As it was my birthday on Saturday I thought it would make a whole lotta sense to write my blog about birthdays this week.
Up until the age of around 27 birthdays are anticipated with relish. As a child each day in the run up feels like an eternity. Your desired presents are carefully researched and noted down months in advance, and you have been dreaming of your birthday party and who to invite for as long as you can remember.
When you are a child, the real gem about getting older is the possibility that comes with age. I wasn't allowed chewing gum until I was 8. This was because every time I had some it somehow ended up in my hair and Mum would have to cut great wads of my barnet out to remove it. I'm not sure why Mum thought when I turned 8 I would suddenly be able to chew gum like a normal human being any better than I could the day before, but 8 was the limit she set and I couldn't wait to have the freedom to lose chunks of hair for the cause whenever I liked without getting told off.
When you get into your teens the possibilities become even greater. Turning 17, for example, obviously brings with the opportunity to be able to drive. Suddenly you can go into town without having to wait for an hour for a bus that arrives and departs whenever it pleases with seemingly no predetermined schedule. When you’re 18 you can get sloshed legally, and at 21 you can take your pub crawl stateside. These birthdays are so good that you ride on the gleeful crest of them into your late 20s.
When most people near 30, however, the glee tapers and they stop looking forward to their next birthday. The novelty of being able to drive has worn off. You’ve already used up your super power ability to recover instantly from nights spent exploring your new found ability to drink. You can’t think of anything that you would like present wise and arranging a party seems like a lot of effort to go to. All of a sudden you do start to feel unjustly old and grumpy. I’ve just celebrated my 31st birthday and the realisation that my 30s are well underway has left me with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.
There seems to be a certain point you get to, however, when you decide to sidestep the inflictions of age by just forgetting how old you are. If you don’t know how old you are then the preconceptions of certain age brackets can’t possibly affect you because you don’t know whether they apply to you or not. My parents seem to have mastered this exceptionally well - the longer in the tooth they get the more they want to stay up until 4am drinking wine and talking rubbish around the kitchen table on a Friday night. They party with the gusto of a pair of 25 year olds whenever the mood dictates.
Essentially, what this proves is that forgetting how old you are works. Just enjoy your birthdays as ‘all about me’ days rather than a mark of your mounting age and you can behave however you want with no issues! I'm definitely going to do this from now on.