[People of a certain age will have the Beatles song right now playing in their head: “Da-Da Da-Da Da-Daaaa Da-Dum… They say it’s your birthday! Da-Da Da-Da Da-Daaaa Da-Dum…”]
So, yeah… Happy Birthday to me!
September 2nd. Keanu Reeves was born today, too, in a different year. Salma Hayek. Linda Purl. Football’s Terry Bradshaw. Tennis player Jimmy Connors and Mark Harmon from NCIS. On and/or around Labor Day weekend, the end of summer, the beginning of school, change in the seasons, all that emotional stuff. I was actually born the first Monday of the month in my year, on actual Labor Day, a punny little joke: labor, get it? Birth, labor… Labor Day? No?
It’s not a huge, milestone birthday for me this year. It’s not like turning 18. When I turned 18, I could legally drink in Wisconsin where I spent my summers. I hung out in bars and used my own ID. By the time I turned 19, they had changed the drinking age back in Illinois to 19… That was a semi-big birthday. I spent it at Northern Illinois University, visiting a friend, getting so drunk on Schnapps and beer I lost both my contact lenses. (I’m not exactly sure how I drove the hour and a half home.)
Today’s birthday’s certainly not as benchmark-y as 21.
It’s not 30, the Big Four-Oh, or even the Big Five-Oh!
Yeah, okay great… I’m past them, older than all those. Today’s birthday is 55! Call it the Speed Limit Birthday.
As in: “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Alright, jam on the brakes! Slow… the hell… down…!”
I’ve tried that, tried to ignore birthdays up until now. And I know I’ll never be able to entirely. I just try not to feel them. I take ‘em with a wince.
Sure, every birthday after my almost heart attack ought to be a blessing. And it is, I know that. One of the guys from my old comedy group treats his birthday like his own, special holiday— Christmas just for him. Maybe I should try that. Yeah, maybe next year.
Maybe next birthday I’ll dance. “Take a cha-cha-chance!”