Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy THAT Birthday!

On the 10th of this month, I’ll be celebrating a significant birthday. I’m giving you advance notice -- not to ease your gift giving dilemma (though anything Apple will be fine) – but to alert you to the response I expect to receive when I reveal my soon-to-be age. (Photographs on this page include celebrities who share my year of birth.)

I figure if I give you fair warning, there'll be less disappointment on my end, and you might even get a kick out of making my day.

I'm taking this nervy route because I've already been blurting my upcoming digits and notice the reactions of others depends upon the age, occupation, and gender of the person hearing it. Ideally, the reply should be, “No! I don’t believe it! You look terrific! I took you for 10 years younger!” And indeed that often spills from the mouths of kindly middle-age waitresses whose tip, I admit, depends on my good nature.

But, I've found that younger women who overhear the occasion and its tally offer a tepid “Happy Birthday” and continue passing my groceries down the conveyer belt or searching for the book or article of clothing I was seeking.

As for the male species, it has been my experience that no matter where they land on the age or job continuum, they have no clue as to the match-up of appearance and age and only prefer the woman they are facing be younger.

If you think this is a rant, and want to offer phrases meant to ease my birthday passage; i.e. It’s Only A Number, Think Of The Alternative, You Could Live Another Twenty Years, don’t bother.

Or if you plan on scolding me for being ungrateful for my good fortune in reaching this age intact; I am aware of my blessings and thank Her every morning for Her generosity.

All I’m asking, when we meet face-to-face, and I disclose the birthday number (you can find it in my memoir or on my Facebook profile, but you’ll have to do the math), just remember the response I've requested in paragraph three. (A reminder: “No! I don’t believe it! You look terrific! I took you for 10 years younger!”) Then you can forget about a wrapped and beribboned present. Your sincere look of surprise and awe will be more than enough.