As a child, however, having a December birthday was almost like not having one. Each and every year, I’d be handed a birthday-Christmas present from my various aunts or cousins.
“Here is your birthday and Christmas present Angel, I hope you like it.”
And before I could say anything, my mother would poke me in the back and encourage me to “say thank you for the nice present.”
Although the words, “thank you,” would come out of my mouth, in my head they’d be followed with...”Thank you for nothing. I’ll be sure to remind my mom to get your kid nothing for her birthday this July. Instead we’ll send her a card that says ‘Happy birthday. Remember your Christmas present? Surprise, that was your birthday present, too.’”
I’m pretty sure that’s the reason for my mother’s poke in the ribs and, if I’m honest, the pinch, too.
And as with many things in life, out of pure spite grew the inspiration to make my birthday the best day ever. Since those early days, I’ve taken it upon myself to not only celebrate the day of my birth, but the week and month, too. I usually start right around Thanksgiving when all my family is gathered, with “does anybody know what happens next month?”
And with that, both my brother and Brody’s eyes immediately roll, as they know the festivities have begun. I’ve structured my birthday to be celebrated much like Hanukah. Small presents are to be given each and every day, leading up to the big day, when cake, hats and streamers are required.
And although my numerical age has been inching higher, I haven’t really felt any older.
That is, I didn’t...until last week. While at the doctor’s office for my yearly check-up, the nurse took my blood pressure reading, and I noticed she was looking at a cheat sheet of sorts. Categorized by age brackets – there next to each age bracket was the normal range of blood pressure.
50 and older
“Where am I on that?” I asked.
“Oh, you are perfectly normal,” she said.
“No, not that, I mean on your little death chart. It says I’m one row away from end.”
“Well,” she said uncomfortably, “I never thought of it that way. But well,” followed with uncomfortable laughter from the 24 year old who had at least five rows to go.
And for the first time, it hit me. I’m getting old. Not just “ha, ha – look at my grey hair old” but instead – “uh-oh, you will probably die soon old.”
I am now officially one rung away from the big house in the sky.
Which reminds me, my shoe size is a 7, I prefer gold over silver, my favorite flower is lily, and I like anything sweet.
If I’ve only got a few of these birthdays left, it’s no time to be bashful.
Comments? Email Angel Kane at [email protected] Becky Andrews and Kane are the brains behind Telling Tales, a weekly column in The Democrat.