THE FROG POND - Birthdays And Other Burdens

(03/04/2002)

By Suzanne Mazer Stewart

My birthday is near the middle of this month. I really don't mind celebrating birthdays, but the more of them I have, the less I see the point. I mean, once you pass all those "rite of passage" ages, you know 16, 21, 30, what's the use? Except 50, of course. That one, my mother assures me, is special. That's when many of the restaurants start giving out their senior discounts, after all.

I'm not one of those women who balk at the idea of having a birthday. I didn't hold at 29 for any extended period of time. In fact, I was glad to see 30 come. My twenties were the worst decade in the history of Time, I'm certain. No other person since Scarlett O'Hara lived through so many bad times in such a short period. Let's just say I started off the decade singing with a local bar band and it all went downhill from there. By the time 30 rolled around, I was just glad I'd survived the ride!

I guess I do have one vanity when it comes to my age. I don't look as old as I am. I look older than I used to, but I still don't give the impression of my true age. That has advantages and disadvantages, too, though you might not think it. I used to have to show ID at the county fair just to ride the Midway by myself, for crying out loud. And nobody ever believes my kids are really mine. They are just sure I'm the baby sitter. On the other hand, it's nice to have people think I'm ten years younger than I really am. I can't tell you how many stuffed animals I've won at amusement parks and fairs and carnivals and such at the "Guessing Booth." They might be able to get my weight, but they NEVER get my age!

I still don't think it's polite, however, to ask a lady her age. I end up having to show folks, because otherwise they simply don't believe me, and that irritates me. We've come to expect people, especially women, to lie about their age to appear younger. Why on Earth would I want to lie about being as old as I am? Makes me wonder at the stupidity of some folks, you know?

Anyway, I don't think there's going to be any big celebrating for my birthday this year. I just don't need it. Besides, the boys have their birthdays back to back later in the same week as mine. The baby will be having his first, and that's where I'm going to focus the birthday energy this year. I've asked my hubby for new dining room chairs. I figure (1) it's the only way I'll get them and (2) I can tell all my friends that my present cost $400. That's a celebration all its own! Who says birthdays aren't worth having?

Contact Suzanne MSZFROGGIE@aol.com


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