Another year older and…uh…something…I forget

Usually we determine our age by the obvious signs: wrinkles, gray hairs, our tendency to find America’s Funniest Videos funny
(those shots to the crotch are a hoot!) But nothing indicates you’re getting on in years than when you open the cupboard searching for a tupperware container and find last Saturday night’s spaghetti and meatballs inside one of them. Great. I’m senile and out leftovers.

I’m only in my early 40s, so this doesn’t bode well for my 60s (or mid-40s for that matter). Thank god my husband is the same age as me. We can combine our individual feeble minds together to form one super powerhouse of a feeble mind. Between the two of us, we might be okay.

“Honey? Have you seen my socks?”
“Did ya check your sock drawer?”
“Um…okay. Nope, no socks! But I found your hairbrush, the car keys and a half-eaten doughnut.”
“Oh, cool! Bonus. I’ve been looking for those!”
“But where are my–what was I looking for again?”
“Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house eating my doughnut?”

See? We’ve got it covered.

This growing old thing is so relentless. My birthday is coming up. Again. It seems no matter what I do, how much I denial I steep myself in or how many times I beg Superman to fly around the Earth backward, it continues to show up, year after year. Okay! I get it! I was born. Yes, I think we can all agree that I did in fact happen to come into existence  in this dimension on that very day some 40-something years ago. But it’s the reminder that I am also one year closer to death that tends to bring the party down.

I try to devert attention every year. I pray that my birthday will be lost in the shuffle of all the other hundreds of birthdays in the same month. People insist on bringing it up nonetheless.

Husband: Good morning, honey! Happy birthday!
Me: Huh? What? Oh, no. That’s not until next week. Yeah.
Husband: I could’ve sworn today was Monday (checks calendar) Yup, it’s Monday! Happy birth-
Me: No, it’s Raquel Welch’s birthday. And Bob Newhart’s! Remember that killer ending in Newhart when he was in bed with his old  TV show’s wife? Hoo-boy! That was hysterical! And-
Husband: Happy birthday!
Me: (runs off in tears)

I can hear you, dear older-than-me reader, now. But you’re still so young! Why, I’m 135 and I’d love to be your age again! Besides, you’re only as old as you feel! Age is just a number! You’re really 41 years young!

Ask anyone over 35 and they will tell you they don’t “feel” their actual age. My mom is 77 and she still feels like she’s the same 35 year old woman. Most days I feel like I’m 19. Granted I’m not still living in my parent’s basement with a futon and a milk crate for a nightstand, but I can convince myself that I still have that inner youthful glow (mostly inner).  I suppose the number doesn’t matter. Which leads me to my earlier point, why celebrate my birthday? Nothing’s changed. I’m still me on the inside. The only difference worth noting is the older I get, the more senile I am and the less I give a crap about anything or what anyone else thinks. Best birthday present ever.

My daughter, bless her little heart, still thinks birthdays are a great thing.  She’s been telling me my birthday is coming up for about four months now. She informed me that we should celebrate it at Chuck E. Cheese. “C’mon, Mommy! Ya wanna? Please, let’s have your party at Chuck E. Cheeeese! Pleeeease! Ya wanna?” I just pat her on the head and whisper, “Why, no, sweetie. Mommy pretty much wants the exact opposite of Chuck E. Cheese, but thanks for the suggestion.” Gone are the days when balloons, bad pizza and a mutant mouse did it for me.

What would be my ideal birthday? Sitting on the couch alone, curled up in a blanket, sipping wine and watching a Mad Men marathon. And no one ever mentions I’m another year older. But if you must, just yell out, “Happy You’re Still Alive Day!” That is worth celebrating.

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57 thoughts on “Another year older and…uh…something…I forget

  1. In my family (the one I was born into, not the one with my husband), a birthday is a handy excuse for a party. We don’t give a rat’s patootie about the number of years. What we focus on is the getting together with friends to share some drink and munchies and have a good time visiting with people we don’t see often enough.

    Sorry, I don’t understand that focus on getting closer to death, thing. A birthday is to celebrate coming into (and being in) this world (just think back to how excited you were on the days when each of your kids was born). Why would a person choose to focus on dying, when they could have a swinging party and celebrate living?

    So, as you are becoming more experienced and wise in this world, I will wish you a very happy birthday.

  2. Here here, M2M!

    Birthdays are to be celebrated, Darla. Come on …. you can do it! If you want to divert the attention from you, then I have a suggestion….
    Send your Mom flowers, and thank her for getting pregnant (again) and giving birth to you. After all, it was all her hard work that brought you here. Spend the day celebrating your Mom… then sit and enjoy a Mad Men marathon, because really – that sounds super.

  3. John Erickson

    It’s the little things. My wife was trying to sharpen one of her art pencils, a real soft graphite one. Her traditional rotary sharpener kept breaking off the tip. I took the thing, and started to whittle the tip off – a purely instinctual reaction. When I saw the questioning look, I explained how you whittle a soft pencil, adding it was what I learned in drafting class. In sophomore year of high school. Over 30 years ago.
    I’ve been out of high school for 30 years this past June.
    RATS!!! 😀
    So, Happy birthday, or Happy Alive Another Year Day, or Happy Glad-I-Found-You-In-This-Insanity-Pit-Called-Wordpress Day.
    And if you can say that last one in one breath, you are NOT old! 😉
    “The world turns another round, the stars travel through their paths.
    “Billions of lights, billions of grains of sand, billions of people.
    “Yet only one you, and this rare treasure I have found.
    “So celebrate your birthday, but it’s me that got the present!” 🙂

    1. You always make me laugh, John. My 25th high school reunion is coming up (not that I’m counting…numbers don’t matter, right??) RATS!
      I love “this-insanity-pit-called-wordpress”. Well said, my friend.

  4. Happy birthday!! You don’t write a day over 25.

    This post had me giggling all the way through (especially the dialogue with your husband). I noticed the same thing about America’s Funniest Home Videos, LOL!

  5. Hi,
    Had to laugh, I liked the “where are my socks” I’m pretty sure this happens in a lot of households around the world. 😀
    I love celebrating Birthdays, it’s great we usually get all Friends and Family together and have a barbie, have a few laughs. Celebrate that you made it through another year in this weird and wonderful world in which we live. 🙂

    1. Mags, I’m sure the socks saga plays out in many homes each day. We must all unite in our feeble mindedness! I agree that celebrating I am with my friends and family is all I need. I don’t need to be reminded how old I’m getting, it doesn’t matter.

  6. At my age, I don’t think of it as being forgetful. I just blame it on the fact that my mental hard drive is full. So if I truly want to remember where I put my car keys, I have to ditch the mental note to pick up hubby’s clothes from the dry cleaners…

  7. If I were you, I’d really play it up. When someone asks how you’re doing, just growl back and say, “Well, I’m on the top side of the grass. That ought to count for something.” But you have to say it in your best Grumpier Old Men voice.

    1. Ooh! Great idea! I can do a mean growl! 🙂 By the time I’m in my 50s I should be well on my way to being ornery as hell! There really should be a Grumpier Old Women movie, I’d be all over that. 🙂

  8. I’m a lot older than you are, Darla, and even I can remember that leftover spaghetti goes in the coat closet, just to the left of the salad bowls and right in front of the lawnmower. But I think you nailed it with this line: “I’m still me on the inside.” Other than that, it’s just another trip around the sun. Have a great birthday.

  9. I know you so don’t want to hear it, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    There, I said it.

    My husband celebrated his birthday on Monday. 40 years old. It was very low-key — for his 30th I threw him a huge surprise party. Somehow 40 begs to be forgotten. Kidding! I know it’s mean, but I’m happy I don’t have to face the hurdle yet. It’s a milestone that makes you THINK, A LOT. ABOUT LIFE and MORTALITY and YOUTH and AGE and…..

    Happy Birthday! I will shut up now.

    1. Why thank you, Christy! Forty was a big milestone for me. I celebrated it, I’ll admit. But 41? Sheesh. Nine years until I’m 50?! Good lord. (at least my ability to count hasn’t faded) And if the average life expectancy for a woman is 80 well, damn, I am well into the next half of my life. I had my chance at having that big mid-life crisis last year and blew it so I figure THIS year, it’s time.

  10. I’m with Margie. Except I’m so old I think of it as my filing cabinet being full. My incredible brain is crammed so full with fabulous knowledge that I just can’t put my finger on any one file at any given time. But it’s all still in there – yessiree, Bob.

    What was I talking about?

  11. Very funny post, Darla. I’m right there with you on having the mind slipping a little. I keep mixing up the fabric softener sheets with the Swiffer sheets. Did you know that fabric softener does not pick up dustballs on the floor, nor do Swiffers make your laundry cling-free? Why do I insist on keeping those two boxes side-by-side?

    Enjoy your birthday for your daughter’s sake!

    1. I was motivated to clean the windows, but out of window cleaner last week, so I made a special trip into town to get it. Instead of Windex, I bought the generic blue liquid in the identical squirt bottle right next to it. Got home and started spraying. The stuff dried really fast, left tons of streaks – lousy! Turns out it wasn’t window cleaner, just all-purpose cleaner.

      I feel stupid. Are they trying to confuse us?

      1. I do believe they are trying to confuse us. Course, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that you were motivated to clean windows. Wish I had that get-up-and-go attitude. Too bad they look even worse now. 😉

    2. Thanks, Susan, I surely will…if only for my daughter’s sake. 😀 Your story reminds me of the time I made a huge pot of chili with cinnamon instead of chili powder. In my defense they were in the exact same style container AND both started with the letter C so I can’t be held accountable for my horrible tasting chili, right?

  12. Val

    Happy belated birthday for whenever it will be. 😉 I have a vague recollection of my forties… I think. That was quite a while ago (for ‘while’ substitute, oh…. about two decades). As Charles (bronxboy55) says – it’s just another trip around the sun. Throw away the calendar and have a celebration when you feel like it. Oh and eat lots of stuff you want (my choice is cake with cream filling).

  13. Happy Birthday! This post is great because now you can conveniently “forget” things and we’ll all believe it’s the memory-gone-with-age thing . . . you should have posted more examples so you’d have the excuse down pat 🙂

  14. So I was looking for my glasses the other day and found them…on my nose. Very funny post…a humorous look at “memory-nonmemory lane.”
    Thank goodness I was born in a year that ends in 0. That way I can easily do the math and remember. Now my husband was born in an odd year…just can’t get the hang of him being x years older than me depending on the month.
    About that birthday… “Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the music.”

    1. I hear you, Georgette. Not only does both my husband and my birthday year end in 0 (and they’re only one month apart) but our wedding anniversary is the best date ever. We will never forget it: April 15th 2000. Nothing says romance like taxes!

  15. John Erickson

    Well, in the line of forgetting where your glasses were, I’ll give you my example. I was standing next to the car after we got home yesterday, frantic my hat had blown out of the car. The same hat that was clutched, quite securely, in my left hand while I pawed through the car with my right.
    See? That old phrase “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” ain’t just for politicians anymore…..

      1. John Erickson

        It gets worse. VH1 just told me that the Eighties are “history” they need to educate me about.
        I LIVED IN THE FREAKIN’ 80’S! I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE, STARTED WORKING, AND GOT ENGAGED IN THE 80’S!! I DON’T NEED NO FREAKIN’ EDUCATION!!!!
        Okay, got that off my chest. If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom getting my Geritol and shaving my ears. :p

      2. Geritol and ear-shaving? Sounds like a lovely way to spend the long holiday weekend. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, John. 😉

        I told my son that not only was I alive when MTV was “invented”, but I was twelve years old and his eyes get real big and he yells, “Na-uh! No way!” And I said, “Why,yes son, it was 30 years ago when I saw the very first music video. We gathered around the cable box and I actually had to get up and walk across the room to change the channel. imagine that! It was a trying time in those early days, but we managed. And I was in high school when I bought my first CD. Still had mostly cassette tapes. I had to actually rewind the tape to listen to my favorite song again. (this is where my son looks at me like I have three heads) Lord, we sure did struggle back then!” I was even around when people still had 8-tracks for god’s sake. sigh…

      3. John Erickson

        😀 I’ll see your 8-track player, call you with 2 of my own, and raise you the 8-track recorder my father still has. That, and the special needle for his turntable to cut your own records.
        And they didn’t have CDs when I was in high school. Not until college. :p 😉

      4. John Erickson

        I’m not sure. And who the heck are you? And even more importantly, who the heck am I? (Wait, don’t answer that last one, I somehow feel safer not knowing….)

  16. Okay, this is a little weird. I just read your post and found it hysterical, and when I went to write a comment, I found I had already read it an commented on it. I thought it sounded a little familiar. LOL! Do I fit the profile, or what!

    1. Ha ha ha! You crack me up, Susan. Well, I think you’ve proven my point (I’m still not clear on what that point was but….)

      And I do believe I have done that before. This doesn’t bode well. What’s next? Forgetting I wrote my own post? That’s when I pack it in.

  17. Cocktails of History and Prose

    You always have such great posts! My bday was a few weeks ago. I’m 36 but the lines around my eyes say I am much older (you can’t tell by my gravitar but trust me…San Andreas fault.) That morning I pulled a white hair out of my eyebrow, it had my youngest son’s name etched into it. I really noticed the line thing on a pic I got with Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra. I posted it on my twitter, its bad. I have a horizontal crease between my eyebrows and I look like Frodo’s much shorter cousin. Now, if that doesn’t say blond-bombshell I don’t know what does. 🙂

    1. John Erickson

      Cocktails- If anything, the lines on your face make you even more beautiful. I’ll gladly second any nomination of you for blonde bombshell! 😀
      (Besides, you still have hair, among which to find a white one. Hair for me is but a distant memory…..)

    2. I highly doubt that you look anything near the San Andreas fault by the looks of your picture!

      “That morning I pulled a white hair out of my eyebrow, it had my youngest son’s name etched into it”
      This line killed me! That sums it up for me, too. I noticed three gray hairs sticking out of the very front of head, near my part (and they are always this lovely wiry, brillo pad texture, you ever notice that?) and my friends suggested I yank them, but damn I am too old and lazy and afraid of pain to do that. 😛

      And Frodo’s much shorter cousin had me HOWLING! oh, thank you for that because I can relate. Actually, I can top that–I have three huge long lines across my forehead AND the Frodo crease between the eyes. Oh and bigger bags than Paris Hilton’s luggage under them. 😀

  18. I am with you on the birthdays. I never like them. I silently pray they will pass and no one will notice… Senile sounds scary, I think about that… They say you should do brain exercises like crossword puzzles and regularly use your head. I tend to stay quite far from using my head at most times. It remains frazzled and all over. But give it a shot. Either way, I always tell myself, be thankful for the extra year older. Some ppl just aren’t that lucky. Some people just don’t get to watch their kids grow up and have kids of their own.

    Sometimes that helps me realize the right way to look at things and sometimes it just doesn’t work. Getting old is not easy. But you, you are are not old. Enjoy the life now and enjoy your kids!!!!

    1. Well said! I think some of my forgetfulness isn’t due to getting old, but more because I have kids. With each kid I do believe one third of a mom’s brain cells die and/or is replaced by Dora the Explorer tunes. So I try to keep things active up there in the ol’ noggin’. I think blogging helps. I love to write and it helps me stay sane and not as senile.

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