Soon it will be my birthday. Stop! Don’t sing, don’t send me a card (unless there’s going to be money in it) and don’t CONGRATULATE ME.
When we’re younger, we always look forward to our birthday. Why not? Heck, you get cake, people you never talked to in school but invited to your party were forced to bring you a gift, and even sing to you. These same “nameless faces” whose Moms forced to come to your party were even polite and told you what a great…er, uh…speller you were! (Whew! Almost couldn’t think of something to say…). All the while you basked in the glory of it being YOUR DAY. When it was over, you didn’t have to clean anything up. You just sat on the floor and played with all the toys your friends (and the nameless faces you invited to increase the giftage) gave you. More legos. New army men. A Stretch Armstrong (yeah, we lived a simpler life back then). Aaah, yeah. That was the life.
REALITY CHECK: As I’ve grown older, I’ve adjusted my attitude about birthdays. What is a “birthday” after all? I will tell you. A birthday is simply a death timer. Yeah, that’s right…a slow, yearly countdown to the end of life. Gee, there’s something to celebrate. Now I understand why my parents always grimaced when someone asked their age. Nothing like being reminded you’re an “old fogey” when you’re doing your best to forget it.
This might explain why some people go way overboard in trying to “stay young”. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve seen them. The 70 year old woman who has had multiple lifts, tucks, stretches, “enhancements” and other plastic surgeries to look like she’s still 16 years old. I’m sorry, but Granny’s “Double D’s” need to be Grannys “at her knees“. That’s just the way life goes, you know?
While these people seem to think they look “good”, the rest of society enjoys a good snicker (and I’m not talking the candy bar). What you end up with is something like this:
Actually, I guess the above photo doesn’t look as bad since she still has some years to, well, “rearrange things”. But when the person is older, it’s just, well, wrong:
Now, maybe it’s just me but I’m thinking this person (we’ll call her “Joan”) could have spent her money more wisely. I’m quite impressed with the hand-drawn eyebrows, however. Do you know how hard it is to keep the curves consistent? That takes a seriously steady hand, you know. Not that I know anything about this, however. I’m just making an observation based on, you know, assumption. I have no experience with makeup or anything like that, so don’t go assuming I’ve worn any or have had any fascination with it at all. That is just simply not true, so get off my case!!! (Deep cleansing breaths.)
Now, where was I? Oh yes. Some people seem to age more gracefully than others, without relying on surgery. Take, for instance, my friend “Mike”. I use quotes for “Mike” because I want you to think that’s not his real name, even though it is. I would never tell you, however, that his last name is Galusha. THAT would be crazy.
Anyway, “Mike” has aged pretty gracefully. He just celebrated his 62nd birthday, but he’d tell you he’s a lot younger. I’m one of only two people that he’s confided in, telling us both that he lied on his employment application. The other, his wife “Mary” (again, not her real name, even though it is), would never disclose her husband’s age. Why? Because she’s 30 years his junior, and people would think “Mike” is a bit of a creep. Anyway, “Mike” is a very capable guy, despite being, well….”old”. I made a point not to congratulate him on his birthday, for fear that he’s somewhat sensitive to it. That’s what friends do. Plus, I was afraid he’d pummel me.
Mike was in the Navy. He probably still fits into the little white sailor uniform thingy that he used to wear. I don’t know what he did in the Navy, but I’m sure it was important…maybe “swabbing the deck”, or possibly even “battening down the hatches”. Regardless, he took those (often overlooked) skills and puts them to work in an airline. He now does some (often overlooked) stuff for an airline, but I have no real idea what he does. Every time I stop by his office, he’s gone. He does have some real impressive charts and stuff on his wall, but someone told me those are left over from the last guy who was in that office (who used to be a Marine, by the way. I know this because there were a lot of stick figures drawn on them). Regardless, “Mike” has taken good care of himself and serves as an inspiration to those of us who, albeit much, much younger, look up to him for his experience in life, being all old and everything.
Here’s a recent picture of “Mike”, who again is not really named “Mike”, or “Galusha”:
Notice that “Mike” is holding two dumbells rather effortlessly while smiling so pretty. He makes it look so easy, for an 0ld geezer. That’s exactly why I would never mess with him. Anyway, Mike likes to talk a lot about his “six pack”, but based on the “work” he’s been doing lately (while out of the office, I guess), I’d say he’s not referring to his physique. Regardless, Mike is an inspiration to most, er, some, well, to ME. Happy Birthday Mike (did I just use my outside voice?)
So why do we fight aging yet insist on “celebrating” birthdays? I don’t get it. Why don’t we celebrate things like warts? We never want warts, but we get them anyway. Why not throw a “wart party”, and have people come over, bring gifts like “Mercurochrome”, “Bactine”, “Hydrocortisone” or duct tape.
“Duct tape?!” you say?
Yes, duct tape. Everyone knows duct tape can take care of warts (duh).
“The affected area is covered with duct tape during the night. In the morning the area is bathed and cleaned with an abrasive object, such as pumice stone. This procedure must be repeated for several weeks.” (Courtesy of “Over the Counter Wart Removal Medication” by Steve Janovic, a guy who apparently has way too much time on his wart-riddled hands.)
Anyway, if you don’t want to handle your warts THAT way, try this:
Ewww. Interesting music to go with a sort of self-mutilation video. Now, somehow I digressed. Where was I?
Oh yes, wart parties. You can invite all your (ugly) friends over and compare warts. After comparing warts, have some wart-shaped cupcakes, play “pin the wart on the witch’s nose” and other such party games. Meanwhile the “attractive people” who were not invited will be standing at your window, noses pressed to the glass, just wishing they were inside, getting in on the wart action, and eating wart cakes. Take THAT, attractive people!! (I love getting revenge. This has nothing at all to do with my younger years, so please do not assume I was not considered an “attractive person” or was, in any way, made fun of by said “attractive people”, so don’t go making any assumptions about them and the crappy way they treated me!!!) Deep, cleansing breaths, Dave.
So, where was I? Oh yes…WART PARTIES! Why not? Yeah, I know…these things never seem to materialize. It’s just some “pie in the sky” idea. Forgive me. People often remind me I’m an “outside the box thinker”. It’s a gift, and my cross to bear.
But when wart parties catch on, I want some credit.
So while guys like “Mike” age gracefully, people like me would just assume we forget the whole “birthday thing”. It’s really not that much fun anyway. Why, just last year, my birthday “party” went like this:
(Cake is presented to Dave)
(Family sings a poorly-executed and barely audible rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”, while the flames grow larger and more wax melts onto the cake, which is made with diet cake mix, and strategically-placed, super-secret flax seed.)
(Dog howls due to the poorly-executed and barely audible rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”).
(Flames burn down to cake-level and begin to melt the zero-calorie, zero-transfat frosting).
(Dave closes eyes and makes wish: I wish this was a real cake).
(Dave blows out candles, but accidentally drools on the cake. Family is extremely grossed out).
(Dave gets knife and fork, decides to try to eat cake).
Wife: “Uh, you’re not going to have a piece, are you?”
Dave: “Well, yeah, I uh, was”.
Wife: “Have you weighed yourself lately?”
(Super slim and ultra-healthy) wife then serves cake to the kids while Dave enjoys a lowfat yogurt.
Yeah kids, that’s the “birthday party” you have to look forward to. Death timer, T-Minus and just a few years before, well, you know.
I have a nephew who I will call “Brandon” (again, let’s pretend that’s not his real name…even though it is…because he’s very easily embarrassed and would just die if he knew I was talking about him. Heck, how many “Brandon’s” are there out there? Tons of ‘em, so I don’t know what he’s all fired up about. Heck, unless everyone knew his last name was “Bryditzki”, nobody could possibly know I was talking about him. Sheesh, some people are just waaaay too paranoid). Anyway, “Brandon” taught me a newer version of the birthday song. I like it much better. It goes like this:
“Happy Biiiirthday. Happy Biiiiirthday.
Sickness, Sadness and Despair,
People dying everywhere
Pass the cake cuz I don’t care,
–By “Brandon Bryditzki” (not his real name…remember? Nudge nudge, wink wink).
The way I look at it, that’s just a more fitting song. I mean, let’s call a spade a spade. By the way, does that saying refer to a digging or gardening tool? I’ve never really understood what that meant. Why would you call a spade something else? Would you say “Hey, I’ve got some roots to dig up over here. Pass me that….uh…phleggenbottom, would ya?” I’ve never done that, but obviously people have, because it’s a very common saying. But I digress (I tend to do that now and then).
So, take heed, birthday children. The parties will take on new significance when your belly begins to droop over your belt, the only hair that still grows is out of your ears and nose, and life’s biggest “pain in the neck” is uh, the pain…in..your…neck.
For all you “Mikes” out there who seem to defy the laws of aging (at least when Photoshopped), I just have one thing to say:
“Wow. You have a really good plastic surgeon! Do you have his card?”
I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Besides, it seems to be working for Barry, and the chicks still dig Barry. I wonder if he eats flax seed? But I digress.