On Birthdays (mine, specifically)

Tomorrow, I turn thirty-seven. I’m particularly excited about it.

Now, I’m typically excited about birthdays – that prospect of newness, that feeling of standing at the cusp of limitless space, that sea of possibilities. (Except twenty-nine. Turning twenty-nine sucked immensely. In retrospect, I think that twenty-nine – as an age, as a concept – can go screw itself) Anyway. In general, I like the age that I am, and always have. It has never occurred to me to lie about my age or to pretend myself older or younger. I’m proud of every blessed day I’ve had on this earth, and I will wear them like a badge.

Still, there’s something significant about the step between thirty-six and thirty-seven.

When I turned thirty-six, I was ridiculously thrilled about it because thirty-six is a unified number – a square that is also the product of squares. It is solid, amenable, and sure-footed. It gets along well with others. Thirty-six is wide hips and floured hands and words spoken carefully at a PTA meeting. Thirty-six carries weight. It fits into pre-existing groves and keeps things moving along. Thirty-six is a team player. It is an integral piece. Thirty-six is an age that isn’t likely to get kicked around. And while it hasn’t been perfect, I’m very happy with thirty-six. All in all, it’s been a good, good year.


Thirty-seven. Thirty-seven is prime. It cannot be cut, diced or broken. Thirty-seven is a singularity. It asserts itself, announces itself, and does not bow. Thirty-seven accepts its edges – sharp, jagged, and lovely. Thirty-seven resists classification. It is shadowed, inscrutable, and vaguely dangerous. Thirty-seven is both promise and sting; it is a curve and a blade; a beacon, a comfort, and a threat. I think I’m going to enjoy this age.

Yes. I think I’m going to enjoy it very much.


3 thoughts on “On Birthdays (mine, specifically)

  1. Finally, I can stop trying to guess your age. You are youthful enough in appearance and spirit to pass as less than thirty, yet when you describe everything you’ve done in your life the estimation creeps into the eighties. See, you don’t even need to lie about it.

    • Oh, he is sweet, but he liiiiiies, ladies and gentlemen! Indeed he does. Let me be clear: I didn’t pass as less than thirty when I *was* less than thirty.

      (and by the way, how did you not know how old I was, Nick? I thought we had this conversation already. I’m thirty-six for another two and a half hours. Better live it up. Now where did I put that champagne….)

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