I sat down tonight to write my annual birthday post. In preparation I decided to go back and read my previous ones, and realized I didn’t even do one last year. So maybe it isn’t even some ritual I am compelled to do after all? However, given my lack of inspiration to write consistently over the last two years, I’m not going to resist the urge to write something. Even if it sucks.
All things considered, my birthday is usually a day I try to pretend is not happening. Of course, part of it is growing ever closer to 50 and “Over the Hill” birthday themes. But the lingering dread comes from history (Dead Marriage Walking on My Birthday.)
This year I spent my birthday doing a chore I absolutely hate: washing and waxing my car. Why, you may ask? Because today is probably the last warm weekend day for the year, and last weekend I was stuck painting the porch after my siblings who said they would do it never followed through. As I found myself saying “wax on, wax off” over and over, I realized the irony in that my birthday month has basically been re-enacting The Karate Kid. I spent my awkward pre-teen years as a Ralph Macchio impersonator. In fact, that was my Halloween costume for a solid four years. (Photo proof here.) The timing couldn’t be better, because I have a new archenemy at work and now I’ll be ready to kick some ass. Oh no, bitch. You won’t be sweeping MY leg….
It’s weird that I share a birthday with my brother-in-law (the only person on earth more evil than Dick Cheney), and a number of other people I’ve encountered in real life, but it’s a pretty weak date for celebrities. Snoop Dogg, John Krasinski, Viggo Mortensen and the late Tom Petty and Mickey Mantle. That’s about it for notables on this date. Pretty eclectic bunch. You would think there would be some great binding astronomical thread instilling a common trait among us, but I got nothing. Maybe the one thing is that they are all pretty unconventional for their field. Snoop Dogg now does arts & crafts with Martha Stewart. John Krasinski went from the goofy guy on the office to a ripped Jack Ryan. Viggo Mortensen is a Scandinavian man who is creepy. Tom Petty was a homely rock star. Mickey Mantle, well I have no idea because baseball bores me to tears. There seems to be enough of a pattern there that even Neil DeGrasse Tyson can’t refute. I like to think I am hard to define. Just when you think you know me, there is another layer. An enigma. An international woman of mystery.
Next week I’m going to see Chris Trapper, the same singer I saw on my birthday 10 years ago, before my life turned to shit. This time I feel like it will be different though. The wine has killed off most of the memory cells of that fateful night. I’m not raw thinking about it anymore. It’s a fleeting thought, much like wondering why you only ever see one shoe on the side of the highway.
I’ve become quite comfortable spending birthdays alone. To compensate, I splurge on a solo vacation for myself every year. It all started with Iceland and a visit to the Phallological Museum. Penises in jars aren’t quite the same comfort on your birthday. Well, 9 years ago it would have been, but now, not so much. This year, my destination is Scotland in three weeks. And for the first time in 10 years, there is no risk that I might be tempted to jump off a cliff on the Isle of Skye. I’m good. I’m hopeful. I’m looking forward to my stay in a hotel near the pub district with men in kilts and hot accents. Ok, the reality is they will not be in kilts, and probably unemployed, but there will be accents, so I will not give up hope. After all, 90 Day Fiance is starting a new season…