Each year, my wife asks what I want to eat and I say, “pizza” in an excited tone as if I hadn’t eaten it in 364 days.
After the ’za, my son repeatedly sticks his fingers in the birthday cake icing and licks it off them.
Then my daughter asks to sing “Happy Birthday” over and over so she can blow out the candles over and over.
The cake, always a Betty Crocker cherry chip, would taste even better if the little bit of icing my son left wasn’t covered with so much wax from lighting the candles 17.3 times.
I believe that is where the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” originated. The person who coined the phrase had kids.
I end up eating too much pizza and cake, because it’s my birthday, dammitt, and I won’t be deprived or limited.
Despite the pending nap and indigestion, I wouldn't trade birthday celebrations with my family for the world.
I’d gladly give up the getting older part though.
Because aging sucks with the force of the Dyson V8 absolute cordless vacuum in overdrive.
I wear more plaid than my father did, have large swaths of grey in my beard, and grow easily impatient with tasks like programming the TV remote or trying to put the car clock ahead an hour.
I care more about personal debt than ever, I go to bed at the same time I once left to go clubbing, and I nap easily during the supper hour news.
I also find my body aches in parts I never knew existed and I’m more prone to all sorts of crap, like gout and having my big toe swell to the size of Prince Edward Island.
How did I go from the guy with the mullet in the tight jeans and black T-shirt playing Van Halen’s “Eruption” on air guitar to the follicle-free middle-ager in khakis who likes podcasts and audio books?
Seriously, how did that happen? And so quickly?
I sure didn’t see it coming. I never wanted to grow up (many will argue I haven’t).
But here I am.
And it’s just well as to embrace it, to remind myself that age is a number, that old is a state of mind which doesn’t have to be a state of mine.
So I’m going to have as much fun as my wife and the Trudeau government will allow on my birthday, and in the days that follow.
Join me, and make this the year we don’t act our age, the year we take back the attitude and energy of our youth.
Geez, we don’t even have to ask our parents for the car keys or permission to stay out late anymore!
Oh, and just because I’m celebrating a birthday this week, there’s no need to send a gift. At this point of my life, I prefer cash.
Steve Bartlett is an editor with TC Media. He dives into the Deep End each Monday to escape reality and bank telemarketers. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.