Today is my birthday and I'm feeling a bit petulant about the number of meetings I have to attend at work. They run from late morning through early afternoon, which means no birthday lunch. This is, of course, completely unacceptable.
Even though I am now in my late thirties, I cannot foresee a day when I will cease to anticipate and enjoy my birthday. I can't begin to identify with people who say, "Oh, I don't even pay attention to my birthdays anymore."
What? How could you not care about your birthday?!? It's the one day of every year that's all about you! Everyone honors the day you made your appearance on the earth, wishes you well, buys you meals and drinks (if you're lucky), gives you nice gifts (if you're really lucky) and generally acknowledges that the day is yours.
When my birthday is coming up, I make sure everyone knows it. I start the helpful Birthday Countdown for my family, friends and co-workers. "Hmm," I'll say thoughtfully, "It's June 7th. This time next month, it'll be my birthday."
On my actual birthday, I'll mention it in passing to everyone I encounter. "Thanks for the cafe mocha," I'll say, then remark casually, "What a great way to start my birthday! ...A free blueberry scone? Oh, I couldn't...well, I...okay!"
It's the day I unleash my rampaging Birthday Girl id to shout, "Put ME out! I'M on fire!" It's okay - my Older and Wiser Girl superego can make any necessary apologies in the morning.
It probably helps that I couldn't care less what age I am. Sure, I notice the grey hairs and crows' feet and the fact that I'm one of the oldest people in my office. Still, the number itself is pretty meaningless. Just keep the cake and ice cream coming and everything will be fine...