I am now closer to the age of 50 than I am to the age of 20. That is probably a good thing, since I was an ass at the age of 20, not sure what I was doing with my life, full of insecurity and bravado, desperate for attention, any type of attention, and far too trusting for as cynical as I seemed. I am not sure if I will be any of those things at 50, but, if I am, at least I will hopefully know how to handle being that way with some kind of aplomb.
I have never much cared for birthdays. There is just too much pressure. It's like New Year's Eve, but you're the only one supposed to be enjoying it. If anyone else doesn't have a good time it doesn't matter, because it isn't their birthday. However, if you aren't happy, you've wasted your chance for a whole year. What kind of bogus present is that?
Also, I can never think of anything I want for my birthday. It isn't that I don't want things, I'm as materialistic and selfish as the next guy, it's just that I can never think of any of the things that I want when people ask me what I want for my birthday. I become Ralphie from "A Christmas Story"stuttering out "football" on Santa's lap. Except I ask for picture frames, and then I can't crawl back up the damn slide to say what I really want.
Really though, the best present in my life is my life. My daughter, who burst into tears when I returned from LA last night, and my husband who comforted her and took care of her while I was gone. My family who helped him, and managed to find a perfect patio set for me, and set it up, to boot. Tara, who really tried to have her baby on my birthday, but just couldn't keep her from coming; and who gave me something wonderful, that shows she really knows me, to celebrate year 36:
Really, how can it get better than that? It can't. So, in lieu of gifts this year, I am asking people to donate to Helpusadopt.org. It is a great organization that gives grants to couples wanting to adopt, but who can't afford it. Giving money to them is better than any fancy picture frame. So, if any of want to say "happy birthday" to me, please do so by giving money to them.
See, I never would have asked for such a thing at 20. Maybe by 50 I will just be freakin' awesome.