Today is my birthday.
And I’m going to cut right to the chase here:
Today is my birthday, and I want a gift from you.
No, not some shadowy-grammary, pluralized generalization of “you”. But "you", the flesh-and-blood, singularity "you".
You, yeah, you.
You right here and now reading this blog, inhaling and exhaling, shifting in your seat and chewing on your bottom lip, one foot crossways in your lap picking at that ingrown corner of toenail that’s been bugging you all day, thinking that you could really go for a tall glass of ice cold lime seltzer with a dash of angostura bitters.
Well, maybe the last part was me, not you.
But listen, today is my birthday and today I’m thirty-eleven years old.
That’s 41 in dog years.
Now initially for my 41st birthday, I wasn’t expecting anything all that special. Really, I wasn’t.
Turning forty-one is not like when you’re turning five and you know that you will wake up to yellow balloons and a princess party with all your family and friends, and presents, presents, presents, and a special banana cake with chocolate icing, and the world - which already spins around your tiny wonderfulness - will spin a mite faster just for you on your special day, and green is greener, and pink is pinker, and every pony prances just for you, and you can even possibly throw a tantrum or two even with tears and foot-stomping, and the grown-ups will let you get away with it scot free because it’s Your birthday! Your birthday! Your birthday!
The best day of all!
So much better than even Christmas because all the gifts on the dining room table have your name on them! Only yours! And all the attention is on You! You! You! And Baby Jesus and your older sister will both just have to sit on the sofa with grumpy faces if they can’t be happy that you got a brand new red bike AND a Spirograph AND five dollars from Great-Aunt Millicent because You’re Five! and you look so stinking adorable in your pink chiffon dress and baloney curls on your specialest of special days!
Hooray! Hooray for Five! Hooray!
Yes, I was entirely impossible as a child.
But today I am forty-one.
There is no big birthday party for forty-one.
Even forty, again, is a different story.
When some people turn forty, they might decide to organize a splendidly elegant fete or a frolicking poke-in-the-ribs roast in their own honor upon successfully navigating four decades of life on earth. When other people break Four-Oh, they mark the day by drinking a fifth of clear alcohol and then paging through their high school yearbook, slurring prank calls to the valedictorian and homecoming queen.
However, when I turned forty, I was unceremoniously denied the limelight’s sheen and rollicking-good embarrassment of both aforementioned options all because I got knocked-up, had major abdominal surgery, and instead spent my Big Day limping around the house leaking bodily fluids and challenging a gaseous newborn to a farting contest.
Okay, my kids did draw some lovely cards for me. And we did have a cake. (I think we had cake. I was so sleep deprived and high on Percocet, I may have hallucinated the cake part.)
And alright, I did Google a few old classmates - just for kicks, mind you, and not necessarily to compare and contrast and obsess over what I did or didn’t do with my own life so far, all while hunkered over a bowl of gin and olive stew. And while Googling, I found my ole buddinsky, Ralph Mohutsky, who is now an actor in LA and looks all swarthy and dangerous, which doesn’t at all jibe with my lasting image of him as a clean-cut, goofball kid who played the trumpet in marching band, but whose current success also didn’t threaten to spin me into mid-life crisis because - if nothing else - I have at least come to terms with the fact that I’ll just never be swarthy, no matter how many acting classes I take and no matter how many days I go without waxing my legs.
Today is my forty-first birthday.
And in honor of my forty-first birthday, I’m letting loose both my inner-child and my outer mid-life bitch and I’m asking for presents, gol dammit, presents!
No, I don’t need more hand lotion.
No, no, no, I don’t have time for a massage, and no I’m not going to fool myself that I’ll get out to dinner with my husband anytime in the next eighteen years.
Yes, I’d love a pair of knee-high brown suede boots, but no…well, okay, yeah…if you want to send me some knee-high brown suede boots, I won’t say no.
But what would really make a crabby old diva-princess like myself most happy on this, the most wonderful, splendiferous of all days, is the gift of cold hard cash.
Yeah, you heard right again.
I. Want. Money.
Loot. Moolah. Scratch.
In fives, tens and twenties, if you please.
Pile on the greenbacks and pile’em high.
For my forty-first birthday, I am shamelessly asking that you grab a hunk o’ bucks and mail them to...
this person here:
Okay, who the hell is Heidi Dugan.
Heidi Dugan is a gal pal of mine who is walking in some 3-Day Breast Cancer Walking Thingy where she is going to walk 60 miles over three days in order to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.
Heidi just sent me a letter - not a birthday card, mind you, but a letter - letting me know that she’s been training for this “amazing event” (although, not as amazing as my forty-first birthday, if anyone’s asking me) by walking, walking, walking, and Heidi says that so far, in training, she’s walked over 250 miles.
And yet, she couldn’t walk to the mailbox to send me some chocolate bars or something thoughtful for my forty-first birthday.
Oh, and it hasn’t just been this one letter, but a bunch of letters and emails all saying the same thing: “Look at me! I’m helping to raise money for breast cancer research! I’ve lost 33 pounds so far just by practicing walking! I’m not forty years old yet! Look at my gorgeous hair! Please sponsor me and make a tax deductible donation to help support breast cancer education, screening and treatment! Aren’t I adorable! Yadda-yada-yadda!”
It’s a pathetic vying for attention on MY birthday.
Well, I’m NOT having it!
I’m NOT sitting on the grumpy chair!
I’m forty-one! And although I may not be able to walk 250 miles or be all CUTE and YOUNG and NATURALLY SELFLESS and INDUSTRIOUS and whatEVAH….
…and okay, Heidi didn’t really say all that stuff about having gorgeous hair and being adorable and not being forty, BUT I BET SHE WAS THINKING IT, JUST TO MOCK ME ON MY FORTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY!
So anyway - sniff - it would make me really happy on my forty-first birthday if everyone who reads my blog could just - sniff, sniff - you know, donate some money to Heidi in support of her walk, in honor of your loved ones who are surviving breast cancer, for the future of our daughters, and for a cure for this horrible disease.
But mostly donate money because it would make me happy on my forty-first birthday.
And that’s what’s really important.
Happy Birthday To Me…Happy Birthday To Me!…Happy Birthday Dear Meeeeeeee!…Happy Birthday To Me!
Click Here To Donate Online To Sponsor Heidi