Today is my birthday. And I have no idea how old I am. Well, not no idea. I know I’m not twelve, since I no longer marvel at my own body hair. (Well, I do, actually—but when I do now it’s for radically different reasons.) But I’m honestly not sure if I’m 52 or 53.
It seemed like somewhere around 43 I sometimes started pausing before being able to say for sure how old I was. If you have ten jelly beans, one is a lot. If you have 40, one’s not that much.
Now I’m not even sure how many jelly beans I have. I just know I’m not supposed to eat so many jelly beans anymore, because when you get older you have to start worrying about your tricycles, or something. I dunno.
As I write this, it’s 3:30 a.m. So technically it’s been my birthday for three hours. And literally, too: I was born at midnight, exactly; the doctor called the time at 12:02 a.m., so I’d actually have a date I was born on: March 21. How weird is that? If you’re born right at midnight, it’s like … you weren’t really born. 11:59 p.m? No worries. 12:01 a.m.? Early riser!
Stroke of midnight, exactly? Vampire. No reflection when you look in the mirror. Lost forever in a wrinkle of time. Vacuumed into a black hole.
My mom said the doctor who delivered me went, “Well, we can’t put midnight. Let’s put twelve o’ one. No, wait. Let’s be creative. Twelve o’ two.” And that’s why it says 12:02 a.m. on my birth certificate. And that’s when, even at so young an age, I learned an important life lesson I’ve never yet forgotten: Doctors are liars.
The reason I’m up so late is that for the past three weeks my wife Catherine and I have been so furiously busy that neither of us have had any time to do just about any housework at all. And Cat’s hugely keen on celebrating birthdays, and she really wanted today to be clear of Actual Labor: laundry, dishes, Wal-Mart run, etc. So we did all that stuff today. Which became tonight. Which became this morning.
I think that at the stroke of midnight—at the very moment I turned whatever age I am now—I was scrubbing the toilet in my bathroom. Seriously. I think that’s what I was doing at midnight.
And people think God has no sense of humor.
I can only assume that such people aren’t, at all, paying attention.
Wanna get me something for my birthday? If you’ve watched and like The Smith Family Chronicles, then join/”Like” the show’s Facebook page. For reasons I explain on that page, that would be a great gift to me. Thanks!