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Happy Birthday to Me

Pretty much every birthday post has been called “Happy Birthday to Me,” so why buck tradition and name this post something else?  I mean, yes, I’m also lazy, but that’s beside the point.

Oh how I wish I could go back to 39-year-old me and slap her:

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.

Now, NOW, I am old.  I am so old that all my grey hair is white and sticking out at odd angles.  I am so old that if I bite into anything too hard — like sandwich bread… or air — my teeth fracture into thousands of tiny bits.  I am so old that my body is shriveling and now I can wear Gymboree clothes again.  I am so old that I can’t hear anything if the water is running.  All I can do is say over and over again to the speaker, “You know that I can’t hear you when the water is running.”

I am 41.

41 hurts less than 40.  40 was exquisitely painful, and 41 is more like a pap smear than an HSG-of-a-birthday.  It’s like, yes, both have the pinch of the speculum, but 40 has the pain of the shooting dye while 41 is more like the poke of a swab.

This past weekend, I went to Josh’s college reunion, which I’ll unpack in a separate post.  But it’s bittersweet revisiting a college, even if it’s not your college.  It makes you think about running to class after oversleeping and ordering pizza late at night and highlighting textbooks and moving apartments every fall.

I don’t really want to do the college years again; it was sort of hard to not know where I was heading.  But it’s nice to pause in that space, to look around, to take stock, to remember.

That is the good part of a birthday, too.  It’s a time to stop for a second and remember every birthday before this one, and be grateful that I’m still aging.  (Even if I am also slowly going deaf.)

In a few weeks time, it will also be my blogoversary.  My ninth blogoversary.  I’ll be entering my tenth year of blogging.  Oh how odd!   That something I could create while lying on my sofa, dictating what I wanted on the screen to Josh (because I sure as hell wasn’t going to figure out Blogger), could still be around this many years later.  Still puttering around like its writer, feeble but constant.

Thank you for being here.  It has been a bit of a shithole of a year.  Sometimes Josh and I dissolve in slightly hysterical laughter as if we are this close to losing it.

There are the friends and family who get me through crap on this side of the computer.  And then there are all of you who get me through crap on the other side of the computer.  And this safety net; strung between reality and virtuality, holds me up.  So thank you for getting me through another year.


1 Tracie { 06.02.15 at 7:49 am }

Happy birthday!

I hope this new year comes with less crap and more nutella.

2 andy { 06.02.15 at 7:54 am }

Happy Happy Birthday!! And if I recall… 41 isn’t so bad!

3 Jodi { 06.02.15 at 7:56 am }

Happy birthday Mel! I’m glad to be on both sides of your life, and wish I could be on the other side more frequently. This year will be better. I promise.

4 Heather { 06.02.15 at 7:56 am }

Happy birthday! And welcome to the 41 club! You are in good company. 😉 You are right, 41 is easier than 40. My husband and I were just reminiscing about our collage days. Ah…the good old days, so fun and carefree. But we both agreed our lives are so much richer now from experience. It would be tough to go back to being so green, but it’s fun remembering those days and all the feelings that went along with them.

5 Sharon { 06.02.15 at 8:47 am }

Happy Birthday! I agree that getting older isn’t great, but it beats the alternative.

6 Suzanna Catherine { 06.02.15 at 8:54 am }

Hope you have a wonderful birthday. Yes, I remember 41 . It was slightly better than 40 . Each one is so different. (50 was actually fun!)

And I second Tracie’s sentiment in hoping this next year comes with less crap and more Nutella.

7 Peg { 06.02.15 at 9:14 am }

happy birthday Mel! Trust me, 41 is a great year (seems like a lot less pressure) and at 44 I don’t have that many more grey hairs. My body make look and feel like 44 but I seriously sometimes still feel 30 in my mind.

I truly hope this year is less craptastic as the last one. Hoping you have a wonderful day celebrating with your lovely family.


8 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.02.15 at 10:30 am }

Happy birthday to the best Gymboree-wearing friend I have!

9 deathstar { 06.02.15 at 11:13 am }

Happy 41st birthday! You made it! Just think – there are some of us who did not make it to their 41st birthday and their children are without a mum…right? Girl, I loved my 41st year – it was so full of possibility. If you think you’re old now just wait til you’re my age – you will shit your diapers. I just loved that paragraph about the HSG and pap smear analogy! You gave me a horrific flashback and yet it was so funny. My birthday is in 17 days and I’m pretty darn sure it’s going to be a some sort of anal probe test in front of an intern. Pass the creamed corn! Love you!

10 Laurel Regan { 06.02.15 at 11:47 am }

Here’s to a far, far better year ahead for you and your family. Happy Birthday to you!

11 Turia { 06.02.15 at 1:41 pm }

Happy, happy birthday, Mel. I hope a much better year lies ahead for you.

12 LN { 06.02.15 at 1:54 pm }

You do know I’m 45, right? If you’re old, then I’m ancient. (And I’m still waiting for my damn Hogwarts letter!)

Love you, Mel.

13 m. { 06.02.15 at 2:17 pm }

Dear Mel,

You make me laugh. You make me think. I am so so glad to know you. Happy, happy birthday. Wishing you, as Tracie and others did, less crap, more nutella.

14 Mina { 06.02.15 at 2:20 pm }

Happy birthday to you,
Mash tomatoes and stew!
It’s the birthday rhyme that I simply cannot get over, and I say it to all my friends. 🙂
I am 40 this year. And 2015 has been a shitarsehole of a year for me as well. But it could always have been much worse, so there’s that for perspective.
Happy birthday, dear Mel! I’m going to have a glass of bubbly for you, right now.

15 Tiara { 06.02.15 at 2:56 pm }

Very happiest of birthdays to you! I’m sorry it has been such a hard year for you. I am grateful to you for creating this space & being such a constant online presence. You are such a great lady & if it makes any difference, the image of you in my head is of a young, vibrant, fun woman!!

16 Elizabeth { 06.02.15 at 2:56 pm }

Happy Birthday, Mel! Sorry it was a rough year. I hope it gets better. I totally know what you mean about the gray hairs sticking up at odd angles – me too. And the wrinkled toes, which I never anticipated, but there they are. I’m still older than you… xo EEP

17 Alexicographer { 06.02.15 at 3:01 pm }

Happy birthday. I’m sorry it’s been a tough year. Here’s to the year ahead!

18 loribeth { 06.02.15 at 3:07 pm }

If you think you’re old & LN (above) thinks she’s ancient, I hate to think of what that makes me. :p 😉 The year between 40 & 41 was hard for me too, coming off infertility treatments & wondering, “Now what?” I’m sorry it’s been a crappy year for you & wish so many wonderful things for you in the year(s) ahead. Happy, happy birthday, and bring on the Nutella!

19 JustHeather { 06.02.15 at 3:59 pm }

Hippo Birdie two ewe
Hippo Birdie two ewe
Hippo Birdie deer ewe

Thank you for being you and being here!

20 Dora { 06.02.15 at 7:12 pm }

Happy birthday! 52 coming up for me a a few weeks. Hope this year’s way better!

21 Mali { 06.02.15 at 10:21 pm }

Ditto to Loribeth’s comments on age. I had to laugh (time is a great healer) that you described 41 as more of a pap-smear than an HSG birthday. My 41st was quite literally an HSG birthday – the one that told me my tubes were blocked and I’d definitely never have kids (IVF was already a bust). So yours can’t be that bad! (In my 50s, I’d love to be 41 – without the HSG though – again, so you’re not getting much sympathy from me.) Hope it was a lovely day!

22 Pundelina { 06.02.15 at 10:55 pm }

Happy Birthday Mel. I hope that your 42nd year on this planet brings you less crapola than the last six months have and more joy than any other. (Yes, I know you’ve TURNED 41, but that means you’re now living the 42nd year. Aren’t I cruel ;p ? I’m living my 44th, OMFG!)

23 torthuil { 06.03.15 at 12:34 am }

Happy birthday Mel! Any excuse for a new start and new chances.

24 Daryl { 06.03.15 at 2:18 pm }

Happy (belated) birthday, Mel! I hope 41 treats you well!

25 illustr8d { 06.03.15 at 3:11 pm }

Happy birthday! Here’s a wish that this year is lovely and kind.

26 Cristy { 06.03.15 at 10:32 pm }

Happy belated birthday Mel!! And I reject the idea of you being old. You’re simply aging gracefully.

27 Middle Girl { 06.06.15 at 11:13 pm }

Happy, happy, joy, joy. Cheers to better days ahead.

28 Jessica { 06.08.15 at 4:23 am }

Happy Birthday to you!

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