I’ve been thinking a lot about birthdays lately, since mine is coming soon. As you grow older, you tend to become more philosophical about them, as opposed to actually celebrating them. This is mainly because having a party where you run around shrieking and consuming mass quantities of sugar as an adult can easily lead to a hospital stay, not to mention the fact that your significant other probably wouldn’t find it amusing if you were to end up in a rousing game of Spin the Bottle.
Typically, the older you get, the less you enjoy birthdays. The logic here is that birthdays lead to aging, and aging leads to wrinkles, creaky joints, wearing pants that come halfway up your chest, memory loss, hair loss, and an irresistible urge to shake your fist at teenagers and tell them to turn their music down and put their baseball caps on the right way. (This occurs even if the teenagers aren’t listening to music, aren’t wearing baseball caps, or aren’t even teenagers at all, and instead are mailboxes on the sidewalk, because senility is another product of aging.)
Once a person get to be over thirty or so, birthdays may even become a hated occasion, and if you even mention it to somebody who is “celebrating” one, instead of replying kindly, they may just drop-kick you down a flight of stairs. Still, can you blame them? Their birthday is essentially nothing more than a giant neon sign reminding them that they have less of their lives left to live, which they’ll be doing trapped in a malfunctioning body that will soon degrade to the same general shape and consistency to that of a raisin. They yearn for their younger days, back when they were in shape and never had to stretch before doing anything strenuous, such as brushing their teeth. They crave the grand adventures of the past, something more exciting than having to launch a full-scale search to find their car keys, which they now seem to be having to do more and more.
However, for the benefit of the older folk, during my extensive ponderings on the subject, I’ve come to the conclusion that birthdays are actually a good thing, and that getting older is something that can be looked upon with happiness. Now, I realize that this claim may be met with skepticism, so let me explain. What you need to do is compare yourself to a typical teenager, but not with the standard mindset of younger is better, but instead by focusing on all of the advantages you have over them.
First, you don’t have to worry about zits. Second, you can afford a car that’s not so decrepit there’s a very real risk of it exploding each time it hits a bump. Third, you haven’t spent your life listening to a portable music player with the volume maxed out, which essentially guarantees that your sense of hearing is going to outlast theirs. Finally, and most importantly, you’ve experienced and seen many wonderful things over the course of your life, and for a typical teenager to experience all that you have, assuming the same Fun Rate Per Year, they’ll have to grow to be as old as you are now, at which point they’ll be losing their car keys and forgetting important details, such as their spouse’s name, on a regular basis. Now if that’s not something to be happy about, I don’t know what is!
So, all you old-timers out there, let’s stand up and cheer this revelation, although be careful not to break a hip or throw out a back, and when your next birthday rolls around, find a warm blanket to cover your knees, along with a crackling fire, and sit back and feel smug about how much more you’ve accomplished than all of those pimple-faced teenagers out there driving cars that are leaking every sort of vehicle fluid imaginable and which may very well rust away before making their next destination.
Now, while I’d like to spend a lot more time waxing philosophically on this subject, I can’t. You see, I’ve lost my keys and need to find them, or else I won’t be able to drive twenty-five miles per hour on the freeway while drifting in and out of the various lanes of traffic. Oh, and turn down that music and put your baseball cap on right. You look ridiculous.