Friday, January 15, 2010

Yeah, It's My Birthday

It’s my birthday today. Wanna know how I know? Everybody’s telling me that it is -- that’s how I know. Just when I told myself that I was going to look at today just like it was any other day – everyone screws it up for me with happy birthday shout outs!

When I signed in on my FACEBOOK page this morning – what do I see? Happy birthday wishes from a good hunk of my FACEBOOK friends. Some sound sincere….some add a little humor to the “special” day and you know that there had to be one person out there that said something like, “It’s your birthday, Rich? I thought you were dead!”

Well, I can’t deny it….it is my birthday and its number fifty-six, can you believe it! Can anyone tell me how I got so old? It seems like only yesterday that I was a little boy who wet the bed and had a crush on the girl down the street. If I close my eyes, I can still see that little girl sucking the thumb on her left hand as she twirled her long straight blonde hair with the index finger on her right hand. We had a lot of good time’s together going round and round on the neighbor’s merry-go-round and playing pick-up sticks and jacks on her front porch. I can also remember how mad both of our parents got when she cut my hair on my front porch. Now she probably doesn’t remember who in the hell I am and probably forgot about that haircut not long after I moved out of that neighborhood…it was a long long time ago.

Celebrating another birthday is a milestone of sorts for me, because I came from the generation that told every one not to trust anyone over thirty. Somehow I managed to break that age barrier by more than a few years, but I never could figure how being over thirty didn’t make you trustworthy. I will admit that I was a little surprised to hit forty – because I thought when I hit forty that I’d be worm food in some gravesite at Gracelawn Cemetery in Flint, Michigan. Well, not only did I make it to my fortieth birthday – I’m four years away from kissing the age of sixty right on the lips…infuckingincredible

A lot of things happen once you get old and I’m not talking about all of the obvious things like your hair turning gray or falls out – there are other signs. When you get old – you’re given an unwritten license to bitch about the weather any time of the day or week. It’s all because your body aches and the pain alerts you in many different ways to when it’s going to rain, snow or sleet. Why the national weather service hasn’t harassed an old person’s capability to predict the weather is beyond me.

When you get older, it’s not only expected that you yell at kids who play on your lawn – it’s those little flourishes like shaking your cane or running out the door with your walker that gives you “old people street cred”. It’s also expected that once you get older that must drive at least twenty miles under the posted speed limit just to piss everyone off – especially the jerks in their high risin’ monster pickup trucks.

Let me take this time out to thank everyone for all of the birthday cards and well wishes on this my fifty-sixth birthday – but I must be going. The clock on the wall is telling me it’s time to go and take my meds (you do that a lot when you get old) and mix up a big birthday glass of Metamucil in my orange juice to really “get myself going".

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