|Me sitting on a toilet|
A 50 year tradition
On this day in 1958, Janet Penwasser stubbed out her Marlboro, tossed back her highball, and shouted at her husband, Mal, to stop screwing with those “damn stupid rabbit ears” atop the brand-new television set.
It was time, she snapped. The “little project” he started in a Maryland honeymoon lodge nine months ago (NOTE: I checked the timeline) was banging on the cervical door, wanting to say hello to the world.
“And I don’t give a flying crap if Ed Sullivan is going to have Jumpin’ Jesus on his throne on the verry big shew after the Hungarian plate spinning guy, you’d better get my fat ass in the Oldsmobile and off to the hospital!”
Fifty-three years later, here I am. Sadly, Jan and Mal are not.
In light of the fact that I am now three years over the half-century mark, it’s occurred to me that, if my age was expressed in dog years, I’d be dead (unless there’s a breed of dog that lives over 350 years. Maybe Dracula’s dog. I don’t know). Or that, if I was living in the Middle Ages, I wouldn’t be. A mid-life crisis back then happened during adolescence.
My initial thought was to pretend this day never happened. The only party I would have would be a Pity Party as I wallowed in a “Woe Is Me” funk. And you could forget about birthday cake. Do you know how many calories are in just one slice?
I made the mistake of complaining about my state of affairs to my father-in-law when he called to wish me a happy day. My 83 year-old father-in-law.
“You think you have it bad? Oh, boo hoo! I use a lunchbox to carry my pills, I get winded from farting, water gives me gas, I need a nap after I get up in the morning, I have to take a Cialis chaser with my Viagra (NOTE: this kinda grossed me out), I forget to put pants on to check the mail, I forget to take my pants off when I take a crap, and I’m always grateful when I don’t wake up in a silk-lined box. Now, who is this again?”
After hanging up, I realized that my octogenarian (NOTE: how often do you get to use that word?) relative had a point. Age is relative. And not just with people who are related to you.
I remembered my dismay when I turned 30, 40 (when I almost drowned in a hot tub. Yes, alcohol was involved), and then 50 (okay, alcohol was involved there, too).
And I guarantee that, when I turn 60, I look back on my 53rd birthday and wonder, “What the hell were you whining about, you big puss baby?”
There will always be someone younger than you, so why worry? Likewise, there will always be someone older than you. Granted, the pool of available contestants shrinks the longer you stay in the game. But, except for the “crapping in my pants” part at Golden Corral, I want to stick around for as long as I can before I'm spoken of in the past tense.
After all, you’re only as old as you feel.
And, right now, I feel like some birthday cake.
Probably not as cute, huh?
ADDENDUM: Both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and I were launched in July, 1958. Apparently, I’m going to outlive NASA. So, I have that going for me. Which is nice. For me. Not NASA.