Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday

Saturday was my 41st birthday, and it descended upon me with its traditional black mood. The day was full of disasters: we forgot to get tickets to Batman in IMAX, the visiting wings of my family packed up and left town, and in the wake of the wedding, I was too exhausted to do much of anything but straighten up the house and then lie around and nap. It was, you know, The Day of Letdown, which is what it always is for some reason. Honestly, I think my favorite birthday was the year my Grandma Rosie died four days before, so I didn't have to pretend to have a good time, and anything enjoyable was a bonus.

Of course, it wasn't a total loss. I actually needed a day of slothful nappage, and though I left myself behind on my long list of chores, we ended up having a festive dinner out at a schmantzy place nearby. So, you know: quiet celebration.

But as usual, after the fact I'm staring quizzically at my bummer birthday and wondering, "What the fuck is my problem?"

I've always been like this. Other kids looked forward to their birthdays with eager anticipation; I just felt dread. I found out early that the middle of summer meant that my friends would be away at camp when I tried to throw a party. To make matters worse, I found (and still find) the Happy Birthday song to be a sort of dirge, always sung in several different tunes, syllables dragged out in a misguided attempt to make extend the "fun," almost always sung in the creepy flickering candlelight of the candles on what was (for me) always a cake made with whole-wheat flour and week-old blueberries, topped with the smallest amount of granulated sugar my mom could use and still call the cake festive. While everyone is staring at you. Staring at you! Oh, good lord, I know it's not cancer, but the happy-birthday song is just one of those modern you-SHOULD-like-it horrors that I just don't understand. Like American Idol and Titanic.

But I mean, I'm in a great place, this birthday. Imagine how miserable I'd be if I weren't pregnant. I'm so lucky! I'm so blessed! But all I could think was "uch, i'm 41 and pregnant, that is so old, and how will I ever have a second baby?" Honestly, this is what goes through my head. Not "yay, I love that this is my last birthday before Sluggo comes," not "wahoo, my wedding and now this," but "augh, disaster and destruction! and now to bed."

This is the kind of neurosis I'd love to save Sluggo from, but I mean -- what are the chances? Oy, kid, you're in for a lifetime of irritation.

p.s. my bump is harder, i swear, it's tightening up. especially on my left side. what's that about?

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