I don't like birthdays because they are artificial reasons to celebrate. I mean, who cares if I was a year older yesterday? I certainly don't like it and I won't be swayed by my friends and acquaintances who talk of aging gracefully. Please. Who ages gracefully?
Sure, if you have an assistant with really great eyeballs or maybe those miner head-light things that magnify stuff, you won't ever find that stray hair or ten on your chin, the ones that popped up just this morning. I can't afford that crap and I don't plan to. I'd rather just sit at red lights, resist the draw of my iPhone, and try to pluck the offending hairs out of my chin myself when I think no one else is looking.
I think I told you a story a few years ago about going to get a root canal on one of my canine teeth for lack of a better description--the roots suffered in high school during a hectic and rather dramatic orthodontic spring that they placed there to bring the fangs down in about a week, anyway--so, I was on my way and last minute I remembered that the endodontist was quite the looker, and being on the later side of 40, I took my right hand and cupped my chin like men do who have beards and whoops! Two good strong whiskers were there, right under my fingertips.
Long story short, they were so short and my eyesight wasn't so good that I dug into my chin so instensely that I settled into the dentist's chair with a big hole on my chin and a couple of whiskers still very intact and poking out like cactus spine poker things.
I recall that my mother didn't like her birthday, either. I have two pictures of her making faces and hand gestures at the camera. One was on her 40th. The other was a little later and I won't say which one it was because, first, I don't remember, and second, she wouldn't want you to know that she was old enough to care.
But I miss her. She's been gone now for nine years.
And it is funny: I always tried to envision her as an old(er) woman and I never could.
It is so hard to reconcile these sad feelings with the very feelings she used to display that I never understood. I hope that I don't teach Girlfriend this stuff.
But I did show her how to properly eat an oyster.
My hope is that she becomes as bad-ass as I think she is, rather than someone who doesn't like birthdays.