It feels strange to be another year older, though I admit I often forget how old I am in the first place. Age does not seem important. I’m still invincible. And I already have enough numbers to remember as it is. It’s more alarming to think about what I should be doing in this brief time before 30 hits and life dead ends at a pile of children, bills, and marital obligations.
I have passed into the brief segment in life where birthdays are no longer thrilling but not yet devastating. Instead, it is just an excuse to eat cake without guilt and collect money and gifts from relatives. I am indifferent to the actual celebration; no one cares about anyone else’s birthday unless there is free cake. It’s almost awkward. I’m especially wary of adults recalling the actual day of delivery. Birth has always seemed terribly violent and frightening, and I would rather not hear about the pushing, screaming, and placenta.
I do admit I love balloons. They are much more exciting (and cheaper) than flowers. When my sister and I were kids, we would beg our parents for a pack of balloons to blow up, draw faces on, and use to play house. In the end, this was probably cheaper for my parents than procreating and giving us more siblings. Mine always had such large eyes, with long thick eyelashes and a pencil thin eyebrow. Kelly’s were much simpler; I wonder what that says about us now. Helium ones were the best, but always too expensive and too tempting to ingest. Mom told us that breathing in that air would make our brains explode, but we did it anyways, and here I’ve made it, all the way to 23.