Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Am I Past My Expiration Date?

So today is my mumble-something birthday.  Happy birthday to me – right?  Yeah, whatever. 

I’m not feeling really jazzed about my birthday this year.  Not sure why.  Maybe it’s because I’m one year closer to death? 

Ooh, I’m feeling maudlin.  That’s not good.  I need to snap out of it.  (But whenever I tell myself to snap out of it, I hear Cher in my head from the movie, Moonstruck. And then that sort of makes me laugh.)

What’s that?  You’ve never seen Moonstruck because it came out when you were five?  Oh, you… just…hush. (You thought I was going to say something else?  Nah, I’m too old to be mean and in-your-face. Besides, I was never allowed to say “Shut up!” when I was young.  Back in the Stone Age. And those rules are still a little hard to break all these many decades later.)

Vince thinks we should act like we’re not grown up.  Be silly.  Behave crazy sometimes.  And, okay, so there is some wisdom in that. If we act like we’re old and “over the hill,” we’ll truly start to believe it – and to behave like it.

So on the drive to work, I listened to the Jamie Foxx show on Sirius XM. For the most part, it’s a comedy station, but in between bits or interviews, they’ll play music.  Usually, it’s music I don’t normally listen to – so I decided to stick with it to today see whether or not I could stand it. 

Coincidentally, the song that played next was by Rihanna – and the name of the tune was “Birthday Cake.”  Apropos, no? 

Um.  Not so much.  If you’re anywhere near my age, you would probably be shocked by the lyrics.  They are definitely NOT the sort of lyrics that would be sung by the servers at Applebee’s when your friends embarrass you by having servers at Applebee’s sing Happy Birthday to you.

So I had to laugh.  Here I am trying to not act like my age.  Be silly.  Behave crazy sometimes.  And it’s not working.  Instead of being entertained and singing along, I was like a prudish old lady holding my hand over my open mouth and saying, “Oh, my!” in a shocked whisper.

Yikes.  If I’d been wearing a pair of white lace gloves with granny spectacles perched on my nose and my hair up in a bun, I could complete that mental picture for you.

When did this happen?  I swear, I was young and cool about a minute and a half ago. 

Vince and I started watching a new series on Netflix, Orange is the New Black.  It’s by the same creators as Weeds, which we just finished watching.  There are definitely scenes in these shows that I have been a little shocked to see on TV.  Even if it IS Netflix. Seeing people with their drawers pooled around their ankles as they sit on the toilet is perhaps a little too graphic for my old-ish sensibilities. And, yeah, so it’s merely depicting what people do in real-life – but do I really need to see it on TV? 

Whatever happened to leaving things to the imagination?

I’m not sure, but I really do think that ship has sailed. And I blame reality television. (I blame reality television for a lot of things, including my sore left elbow. I don’t know why my left elbow is sore, so blaming reality television is as good a reason as any.) 

It’s not like I want things to go back to unreality TV.  Back to the early days of television when married couples were shown sleeping in separate twin beds so as not to offend public sensibilities.  Back to the days of early television when women wore pearls and stockings and pumps and aprons over their dresses while they vacuumed the living room. 

I mean, who did that? I don’t remember my mom ever wearing pearls. Or even vacuuming the living room, for that matter, although I know she surely must have done it a time or two.  I clearly recall, however, inheriting that little chore when I was old enough and tall enough to push the Hoover around without the handle smacking me in the forehead.

So it’s not like I’m completely yearning for the good ol’ days.  But – I admit – I really would like to wake up in the morning without some new mysterious ache or pain.  Like my sore left elbow.   

Maybe I should follow Vince’s advice. I should go out today and buy myself a helium-filled balloon and tie it around my wrist and look up at it in wonderment and awe. I should buy myself a birthday cake and gleefully plant my face in the middle of it and get frosting up my nose and in my ears and on my eyebrows. 

And maybe I should tell myself that age is just mind over matter. And if I don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Yeah, right.  Besides, do you know how difficult it is to get frosting out of your nose and ears?

So instead, I think I’ll be a grown-up and look at this birthday as one more year to experience life. One more year to learn something new. And one more year to love my family and friends.

Hmmm. Now that sounds like a grown-up solution to combat my maudlin thoughts. 

But still. I may just have to stop on my way home from work and pick up a  helium-filled balloon.
Wonderment and awe should never have an expiration date.

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