This weekend at a restaurant I managed to stumble upon not one, but two birthday celebrations, accompanied, as usual, by out of tune rendition of a b-day song, noisy applauds as if the cause of this celebration was a Nobel Prize recepient, and a traditional blowing out of a candle while making a wish (which, if it wasn't such a sham, would have by now eliminated wars, diseases, and fat people).
Looking at those two smiling and laughing people, a thought came to my mind: our life is like a ladder, and every b-day is a step that takes us closer and closer to the top until we fall off since there is nowhere else to climb. Every year on the same day we are putting our foot onto the next step of this ladder, getting more and more worn out and realizing how out of shape we are. So technically, those people are celebrating getting one step closer to their eventual demise. Woohoo, how fun! Not.
I remember the days when I used to get excited about my b-days, even if they meant sitting at the table among boring adults, which enjoyed lengthy conversations about current events and sicknesses, and eventually running off to do something more exciting, like cutting snowflakes out of curtains or peeling off wallpaper in patterns. After that, my degrees of b-day excitement went in stages.
When I was 17, I was impatiently waiting for my 18th b-day, which would have meant finally being able to buy my own cigarettes instead of having to ask for them some strange men, risking a possibility of a 20 minute lecture on dangers of smoking or an offer of an exciting van ride.
After being 18 got a little old, my next b-day to be awaited was, ofcourse, my 21st b-day. On that magnificent day I could finally go to any liquor store, not just the one on 37th and 19th with metal bars on the doors, and proudly whip out my ID while looking at teenagers buying gum and gazing at me in awe and jealousy. However, this is where the b-day excitement ended and frustration began as each year brought more and more responsibilities and frustrations.
Now, all over sudden, I became an adult. While doing stupid stuff previously used to cause a detention from a teacher, or nagging from my mother, or a promise to never see light of day from my father, this time it was different. I was responsible for all my mistakes and was the only one responsible for recognizing and correcting them. There were no more excuses and blaming everything on being young.
After that, each b-day was like a check mark on my bill of life, and my 25th b-day ended with me ranting to my friend about the fact that I was a quarter century old, and half-way to 50. She promised to give me an "Over The Hill" tshirt right now so I can get used to wearing it later. I guess my mid-life crisis started about 20 years too early.
In other words, b-days suck, and eating a b-day cake every year will probably cause clogged arteries in the future, which in turn will make our ladder that much shorter.