Happy birthday! You’re amazing and I hope your birthday is too!

21 Queenie { 06.02.13 at 2:22 pm }

Oooh, happy birthday! I hope you have a most amazing day.

You may have shriveled ovaries and grey hair, but I honestly thought you were like 35.

22 JustHeather { 06.02.13 at 2:38 pm }

Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe
Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe
Hippo Birdie Deer Melissa
Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe

23 Betty M { 06.02.13 at 3:20 pm }

Happy Birthday!

24 Illanare { 06.02.13 at 4:09 pm }

Happy birthday to you

25 Illanare { 06.02.13 at 4:10 pm }

Happy birthday!

26 gradualchanges { 06.02.13 at 4:51 pm }

Happy Birthday!

27 Justine { 06.02.13 at 7:03 pm }

Your voice is more powerful than it ever was … I hope you’re feeling properly celebrated today, friend.

I get it, though. I turn 40 in December. I am thinking this one might require the support of some good friends. 🙂 xo

28 Jamie { 06.02.13 at 7:40 pm }

I’m sorry you are feeling low on your birthday. I’ve had some of those, too. It can be frustrating when you feel like you *should* be celebrating, but would rather crawl under a rock and let the day pass.

Hope the day brings you something to smile about, even if it is something small. Sometimes it helps to search for a little something good for which you feel grateful, helps to turn that corner and ease the other feelings you have about the day.

Happy wishes on your birthday!

29 deathstar { 06.02.13 at 7:49 pm }

Dear baby girl, cause that’s what you are to me at your age, dear baby girl, when you turn 40 it will suck a bit but its better than just 39. At 40 there’s just no denying it anymore. It will kick your ass but then you will kick it right back! Use this year to develop your leg muscles. Happy birthday to one very smart, accomplished woman!!!!

30 Alexicographer { 06.02.13 at 9:11 pm }

Happy birthday, Mel! I am glad to know I’m not the only person in the world who feels “there is no ice cream in the world worth these crowds!” or whatever. That is so me.

I am forty-something, and my kindergartener has taken to informing me I am forty-something-plus. Today I got all the way up to 49. Also sometimes he will tell me I am 96, or whatever. So I guess I get to try those ages on and hopefully, get used to them.

31 a { 06.02.13 at 9:30 pm }

Happy Birthday! 40’s not so bad…

I feel the same sort of deflated balloon feeling every year on my birthday. That’s why I don’t celebrate it…

32 Mali { 06.03.13 at 12:32 am }

Happy Birthday, Melissa! I didn’t know that about the universe giving you a wish that will come true, and given my experience of getting bad news on my birthday, I don’t quite believe it for me, but hope it works for you.

I loved the things you said about standing on the beach, because it is EXACTLY how I felt standing on our beach when I was a child. On the edge of a different ocean (the Pacific) it made me think about what was on the other side, who was on the other side, and it made me want to go there. Still haven’t got to the other side (Sth Am), even though I’ve been around the world quite a number of times.

33 Brid { 06.03.13 at 1:56 am }

Happy day, honey! Thirty-nine is great… I’m coming up celebrating the second anniversary of thirty-nine… you can’t beat that. Sounds like you’ve got the right idea, all around…. birthdays and other things.
Wisdom, baby, wisdom… you’ve got it, even without the old age.

34 Juanita { 06.03.13 at 5:33 am }

Happy Birthday Mel! Have a good one nevertheless xxx

35 Katherine A { 06.03.13 at 6:20 am }

Happy birthday! I don’t think your words are in any danger of becoming dust in the air…this is a wonderful post.

36 Chickenpig { 06.03.13 at 7:17 am }

Quite your whining, you baby, I turn 43 in August. Forties rock! 😉

37 Tiara { 06.03.13 at 8:07 am }

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mel! I am very close behind you, I’ll be 39 in October…the way I see it, my 20s were better than my teens & my 30s were better than my 20s…so my 40s will be better than my 30s…plus my aunt (who is turning 70) tells me that it all gets better in your 40s…so I’m gonna choose to believe her…heck she was right about a bunch of other stuff!

38 Gail { 06.03.13 at 9:50 am }

Happy Birthday!

39 Denver Laura { 06.03.13 at 10:52 am }

I’m one year and a few days behind you. I only know I’m old when my 2 year old complains about her back and grunts when she gets up.

40 Lavinia { 06.03.13 at 11:18 am }

Happy birthday to you♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy birthday to you♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Happy birthday dear Mel ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Happy birthday to you!♥ ♥ ♥♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪!

41 It Is What It Is { 06.03.13 at 12:40 pm }

Ah, of course there is a post, silly me!

I LOVED my thirties and there are physical aspects of that decade that I miss. But, as I approach my 50s (GULP), I can tell you my 40th decade of life has been great. I am so much more happy in my me-ness. So, while I detest inching closer to the end of my life (and being closer to it than the beginning), it has had its advantages.

Celebrate you, Mel, and just know that you’ve entered your 40th year of life!

42 Shelby { 06.03.13 at 2:17 pm }

Happy Birthday! You know, my birthday is in a few days and there are so many sentiments in this post that I could have written , particularly about the non-functioning ovaries that have always been and the lackluster feeling about each birthday. Ugh. Do we really have to celebrate? I mean, just because it’s prescribed that we all must jump for joy-does that mean we really have to? While I know you’re not thrilled about leaving your 30’s next year, I have heard way better things about the 40’s. Still, that doesn’t mean I’m excited to enter them, either!

And I agree. There are few things fantastic enough in this world to warrant navigating ridiculous crowds.

43 marwil { 06.03.13 at 2:57 pm }

Happy belated birthday!

44 Blanche { 06.03.13 at 3:12 pm }

Hope your day was extremely satisfactory! Isn’t that all anyone can wish for a birthday about which they have ambivalent feelings?

45 Amy { 06.03.13 at 5:06 pm }

happy belated birthday to you! I hope you had a good day!

46 Frozen OJ { 06.03.13 at 6:20 pm }

Happy Belated Birthday!

47 Battynurse { 06.03.13 at 6:29 pm }

Happy Birthday!
I’m funny about birthdays too for a multitude of reasons. I hope you had a great day though.

48 Siochana { 06.03.13 at 10:22 pm }

Happy Birthday Mel! It’s OK to have ambiguous feelings about your birthday. But I hope you had a happy day and have a happy 39th year too!!

49 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.03.13 at 10:56 pm }

We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun…

Happy birthday, my young friend.

50 KeAnne { 06.04.13 at 10:32 am }

Happy Birthday to you! Daniel’s birthday was Sunday as well, and I think that his birthday affect me more than my own do. Turning 4, each of his birthdays have brought huge changes and the realization that not only does time pass, but it flies.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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