Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy F'ing Birthday

My mother, whose birthday is Friday, has informed me on several occasions in the last couple of months that she is not having a birthday this year; neither will she be having any more birthdays, ever.  I suppose this is just typical of women of a certain age in our youth-worshipping culture, but I have to say, it really annoys me.

My mother was born exactly 1 year and 3 days before A, which means he also has a birthday coming up.  But he will never be 59, like he should be this year.  He will forever be 55 years and 4 months old.  And that's why I'm annoyed:  Because there are people who truly are not having any more birthdays.  And it's not because they're vain about their age, or squeamish about admitting the number.  It's because they're dead.

It's because they're fucking dead.

I recognize that I obviously have issues about this, but I kind of want to shake my mom.  Shake her right out of her bullshit vanity and her petty self-pity about getting older, because she should appreciate every additional birthday given to her.  Not everyone is so lucky.  As of Friday, she will have received 5 more years of experiences than A got.  I joke with her when she gripes about it that getting old sure beats the alternative.   But only the tone of my voice is joking; I'm serious.

Serious as a heart attack.

I mean, seriously, none of us grows younger.  It's not even an option, so you're much better off considering only the realistic options.  And when it comes to birthdays, you have a choice of getting older, or dying.  Would she rather be dead? 

I want to scream, "Shut up, and enjoy your god-damned birthday cake, and the fact that the people who love you still get the chance to show it!" 
Of course I don't.

1 comment:

  1. I have mixed feelings about my birthday and aging every year, but I assume that's a fairly normal, given reaction after being touched by death, loss, and mortality at an obscenely young age (for our society at least). I don't want to have birthdays because every one puts me farther away from 27, when my life--my old life--ended along with Charley's. I don't like the passage of time.

    I know Charley's mom feels much the same way as you do about her friends' complaints about aging and turning 60; she had too many friends who died before turning 60 and a mother who died when she was only 62. Yet at the same time, she had a really hard time when she actually turned 60 herself in January--not out of vain self-pity (I liked that spot-on description, btw) or anything, but because it was a difficult milestone for her to pass.

    I know I get rather irrationally irritated at people my age who complain about "luxury" problems...and yes, pouting prettily about an unwanted, "elderly" age is definitely a luxury.

    Out of morbid curiosity, what would your mother do if you actually did scream and shake her?

    Sending you hugs, my friend....