Tomorrow is my birthday.
I guess what that really means is that I have successfully gone 365 more days without something shuffling me off this mortal coil. When you think about it, that is a quite an accomplishment. There are thousands of ways I could have died this year, but I escaped them all.
Did you know that four people are killed every year by bear attacks? Not this guy. I managed to slide by every single bear I saw unscathed. 450 people are killed every year by falling out of bed. I not only managed to not be killed by a bed related fall, but I successfully stayed in and on beds all year without a single incident to report. I was not one of the 13 people killed by vending machines or the 150 people killed by falling coconuts. I guess you could say it was a pretty good year.
That may seem like a very dark way to view birthdays, but to be honest I have never fully understood the appeal of birthdays. Aside from the cake, nothing really has ever made me that excited to celebrate. To me, it has always seemed like just another day. Actually, slightly better than another day. Remember, cake makes any day better.
I took tomorrow off of work. This was not in honor of my birthday, but it was because I found an optometrist with a last-minute opening. In fact, when I was speaking with the lovely receptionist at the vision center I was calling, I did not even think about my birthday for a second while accepting this position. I do not know what it says about me that I only took the day off to have a stranger shine a light in my eyes while asking me to read a series of letters on a distant wall, but I would bet that a good therapist would have a few interesting thoughts to share about this.
This is not to say that I do not appreciate people recognizing my birthday. In fact, I am very thankful to those who take time out to make sure I feel appreciated on this day. If it was not for those people, though, I would absolutely forget that my birthday even existed except for a passing thought every March 27th when I would say, “Wait… today is something…”
This thought baffles my wife. When I begin to express this idea to her, she is always dumbfounded.
“How can you not care about your birthday? That is the one day of the year that you can make all about you,” she says. I, naturally, point out that, if I wanted to, I could make every single day all about me. People may not be as willing to play along with narcissistic tendencies on any other day, but if I wanted to, I could darn well have them.
I guess this is just another example of curmudgeonly behavior. Tomorrow, though, I have told myself I will put away all of my wet blanket mannerisms and have a great day. Maybe I will go buy a box of sugary cereal and eat as much of it as I want while I watch whatever I want on TV as close to the screen as I want to sit. I know that is what 10-year-old Nathan thought that I would be doing at this point of my life. The point is, I am going to make sure it is a fantastic day.
You know, except for the part with the optometrist. I am pretty sure I cannot make that any fun.