News Alert: For anyone who is not already aware of this, I am a little bit crazy. Yeah, yeah, we’re all a little bit crazy, it’s what makes us great. But I may be a little more crazy than your average Mama on the street (then again, this is Asheville, and I may not). Don’t get me wrong. We’re not talking like Charles Manson crazy or Susan Smith crazy or even homeless-guy-talking-to-himself crazy. But I admit it, I’m just a little bit crazy. I’m more like slight social anxiety, road-raging, over-emotional, big mouth crazy. I definitely have foot-in-mouth disease. I tell ya, it causes the worst stutter. (Don’t worry, I’ve got a good man who knows me very well and loves me anyway, so I won’t be let loose on the world anytime soon.)
The particular “crazy” that we’re talking about tonight is my annual birthday angst. The damn thing is coming around again in two days and so I figured we’d go ahead and get it all out in the open so that if I have a nervous breakdown and end up institutionalized for a while, and not being able to write, at least you guys will know why. Because my audience is so vast that surely it would be noticed, right? Okay, okay so I’m slightly delusional and the only people who would notice would be my kids, when I didn’t show up to pick them up on time. [Hubbo says that’s an unfair statement, that he and my mother both would notice within at least a few hours, or maybe a day. I guess that’s something.]
So, back to the birthday angst. It’s something that started sometime in my mid-twenties. I started to really not like my birthday and it seemed to get worse every year. Truth be told, it has been a lot better since I’ve gotten into my thirties. However, the last few birthdays of my twenties were each getting progressively worse. The culmination was my 29th birthday, which I spent, 9 months pregnant, sitting cross-legged on my front porch, sobbing. I was fat, I was hot and worst of all, I was OLD! It was a horrible day, really. Hubby tried to make it better for me. He organized a surprise dinner with friends and tried, unsuccessfully, all day to cheer me up. He bought me flowers, he rubbed my back, he told me I was beautiful. I was nine months pregnant, 200 pounds, sweating my ass off (y’all know how I feel about sweat) in the mid-summer heat. He could have been telling me that I was not only the most gorgeous girl in the world but that he would rather gouge his eyes out than look at another woman (not that I’d want him to do that or anything) and I still would have hated him. Ladies, if you are sensitive about the aging process at all, I do not recommend being nine months pregnant on your birthday. Especially if your birthday is in the summer.
I was miserable. My arms were the size that my thighs used to be before I got pregnant. I waddled everywhere I went. I spent hours sitting on the floor of the porch, because it was a lot better than attempting to roll my big ol’ round ass back into a standing position. Yeah, it sucked. And it was my birthday. I would have been miserable enough already, without all of the added pregnancy joy. Why do I hate my birthday so? Oh who knows, really? Maybe it stems from some subconscious memory from my childhood when I was disappointed by my birthday present (I’m about to get a phone call from my mother, “What gift were you disappointed by?”), or maybe it’s from some lost long ago asshole who forgot, or most likely it comes from the fact that I am not growing old gracefully. While I admit that there are several things about myself that I feel have certainly improved over the years, pretty much everything on the inside, for example. The outside simply isn’t holding up as well. We’ve already covered my current body issues, no need to rehash them for this entry. So, let’s just say that I work in the Beauty business for a reason and that for most problems there is a serum, cream or gel that will “improve” it. As Dolly Parton once said “If I see something saggin`, baggin` or dragin`, I`m gonna have it nipped, tucked or sucked.” While I am a big wuss who most likely will never voluntarily go under the knife (although we will leave that option open), I can certainly cleanse, tone and moisturize!
**This post was written over two days. From this point in the post, my birthday is now tomorrow.**
This whole getting older thing, it just doesn’t sit well with me. I told you that in my head I’m still somewhere between sixteen and twenty-one. It can be hard sometimes to feel very young on the inside and then look in the mirror and be greeted by your thirty-something year old self. Come to think of it, there aren’t very many mirrors in my house. Hmmm, interesting Watson. Anyway, I don’t know what I expect to see when I look in the mirror anymore. You’d think that I would have gotten used to it by now. Even though there aren’t many of them in my house, I do look in a mirror everyday. It’s not that I expect to see something totally different and am shocked when I see myself. It’s more of just a little surprised. ‘Oh yeah! That’s what I look like!’ I wonder if I will always have that tiny expectation that it’ll be sixteen year old me in the mirror. Or as I age, will my expectation age with me? Like, when I’m fifty will I still think it will be 16-year-old me, or will I start to hope to see 30-year-old me in the mirror? I may have just really freaked myself out with that thought…
So, I’m going to put away my birthday angst for today. We’ll see if I’ll still be able to that tomorrow. I’m going to go get ready for work and have a perfectly normal, thirty-two year old day. Hopefully, this year I will be able to face my fear of age a little easier. Hopefully, this year I will learn to accept my thirty-three year old self with a little more grace and maturity. Hopefully, this year I will remember more often that it is not my outside that makes me who I am. And hopefully, this year I will grow more and more comfortable with the face that looks back at me from the mirror. But if the shit hits the fan tomorrow and I go stark raving, birthday crazy, I’ll be sure to document it so that you guys don’t miss out on any of the fun!