Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Day Before

Okay, so tomorrow is my birthday.  Before you get all smiley, and start sucking in breath to say; "OH, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!",


I am not particularly excited.  That's putting it mildly. 

NO, I don't care that I'll be 39.  Numbers don't stick in my head very well, so chances are I've already been telling people I'm 39 for months. 

See, here's the problem:  last year, when I turned 38, my Dad handed me a card that he had signed, and Mom had scrawled out "Mom" on.  In the hospital.  Specifically, the PALLIATIVE CARE room, yo.  I pretended to read it, which meant at the time I let my eyes go blurry, made them move back and forth like I was reading something, and then faked a smile, and said; "thanks!"  And then my Mom died 5 days later. 

So you see,

I'm not particularly jazzed up about the greasy food, the cake, the candling, and the singing of that song.  I'm kind of thinking that if my Mom can't be here to make me the Ina Garten COCONUT CAKE, what's the freaking point? 

But then again, I've been an angsty jerk about my birthday for ages.  It all started when I was a fresh, young cynic in highschool.  There I'd be, moping around in my Morrissey t-shirt, spitting out the same gem every year about my birthday:  "yeah, another year of having seen too much, and accomplished too little."
See that?  I was a party EVEN THEN! 

Oh, I wasn't always this way.  Four year old karen was super excited for her birthday.  She chose hot dogs as her special meal.  One year I got roller skates that strapped on to my running shoes.  One year I got KEN DOLL.  He was all mysterious and exciting--a departure from the FEMALE DOMINATED world of dolls.  One year I was old enough to have boys and girls at my party.  We played "Truth or Dare," and it was exciting, and a little bit bad.  But the best year?  The best year was when I turned 31, and I was in the Dominican with my entire family.  I was young, and still felt pretty, with a tropical flower in my hair. The waiter at the restaurant was kind, and called me "niña."  My birthday fell on the conclusion of a really wonderful trip. 

So, do I still feel like it's just another year of having seen too much and accomplished too little?  Hm..yes and no.  Seen too much--haven't we all.  All of us who have lost people who were so very important in our lives, seeing the world change from a place where we used to send letters to a place where we have to be turned on and tuned in at all times, seeing jobs disappear in our own cities, seeing the ever-increasing impact of man on the world.  So yes, we're all in that boat. 

And as for accomplishments?  Well, that's the challenge isn't it:  to do something that has meaning, that makes a difference before we all leave this Earth one day. 

I don't know, maybe it won't be so bad.  I'm not doing this for me, after all, but for the people who love me.  The ones who are still here.  And tomorrow, as I do every morning, when I'm climbing that hill for my walk, I'll keep going, for my mother. 

but people, seriously,


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  1. my birthday wish for you;too not just to survive life , but to acually enjoy it[even just a little]i will make that wish too this too bad woman,happy birthday to you! do something nice for yourself tomorrow k!?

  2. this is me, NOT wishing you a happy birthday. this is me telling you "hidey ho, neighbor" and maybe giving you a quick boob honk to brighten your day. =) cuz really, what are friends for if not an unexpected goose now & again?

  3. I was going to say "Happy Birthday", but you won't let me.

  4. I forgot to mention the fact that your cupcake bears a strong resemblance to Towlie from South Park. Maybe it's the eyes, even if they aren't bloodshot.

  5. Let the magic of GIFTS arouse a smile from you... okay, maybe that's more me. At any rate. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

    Wait till Charlotte's birthday. BLECK.

  6. How does that song go again?
    Have a very merry un-birthday to you!
    I quit counting a few years ago; seriously, I have no idea how old I am :)

  7. thanks Paula, and thanks for the wish.

  8. ah, the daily goose--what could be better? Isn't "hidey ho" what Mr. Hankey says?

  9. thank you George. Now I have to look up Towlie, because I can't picture it! I guess it's been a long damn time since I've watched South Park...

  10. BLECK IS RIGHT. Okay, you can wish me a happy Bleckday. Good enough. Just get me that bottle of amaretto like I said. Har de har har.

  11. thanks lady E. 39...yucky enough, but wait till I turn into a cougar. Sigh.

  12. When I was around 26 I threw out Birthdays. It's a number of how many laps you've made while your butt has been sitting on this planet going around the sun. Every day is a blessing, every day is the same day, just a new adventure, an expanding blissful fun time and if we're paying attention, we have some sweetass folks to share it with, too! Thanks for being in my life, you've brought INCREDIBLE amounts of joy to me on my butt's trip. You bring so much fun to the party, Karen. And wisdom. I didn't have the pleasure of meeting your mother, but she gave you this life, she popped you out and on that day I'm guessing she thought, "Please, let me do this right so she really enjoys the ride. Let her be blissful, happy and know I gave it my all. Let me leave a legacy of joy for her and through her - that'd be a great help to this planet where so many people can find sorrow too quick." I like that your name is Karen, because I think you're Carin' about your joy every day - don't stop now! It keeps gettin' better : )

  13. On the day of your birth, I wish the sun to shine for you.

    And some chocolate, 'cause hell we all need a little chocolate.

  14. Geez Christina, don't make me CRY--it'll spoil my facade of crust. Thank you. What a wonderful birthday-everyday message.

  15. Well Lisa, maybe the sun will come out later (boo! hiss! It's raining!). Alas, no chocolate, but there is a shiny new bottle of amaretto!


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