Thursday, August 25, 2011

Birthdays. The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Today, someone I love turned sixty. The big 6-0. I’m not up there yet, but that number is looming on the horizon unless the world really does end in 2012.

Thinking back on all the birthdays I’ve seen is kind of fun. When I was ten, my mother had a birthday party for me. I invited all my girlfriends from school and my mother made a beautiful angel food cake with a Barbie doll in the center and decorated the cake like the skirt of a ball gown. I loved it.

Twenty was okay. I was in college and I really wanted to be twenty-one instead. It seems that when we’re young we always want to be older. Why is that?

Thirty, the big 3-0, was a breeze. I didn’t mind it at all. Thirty-one was much..more...painful. Yikes, it meant I was getting old. Ha! I had no idea what old was.

Forty, now that one stung a little. 4-0. The number makes a girl start thinking about age-spots and wrinkle cream. It’s best, on birthdays like forty, to go shoe shopping. A great pair of shoes can make anyone feel younger.

By the time I hit fifty I was a grandmother and loving every minute of life except for those first ten minutes after getting out of bed in the morning. Ah, the aches and pains of getting older. How they enjoy reminding me that I’m not as young as I used to be. For my birthday that year my son-in-law gave me a stuffed yellow chicken with red, coiled spring legs. The stupid thing sang, “You’re no spring chicken, you’re no spring chicken.” My grandkids played with it all evening. Every five minutes it was warbling, “You’re no spring chicken. You’re no spring chicken.” Tony, I haven’t quite forgiven you for that one.

It wasn’t until I was fifty-two that I sold my first book. Goodness, I’ve sold 15 since then. No wonder my fingers ache. I type too much.

6-0. When it's my turn, I'll celebrate that one with bells on. Every year is a gift and I thank God for each and every one I reach. Getting older isn't so bad when I think of my only alternative.

Birthdays, happy days, ugly days, they are gentle reminders that no one is getting any younger. What was your best or worst birthday?


  1. my 30th was my worst ever. it was a Saturday. Here in Aust we dont have mail on Saturdays. I had none before hand. I spend most of the day at home incase someone came or rang. Had to do the church cleaning so made sure I didn't take to long away but nothing. Mum had given something early I think it was money for something. finally someone came at 5pm and that was it so I was going to watch the ice skating in the olympics and then at about 7.30 a couple came and then spent most of the time ignoring me and visiting mum so I missed out on the ice skating. I did get cards on the Monday but after that birthday I decided to be proactive and invite people to go out to lunch with.
    best about 5 years ago I went to western Australia to watch the cricket I suport the Western warriors and I always wanted to go to the cricket on my birthday I stayed with a cricket buddy friend and mcdonalds for tea.

  2. Best: Probably my family was in from out of state and we had planned on going to Branson, MO. While I was getting ready, hubby had several church friends show up at our house. I was a bit put out at first because I was wanting to go to Branson, until I figured out he had actually planned a surprise party and gotten it past me (He rarely surprises me.)

    Worst: My 23rd (19 years ago tomorrow)...spent it at a funeral for my grandfather.

    Birthdays don't really phase me much anymore...they're just another day on the calendar.

  3. I had a terrible time with my 34th birthday. Very traumatic. LOL I think at the time I figured 35 was really old. :)

    40 was a blast. The church staff came to pick me up to take me out to lunch--in the local nursing home limo!! The owner of the nursing home came along with a wheel chair to collect me. :) It was a hoot. I about fell off the front porch laughing. A great day. :)

    Funny how my perspective has changed!! :)

  4. Best: My 21st. My golden birthday and I was finally legal to drink and could celebrate in style. (I didn't drive.)

    Worst: My 40th. My EX-husband forgot it.

    This year will be good as it's my first year being single again. The weekend before, I'll be flying out to Philly to see my best friend from grade school, attending a class reunion and taking a day trip to NYC-if it's not flooded to see the Harlequin office and meet my editor.

  5. Worst: Any odd year birthday in my twenties. At 21, there was no celebration, no nothing because I left the house for work at 5 in the morning and didn't get home from school that night until almost 11. At 23, I was three days post-op after a patient had beaten the living daylights out of me. That was also the day the doctors told Dan I needed to get out of nursing. At 25, I was in the hospital again--only my newborn was struggling to live (Yes, my daughter's birthday is the day before mine.) Only my 29th birthday was okay--I think I only had to go to court for wrecking a police car that day.

    Best: My 48th--Dan took me to Disney World. It was the first vacation we'd taken after the girls had headed off to college. It was like being on our honeymoon again!

    And I will say I'm a bit nervous about this year's birthday--I turn 50 on Sept. 28th and I'm dreading it. First time that I've actually realized that I'm getting older! So every ache and pain makes me wonder if I'm dying or something. Silly but true.

  6. My goodness, Patty!! Sounds like you've had some crazy birthdays!! :)