Birthday’s R Us

Last week I had a birthday; a celebration of the day I emerged into this world and began to make my mark on it. But birthday’s, I feel, follow a strange pattern of celebration.

As a child we all loved birthdays; the build up; the expectation of gifts to come; that surprise present that we’d always wanted; always the fun party where family, games, friends, cake, candles and noise come together. The days were memorable, seemed to last forever and it was an age between each one.

Then getting a little older the parties changed and although still childish in nature they included drinking and different sorts of fun! Presents were still exciting but cost a lot more. The time between each birthday appeared to be much shorter.

Time moved on and we start to question if we should tell people our age. We have crisis’. Mid-life is a common one but others can be invented as required. Parties now tend to be more child friendly and include family, games, friends, friends children, cake, candles and noise. We smile and pretend it’s still about us. A top present would be a pair of socks. Birthdays were coming round even quicker now.

We stop telling people our age; we ask them to guess and get embarrassed when they knock ten years off and unhappy when they add ten years on. We think about Botox, plastic surgery and youth creams. We begin to add creams and moisturizer to our shopping needs and begin to wonder about retirement. We get interested in over 50’s events, offers and holidays. We talk about the age having its compensations but don’t really believe it. Birthdays seem to arrive every week.

Now we try to forget birthdays. Presents are things for the house, things for the car or we buy our own. We begin telling everyone that age is just a number; that 60 is the new 40 and we try to believe it too.

Cheer up; at least we’re still having them

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