#390: IF MY ANXIETY OR THE ENORMITY OF MY OWN HEAD DOESN'T KILL ME FIRST, I WILL HAVE A BIRTHDAY ONE MONTH FROM TODAY
Firstly, because I often have firstlies, I want to draw your attention to a conversation I had with the Fiery One earlier this year. It was about MY GINORMOUS HEAD. It made laugh and feel better about my head, which is really larger than quite a lot of your heads.
The Fiery One and I were curled up together on the couch, he with his Harper's and I (or is that me?) with my "Grey's Anatomy", when he turned to me and said You know, I think we look pretty good for people in their mid-thirties
. I could have poked his eyes out with my knitting needles. As far as I am concerned, only one of us is in his mid-thirties, because I am thirty-two and not due for my birthday until December 29th. Thirty-two is early
thirties, thank you very much, and I'm sticking to it for another thirty-one days. I wasn't in the least bit touchy about turning thirty, but entering the mid- to late-thirties phase, especially being inducted prematurely, bugs the piss out of me.
I am going to get some of this belly-aching out of the way now so that I don't have to torture you with it throughout the month of December:Ten years before my birthday, I was twenty-three. In ten years from my birthday, I will be forty-three. Forty-three is not a terrible thing by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels like twenty-three was yesterday, so my impending birthday makes my brain skip ahead and panic at how fast twenty years goes.I am going to DIE. It's the truth. It's the truth that will bite me in the ass when this is all over.Is it any wonder that I had a somewhat gothy phase in my early twenties?Until I was in my thirties, I never envisioned my adult life. Now I am here, and I continually feel like I just walked into a strange party where I don't know any of the guests. It's bizarre.Don't people plan for babies and houses and cars? They must, because so many grownups have those things. What if those urges don't kick in for me until I'm sixty years old, and then I slide into a morbid depression because I will die alone in a cardboard box without so much as a shopping cart for mobility?I actually feel anxious about the fact that my gums have receded a bit. It's like some part of my brain believes this is the first rotation in what will be my long, slow roll downhill.This is all purely ridiculous, because I prefer older people. They're funnier and smarter and cooler and easier to hang around with than anyone I know who is younger. When I was younger and was asked what my age was at a party, I always answered 76.I should stop being all tense about turning thirty-three, because my family lives long. When my grandfather died at the age of seventy-six, his minister expressed his shock that a man in my family could die so young.I am truly sorry if you, too, suffer from death anxiety. You probably shouldn't be reading this.The thing about my birthday panic that makes no sense when I am all caught up with worry about receding gums and arthritis (a mild case since I was fifteen) is that I have started wrinkling more noticeably and like it. You would think I would be running for the next serum selling for fifty bucks and refusing to smile for fear of encouraging them. The fact is that I LIKE MY WRINKLES. CROW'S FEET ARE HOT. The face I had when I was twenty-three looks so blank compared to the one I have now.I am going to have such freaking thick glasses when I get old.We have to move, because our landlady is selling our place. Am I really going to be thirty-three and scampering around trying to find a place with cheap rent this spring? Yes. Am I bothered by this? No. Am I bothered by the fact that still living like a student doesn't really bother me? Yes.Okay, this baby thing is bugging me hardcore. Do I want one? NoYes. How do any of you mother people make this decision?!I remember the exact moment when it hit me for the first time that I was mortal, life was short, and I was going to die soon. I was five, and my mother was carrying the cake toward me while my family sang Happy Birthday. Seriously. I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD. My humour is an acquired skill, people.One thing that never fails to make me feel a little better about my birthday is looking at the card my mother sent my grandmother when I was born. I had a full head of dark hair and was quite short, so in german she wrote: Sie ist klein und dunkel (meaning "she is small and dark"). That first personal description of me on this earth feels like a warm blanket, and I take out that memory every year. Who knew I would become the pasty, five-foot-seven-inch individual I am today?Also, don't ever sing me Happy Birthday. It makes me want to either cry or hit people, and I don't cry in public.You want to know the stupidest thing that is bugging me about my impending birthday? The number. 3 + 3 = 6. Ick. Six is my most unfavourite number, and I will quote myself, because this is my weblog:
Six is the friend who has been in between apartments and on your couch rent-free for three months and claims to have no money for groceries, six is the jerk who sold you an eighth of oregano in the park when you were fifteen and left you broke and ashamed sitting in your basement for two weeks, six is the schlepp that sits down at the neighbouring table while you are having coffee with friends and listens to your conversation in such a way that you know he is trying to make it seem like he is hanging out with you and is just waiting for an invitation to say something, an invitation which you will never extend.
That terrible run-on sentence was brought to you by my fifth weblog entry ever. I've come a long way, baby.
"A Birthday Present" by Sylvia Plath
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil