No happy found in birthdays

Just got a giggle...fellow blogger and Twitterverse goddess Eliska Sconce (aka momma problems) was looking for a topic to blog prior to her birthday celebration time and tweeted for ideas. I piped up that I treat my birthdays like a drill sergeant. Each scared cadet representing each past year stands in a long line as the latest gets screamed at in the face filled with spit and venom: YOU'RE NOTHING SPECIAL, MAGGOT!! GET BACK IN LINE!

BTW, check out her blogspot: She is a better blogger than me in terms of content and consistency. But she kinda threw down the proverbial gauntlet. She says she takes the Dr. Seuss view of birthdays. Therefore, I will take the position of The Grinch.

Birthdays were cool when your entire age fit between two chubby hands of fingers. Fingers filled with fruit punch stains and birthday cake crumbs. You never looked past where you'd go, who'd be at the party, where are the presents and, oh, what to wear! Cards were fun where every other line rhymed with every other line and sometimes you'd get checks or cash snuck in.

Then you were a teenager and you were closer to :gasp: independence! Each teen birthday never came fast enough. After all, they paved your way to getting a driver's permit. Your first credit card. Your first semester in college.

Time had a way after reaching official adulthood to add sour to the sweetness of birthdays. "Let's celebrate your special day!" turned into "let's take this day to remind you that you're getting older the other 364 days" routine. No more neighboorhood kids or fruit punch. Maybe you'll get free ice cream at a mediocre restaurant while a group of servers sing off key to your embarassment. Maybe you'll get a birthday post because Facebook will remember your birthday while the majority who friended you on Facebook won't unless prompted. And who doesn't like the non-descript cards from businesses who practice the annual "we remembered your birthday, now buy our products".

Yes, The Grinch has arrived on his greasy black banana peel for this posting. Go into a party-theme retailer and see the birthday products for those over 30. Hearts and flowers? Nah-uh. Fun and sunbeams? Nope. You have your black balloons, "over the hill" signs, and all the great gag gifts on reaching old age, with the emphasis on gag. "Are we having a good time, kid?" has now become "how does it feel to be insert-age-here"?

With the most respect to Eliska...take my birthdays, please. Take the 40+ burning candles and the syrupy cards and the funfetti. I stopped getting an actual birthday cake for myself years ago. My birthday is so close to Christmas, it's never a good time. So I took my birthdate and placed in the cedar chest with old photographs of birthdays that were full of promises and blown out candles.

I'd much prefer to look at life as non-age specific. I may not understand all the references from a twenty year old, but I can keep up pretty well with most of it. I haven't lost my drive or stamina or my ability to want to try new things. I learn new technologies. I have a better body than when I was in college. I don't have to stop and celebrate because I choose to live unaffected by whatever Hallmark tries to throw at me. I never had kids or a husband, so that's not my yard-stick for success. I forged my own. I'm not perfect. My life is not perfect, but I'm making progress.

I consider myself a work in progress with the hope of never being finished. So please don't put another candle on it.