Today is my birthday. I am 38. I am 2 years away from 40. I am 12 years away from 50.

It feels very weird to write that because I do not feel 38. I don’t even really feel 30. And yet, 38 years ago today, I was born. According to the stories, I came very close to being born in the elevator at the hospital because my mother, for some ungodly reason, decided to clean and wax the kitchen floor while she was in labor with me, waiting for my Dad to wake up. And we’re not talking about sprinkling a little Mop ‘N Glo on the floor. Oh, not my Mom. This is on your hands and knees, using the scrub brush.

Apparently I also, when only a day old, managed to scoot myself across the bed while both Mom and the nurse had their backs turned.

I don’t remember very much of my childhood. I do know that I was reading by the time I was four, thanks to Mom. Although because of her teaching me how to read and not understanding how vowels really work, I have always had a slight problem with pronounciation. Imagine being 13 and telling your older brother that he is maLINEing your good name when the pronounciation is actually maLINGing (and yes, the correct spelling is maligning, I am aware of that). Once he stopped laughing, he was quite impressed that I knew what the word meant.*

This is the same brother (Ric) who asked me at a family reunion (the same year) this question.

Ric: Why are you walking Barefoot in the Park?
DM: Because I find Splendor in the Grass.

This is the first year in I don’t know how many that I did not suffer from depression when approaching my birthday. This is in part thanks to the wonderful, wonderful drug Effexor.

Another reason is because I have eschewed the company of someone who would, every year on March 1st, start asking me “Dana, you’re going to be (insert age here). What have you done with your life? Have you accomplished anything?” And I would feel completely worthless as a human being. This person no longer has any power over my life or my mind and I thank God for that.

But the main reason is because I have friends like Beth and Keem who enjoy my company and make every day a celebration of friendship and love and happiness. And that, quite frankly, is the best birthday present any girl could ever have.

*Robert-Marlene commented that I had pronounced it correctly the first time. Which made me realize that, oops, I had actually put it in here wrong. I was the one that pronounced it MaLINGing. But if I change it now, no one will know what he was talking about.

Previous Comments:

At 2:38 PM, Robert ~ Marlénè said…
Happy happy birthday! I have also failed to feel quite my age… I can’t even seem to dress appropriately for my age. But I figure, if I can get away with looking and acting and thinking I’m 29, then more power to me… and to you! Many happy returns of the day!
At 2:47 PM, Robert ~ Marlénè said…
PS: You pronounced “maligning” correctly the first time. The G is silent and hardens the I. See here (an excellent resource for language). Perhaps your brother thought you accused him of “malingering,” which looks similar and has a pronounced G but means something entirely different. So saith your Grammar Fairy, who also learned to read at four but didn’t figure out until five that some letters are silent (“coh-mee hee-ree, Jaynee” etc).
At 11:05 PM, The Lioness said…
Well fuck me, I missed it!!! Bloody hell, when did it stop being the 13??? I was going to gloat bcs I was the first to say Happy Birthday today! Well I am, HA. Only it’s the wrong day. HELL!!!!DM dahling, I truly am sorry, even had the mobile set up to remind me, grovelling I am – PARABÉNS, may you count many many MANY more! here’s mud in your eye.SMOOOOOOOOCH! Johnny
At 11:49 AM, Firebear said…
hAPPY BIRTHDAY! aND TO THINK i WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU. sAW A COUPLE GREEN DUCKIES AT THE LOCAL FAMILY DOLLAR STORE!

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