I hate birthdays.
Reason number one. You get older. That was fun when you were 15 going on 16 and got your driver’s license, but it’s not fun anymore. I’m 36 and what does that get you? Nothing.
I’m high risk for pregnancy now. I need routine blood work now and tests for diseases. I’m too old for staying out late but too young for a senior discount. Stuff is starting to hurt– stuff like staying awake all day long.
Reason number two (or sub point to reason number one). Women like men who are confident, but men like women who are beautiful. Too bad for us, but it’s true. Do you know why Lois Lane liked Superman but not Clark Kent? Obviously, it wasn’t his appearance, though the red cape is sort of suave. No, really. Come on, they were the same guy! They had the same looks, but Superman had swagger.
Men are lucky because they can just change their personality if it’s not working and complement their woman a whole bunch. It doesn’t matter if men are ugly. They just need to smell okay and get a job. But women? We have to dye our hair, shave, starve, pierce, shop, pluck, wax, maintain healthy pregnancies, and moisturize. It’s painful to be beautiful, especially if you want good eyebrows. And getting older makes this a whole lot harder. The upkeep is uphill.
As an aside, do young people say “suave”? No. Suave is a generic shampoo not a personality trait in a young man. More proof that I’m getting old.
Reason number three. Special days should be these days: St. Patrick’s Day, the day you beat a hard level on a video game, and the Fourth of July. Why? Because there are no expectations. We can all have a good time celebrating and nobody has to bring a present. Just fun, fun, fun. I like fireworks and food and music and talking about politics, theology, and the economy. That’s what we do at a Fourth of July picnic. So let’s do more of those.
When everyone forgets your birthday (which can happen if you’re not on Facebook), it can be a drag. But nobody forgets to bring the sparklers on the Fourth of the July or to wear green on March 17th, and most people aren’t in a bad mood on that day.
Have you ever noticed that young girls sing Taylor Swift songs about expectations of being rescued by a prince? That’s because life hasn’t ruined their hope and squashed all their expectations. Good for them. I read today that we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. Young people are Easter people about to wake up in a Good Friday world.
Getting older means that time is almost up, and I’ve not had a chance to become an optimist. So now I’m mad about that, too.
Reason number four. Time’s almost up. Who knows how long we have left? But it’s shorter today than it was yesterday, and birthdays put a punctuation mark on that fact. What if I die and I’m still a jerk? What if I die and never capitalize on turning my bad qualities into assets? What if people say, “Good. Finally!” on my Facebook page after I’m gone? What if I have to leave the game with money on the table when I was just getting to the good part, the part where all this was strategically leading and going to come together perfectly? What if I die before I learn how to make good paragraph breaks? What if God brings me home before I’m finished? Are people with good theology allowed to say that or do I have to pretend that I don’t worry about it because worrying is a sin?
Reason number five. Pressure. What if your car breaks down on your birthday? That can ruin everything. The pressure for stuff to go well today is too high!
My kid has the stomach flu today, and I’m feeling like it’s about to hit me too. I feel awful. That’s why I decided to lay down today instead of throwing hay to the cattle, horses, and the lone sheep (that is for sale) this morning.
So now everything is worse, especially if nobody from the internet buys my sheep at a special low price in three E-Z payments. It’s pouring outside, and the hay is now wet. That’ll fix me. I should’ve done it earlier. Wet hay bales are heavy, and I’m a wimp. A slacker! My son has a 103 temp, and so that leaves me to do the dirty deed even if I have a headache and have to throw up. And now I’m pathetic too!
Three people texted me about having a great day today. Well, that’s a lot of pressure when you’re having a day like this. Should I tell them? Would it obligate them to send another text saying they’re sorry?
What if the gift is this: that there are people who care that you have a good day in the first place rather than the fact that the stomach flu is about to descend upon your house and give you about 24 hours wishing for death some other way?
People on Facebook want me to have a great day. My ten-year-old gave me a hug. I got two cards in the mail, not counting the one from our auto insurance company. But what I really want is for the cows to stop bellowing. Really. Can’t they see it’s my birthday?
So happy March 8th to you. I bet it was good and you weren’t even expecting it. Those are the best kind of days.