I started the week with my usual birthday trepidation—hiding in bed, weeping and lamenting my fate. How could I be so close to 40 and still not be rich and famous? My mother told me I could be anything I wanted to be—why wasn’t I an astronaut yet? This only depressed me further when I realized that had I become an astronaut, I’d be at retirement age by now.
I called my (older) sister to make myself feel better. She tried to cheer me up by reminding me that at least I didn’t have to dye my hair yet (sure, there are a few gray hairs up there, but the blonde tends to hide it—or at least that’s what I tell myself.) Then she told me that one of her students thought she was 38. You know, younger than me.
Then I remembered when Kim turned 39. Her husband pointed out that age is based on years completed. So the day after you turn 39 is actually the first day of your 40th year. Why do I even talk to these people?
As I was glumly shuffling in to work, wondering if I needed bifocals, an angel from dispatch (you know her as Linda, my top commenter) reminded me about everything that is good about birthdays. Namely, cake.
I had coffee cake on Monday and a gourmet cupcake on Tuesday. The ladies in my department surprised me with Oreo cake on Wednesday, and there was enough left over for breakfast on Thursday. There was a coupon in the paper for an ice cream cake on Friday, and I thought, why stop now? I gorged my way through the whole birthday week. My pants no longer fit, but at least I’m smiling again.
Of course, birthdays aren’t just about feeling sorry for yourself. They’re also about family. My mother, for instance, who brought me in to this world.
She’s making me a cake on Sunday.
Speaking of Sunday, don’t miss my LIVE interview on Scary Scribes, when I discuss my fabulous short story “People Person” with host Kristi Petersen Schoonover. Then I'll talk about how fabulous it is to turn 39 and still not be an astronaut. Bring the Kleenex!
Listen live at 6 p.m. Sunday, January 29