45 CANDLES AND A WISH…
It’s my birthday today. Another year older, another year wiser… or so they say. That remains to be seen.
Birthdays are a big deal to me. I do it up right for my friends, as well as anyone I’m dating. It’s also the only day I unapologetically say, “Feel free to spoil me.” And it’s not because of presents (although those are nice too). To me a birthday represents your day, the one day of the year where everyone gets the chance to remind you that you are special to them. Of course, whether they do or not is another matter.
So if you’ll indulge me on my special day, I think I’ll just ramble for a little bit. There are some things I really do look forward to on my birthday, as well as its significance to me.
The first thing I love has to be the inevitable phone call from my parents where they “sing” Happy Birthday. I put “sing” in quotation marks because no one in my family knows how to carry a tune in the slightest and hearing my folk’s rendition of the B-Day song could be used as a torture method to force prisoners to give a full confession. That said, it is music to my ears and always makes me smile.
Then there’s the Facebook birthday greetings. Thank you social media for giving meaning to our lives. Every day, without fail, I always wish a “Happy B-Day” to any of my real-life friends or acquaintances (aka “Facebook only” friends) celebrating a birthday. It’s their special day and they deserve people to acknowledge it.
Well, on March 14th, it’s my turn. Here’s the one time where I get to see the “likes” and greetings pour in. And like Sally Field getting her first Oscar for “Norma Rae” I get to think to myself “You like me; you really like me.”*
*(Okay she didn’t quite say it that way, but if we still believe Humphrey Bogart actually said, “Play it again, Sam,” then this one can slide too).
I also like to check out my horoscope in the newspaper on my “Feliz Cumpleanos,” because there’s always that bonus fortune that reads, “If today is your birthday…” I always figure this must be the true secret to happiness because it’s day-specific unlike those other generic monthly Zodiac readings.
And while I’m at it, I also like to see who else shares my birthday… not like the list has changed much in the last few decades. If they were born on my birthday (or I theirs) in 1969, it’s a safe bet we’re still born on the same day in 2014. For those of you curious, March 14th is also the B-day of Quincy Jones, Michael Caine, Billy Crystal, Frank Borman (the astronaut) and my personal favorite, Albert Einstein. Yup, me and Mr. E=mc2 blow out candles on the same day. And by the way, the “C” in that formula must stand for “cake.”
While we’re on the subject of cake… I love it. And on March 14th, cake tastes infinitely better to me than on any other day of the year. And even better is when that cake is free; you know that complimentary piece o’ cake (or pie or whatever) that they bring you when you go to a restaurant and drop that not-so-subtle hint that it’s your birthday. Now I do believe that once your birthday is announced at a restaurant they are required by law to bring you free cake (anyone want to check the statutes on that).
Oh, and hey, don’t forget the e-mail freebies you get from restaurants, fast food joints and any other businesses that utilize “frequent use” clubs that you sign up for. I’ve got me some free ice cream cones, shakes, cookies and a complimentary prostate exam just waiting for me (not so sure I’ll redeem that last one just yet).
All kidding aside, all I ever really need for my birthday is to speak to my family and hang out with my friends… those are the only presents I truly need (of course, I wouldn’t say “no” to a new running shirt or other gear …hint hint).
Some people dread their birthdays; I don’t. I have no problem with my age going up another number. And at this point in 2014, I’m having fun with numbers:
45– My age as of today. But I’m in better shape now than I was when I was 21 (another number).
55– The number of pounds I’ve dropped since I was 44.
25– The number of half marathons I’ve run to date… and my most recent race was my fastest ever.
6– The number of marathons I’ve run to date… and my most recent race was my fastest ever.
14– The number of half and full marathons I will run in 2014.
0– The number of regrets I want to have from this point going forward. Probably an unobtainable goal, but something worth striving for.
And finally, on your special day you get one other thing… a birthday wish. It’s something you think about as you prepare to blow out the candles on your cake (hopefully “free” cake). It’s supposed to be something personal and something special. And you can’t share it with anyone (lest the birthday magic not work).
And my wish… I’d tell you if I could, but I guess it’ll have to just stay a secret.
But damn, it sure is a good one.
So, bring on the cake.