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.