I turned 38 this weekend. It occurs to me that, over the last few months, I’ve referred to myself as 38 years old numerous times on this blog. Clearly, I already felt my age. Birthdays are a strange experience for me. The morbid side of me is plagued by reminders of my mortality and getting ever closer to the tipping point of mid-life. The other, and notably less melancholy, side of me revels in the celebration of birthdays; that part of me wants a whole birthday weekend, damnit, and enjoys all the simple child-like birthday pleasures like: cake, presents, parties, and the ability to repeatedly pull the “because-it’s-my-birthday” card whenever I don’t get exactly what I want.
It’s that unabashedly celebratory part of me that recognizes the perks of birthdays as an adult vs. as a child. As a child, after all, you are at the mercy of your parent’s whims. Your party theme isn’t yours. Your outfit probably isn’t yours. You may not get to pick the cake. Even the invite list isn’t your domain. Sure, there are more presents, but that’s really the only advantage to a child’s birthday. As an adult, you get birthdays your own way. If you want to shut the world out and pretend your birthday doesn’t exist, you can do that too. But let me invite you to entertain just how spectacular an adult birthday can be by presenting you with:
Things you only get to do on your birthday as an adult
1. Eat cake for breakfast: In hindsight, this was actually a really bad idea. Yes, I know this from personal experience on my 38th birthday. Still, you can do it, and no one is going to call you on it. Someone (ahem, like my boyfriend) may even join you in this ill-conceived plan and also live to regret it.
2. Throw a birthday party with the nonsensical theme of “fizzy pink” and have your friends accept it without question: It’s not as crazy as it sounds. I had bubbly rose wine and wanted to build my party theme around it. Mostly it meant that people wore pink, which was fine with me. Also fine with me was that someone brought me a bottle of rose. Wine is always a winner in my book, no matter its colour. It also gave me the chance to buy/sport this amazing shirt:
3. Eat a spiralized deep fried potato on a stick as LUNCH: I have no regrets about this one. It was amazing.
4. Ask for excessive foot rubs: Because I have to wear heels to work again, so seriously, my feet need some TLC.
5. Commandeer the television to watch Dateline murder mysteries: The truth is my boyfriend enjoys them just as much as I do, even if he won’t admit it.
In other words, if you’re on the fence about your birthday, about aging, about turning another year older, simply seize the opportunity for an utterly selfish day of whatever your birthday pleasures may be. Adult birthdays can be pretty freaking fantastic.