I have another of those non-milestone birthdays coming up soon. I will turn 20 on Tuesday. 20 is not much of a big deal. I get to change the digit in the "tens" column of my age. Isn't that so incredibly exciting that I'm practically having a tonic-clonic seizure over it?
Actually, the answer to that is no. There is absolutely no excitement that I can discern that is associated with changing th numeral in the "tens" column of my age. No new privileges will come with turning 20. No magic changes will happen to me. My braces will still be there when I wake up on Tuesday morning and look at myself in the mirror as I brush my teeth. I'll still be a stick figure.
The only significant thing about my particular birthday whatsoever, and the significance of it is so old that it is no longer relevant, is that had I Matthew and I been born a few hours later, we would have missed California's kindergarten cut-off date and would be one year behind where we presently are in school. Some parents would have kept us out of kindergarten for the year anyway because I was so undersized and Matthew had all the common sense of a fruit fly, but since we could already read, my parents chose to send us off to kindergarten anyway. I don't know if they regret that decision or not. I wouldn't be in the situation I'll be in on Tuesday night if I were still an undergrad, but would I be any happier? Probably not.
My pseudoaunt's birthday is tomorrow. We have a long-standing tradition of meeting the day between our birthdays to celebrate both of our days. Her brother is flying home on a charter flight on Monday morning, and she offered to bring the baby and fly to my school to celebrate with me, but I told her I don't want her to come. Her baby is only 30 days old tomorrow. I know babies fly all the time, and it's at least not a commercial flight, but I would feel horrible if he got an earache because he took a totally unnecessary flight. Jillian called me a martyr. Scott said it's a sign that I'm growing up when I'm willing to put someone else's interests ahead of my own.
There's a tradition that the other members of the class take the class member with a birthdy and buy him or her just enough beer to get a buzz, but not roaring drunk. Of course that tradition doesn't apply to me since i cannot legally enter bar, muchless drink beer there. In theory it doesn't apply to Matthew, either, but he could easily walk into just about any bar and order a beer without anyone giving him a second glance. He'll probably go out for a few beers with the group. At least I already know I don't like beer, so I know I'm not missing anything really special.
The only real consolation to any of this is that the acne fairy has yet to pay me a visit. My mom tells me I should be more grateful for that than I am. She actually brought it up at the table at Thanksgiving dinner in front of the entire group of people in attendance, totally humiliating me in the process. Was she ever almost 20? Why doesn't she remember more about what it was like, and how someone this age doesn't like having attention called to physical attributes. Even calling attention to one's few positive traits is only a back-door way of referencing the negative ones -- the ones I supposedly shouldn't be dwelling on.
I decided I'm not babysitting because it's truly pathetic to have so little in common with everyone around you that the only think you can find to do on your birthday is to babysit. Even if you're doing nothing but staring at the walls, it's still better thn having anyone else know that you're babysitting on your birthday.Timmy said he would take me out to dinner except that he has to work. He said on his next night off, which will be God knows when, he'll take me to dinner.
Next year, when I turn 21, I'm going to a bar even if I have to go by myself. I'll get significantly drunk, but not so intoxicated that I will risk alcohol poisoning.
This post probably reads like I'm begging people to tell me "happy birthday" when the day comes in 1 1/2 days, but that's really not the issue. It's more of a snapshot of where I am at this particular moment in my life.