September 13, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me. Dammit.

Today is my birthday, and I am old. Old and dried up and trying really hard not to think about it, because you know--OLD. As Hublet likes to tell me from time to time as we share poignant moments in The Boy's childhood: "Well, that's it. Now we're just gonna get old and feeble and die." Hublet also likes to remind me of the gaping chasm of 15 months that separates our birthdays. Hublet has quite a bit to answer for, actually. My birthday present had better be pretty damn good.

But I digress. I think I have successfully managed to postpone the cliche' of the mid-life crisis until now, because I was still safely in the "mid-thirties" zone. Alas, I have begun to slide into "late thirties," and it is pissing me off. Certainly I should be rich, famous and adored by millions by now, and certainly my bright idea to choose an English major should in no way be affecting my trajectory to fabulous success! Now that I think about it, maybe the suckiest thing about the late thirties slide is that my ability to delude myself is disintegrating. Drat.

Well, that's part of it. The other part is that my body is crapping out on me. Pretty much the knees and the ovaries have had it, or so the doctors say, so there will be no sibling for The Boy unless we opt to purchase one, and even if we did opt to purchase one, there's no guarantee that my knees would work well enough for me to trundle said sibling between points a and b. Oh, and may I just add that the fertility drug Clomid, while prescribed like Pez to women over 35 by OB/GYNs everywhere, is decidedly NOT candylike in its side effects. Or maybe I'm just so old that my body instinctively reacted to the surfeit of estrogen by Completely Freaking The Hell Out. And also? I now apparently have arthritis in the middle joint of my middle finger on my right hand. This is annoying, because the joint is getting bigger, and it actually HURTS when The Boy holds my hand and squeezes it. He's FOUR, and hardly Charles Atlas. Thank you, distaff side of the family, for bequeathing me arthritis and osteoporosis. Seriously. I'm thrilled. Would it have been too much to ask for the bodily decrepitude to wait a few years before piling on in a geriatric-making frenzy?

No two ways about it. Aging sucks. I cannot WAIT for forty. Bleh.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at September 13, 2005 12:18 PM

I'll still wish you a full happy birthday, consequences be damned!

Posted by: marc at September 13, 2005 01:04 PM

Well, BAW, I hear you. I'll be 45 in October.

I've read enough of the infertility blogs to know that Clomid is no walk in the park. I do not blame you one bit for not wanting to put your body through that, esp. since you have a child. If it's any consolation at all, we have an only child (by choice (ours)) and she did just fine.

I had a little mid-life crisis and took a new job a year and a half ago (moving from environmental chemistry to agricultural) and then took a college course for the first time since I got my B.S. in 1982. Microbiology, with lab. What a blast. Seriously.

So enjoy your kid, and make some plans. I keep reading about the "fabulous fifties" and I'm counting on them.

Happy birthday.

Posted by: Laura at September 13, 2005 01:33 PM

In my mid-twenties, after a somewhat serious accident affecting my writing hand, I realized for the first time how much of our happiness depends on our good health or whatever baseline we're used to. On the other hand, I think I could become health-obsessed to the point where deprivation and worry affected my well-being. I'm saddened to hear of your troubles and can identify to the extent that I've had my share of crankiness resulting from my increasing creakiness at (gasp!) 41. I'd like to point out, however, that you're inordinately blessed with wit and humor. Wit is by definition quick, and very attractive--all the attributes of youth without the youth requirement. I know humor bouys me up when there's so much else to bring me down. May it do the same with you, friend. Happy birthday.

Posted by: Brad K. at September 13, 2005 02:28 PM

Happy birthday!

Posted by: Chris at September 13, 2005 03:05 PM

Bike riding is easier on the knees than that jogging you're probably doing. Then there's the joyful discovery that if you aim a bike in one direction for a while, it actually gets you to distant places.

Take the kid

Posted by: Ron Hardin at September 13, 2005 04:09 PM

Oh sound like a birthday grumpus. Well, I for one am glad you are alive. And - at least you are not like me with both children in school now and therefore no reason to exist!

Seriously, let's do lunch to celebrate and we can bitch and whine all we want and hopefully a tiny giggle will eek out somehow during our time together.

Posted by: Belle at September 13, 2005 04:25 PM

Will I be out of line to wish you a happy birthday despite your desire not to descend into the depths of age? If not, Happy Birthday!

Posted by: Suzi at September 13, 2005 05:52 PM

Happy Birthday BAW! As someone who is older than you, I can assure you the little aches and pains only get worse, but they are still worth it.

Posted by: dhanson at September 13, 2005 06:18 PM

Happy Birthday. And gimme an effing break. Late 30's, puleeeze.

It goes faster the older you get, I swear the seasons are whizzing by at 53. It seems like it was May yesterday. Make the most of it.

Posted by: MM at September 14, 2005 08:44 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I do identify with you about the aches and pains from ole Author Rites because at 63 I wake up with the sumbitch every morning. But, I have to limber up and rememeber it beats hell out of the alternative which is not waking up. One thing about having that middle finger swelling bigger and bigger, it makes it easier to hold up. But it does making tying a bit more difficult.

Posted by: GUYK at September 14, 2005 08:56 AM

One freak horseback riding accident later, I can tell the weather with the third finger on my right hand. So, I dig your arthritis complaints. And I'm only 26! :-)

Happy Birthday. I'm glad to have found your blog through another fellow Davidsonian, and although I don't always agree with you, you are witty and intelligent, which is something I can appreciate.

Posted by: Nikki at September 14, 2005 09:09 AM

Hi, new visitor from A-man's site. I totally identify with you on the only child dilemma. I'm 36, and my (only) child will be 4 in Feb. I would SO like to make a baby brother/sister for her to grow up with (and I'd really like to have just 1 more baby) but I had to get a LOT of help to have her. We agreed that we'd try twice but as long as we got 1 that would be it. We succeeded on the first try, and now I have to keep my word.

Considering our age maybe its for the best (she also has 2 older half sisters). BUT, I'm insisting we move into a neighborhood with lots of kids in walking distance by the time she starts kindergarten.

Happy birthday!

Posted by: Jane at September 14, 2005 09:32 AM

Belated Happy Birthday to a fellow Virgo (mine's next week). A few years ahead of you in the falling apart catagory, but as I say to my boyfriend when he carps about how old he is: It's better than the alternative.

Posted by: Kay at September 14, 2005 10:20 AM

Well, well.
I share your birthday (yesterday). I turned 37 myself. I share GuyK's philosophy. Getting older beats the alternative.


Posted by: UziQ at September 14, 2005 10:20 AM

happy birthday and I hope you have many more, Cat

Posted by: Catfish at September 14, 2005 11:45 AM

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety...

C'mon, you lit critter. carpe that old diem.

Posted by: Tom at September 14, 2005 03:27 PM

Happy B-day. Like Guyk said....getting older sure beats the alternative. At 41 I can tell you the little aches and pains increase and you find more ways to work around them.
My only child is a teenager now, the expense and mood swings make me very glad she's only one. (and to think I prayed for twins) :-)

Posted by: buddha at September 14, 2005 06:07 PM

Congratulations, You've Made It This Far (by Deborah Henson-Conant) Click below (requires Windows Media Player):

Posted by: snopercod at September 15, 2005 05:49 PM

Geez. To be 40 again. That would be MUCH better than being 59, like I am.

Well, what can I say? Get a young lover. Play the lotto. Go to Vegas and have some fun.

The worst part of getting old is letting other people make you behave like an old person. They will do that, you know. Don't let them.

Another bad part of getting old is getting decrepit and dying, but, we can just live in denial as long as we want.

Shakespeare hated the passage of time. Here is a cheerful sonnet.
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age,
When sometime lofty towers I see down-rased,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage.
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store.
When I have seen such interchange of State,
Or state it self confounded, to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.

BTW, I am having more fun now than I was having last year at this time. It's possible. Lose weight. Exercise gently each day. Kept in touch with friends. Don't use food as a substitute for anything. Be nice and smile a lot. Don't smoke.

Party on, dude.

Posted by: joel at September 15, 2005 08:03 PM

Uh, Joel... how about we forego advice such as "get a young lover." I kinda appreciate the family-friendly nature of this blog, and the family-friendly nature of BAW.

Posted by: Husband of BAW at September 16, 2005 03:10 PM

Wait til 60. You ain't seen nothing yet!

Posted by: bigdocmcd at September 19, 2005 11:52 AM