Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Birthday XXXII

Sally: I'm difficult.
Harry: You're challenging.
Sally: I'm too structured, I'm completely closed off.
Harry: But in a good way.
Sally: No, no, no I drove him away, and I'm going to be forty.
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday.
Harry: In eight years.
Sally: But it's there. It's just sitting there like this big dead end.

The first time I watched “When Harry Met Sally,” the classic romantic comedy with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, I was 14 years old. I recall watching the film and thinking something along the lines of “Sally is old.” Today marks the day that the thought many years ago of Sally’s advancing age comes back to haunt me. Solving the simple mathematical word problem presented in the script above, Sally had her age breakdown at 32; the same age I turned today.

Meg Ryan’s onscreen breakdown is not the only reason this birthday is a little less sweet then the prior 31. A few weeks ago while on the phone making a chiropractor appointment I overheard one of my coworkers planning his friend’s 21st birthday party. Here I was suffering through unbearable neck pain, the aging process deteriorating my vertebrae, and he was determining which bar to begin the all night binge fest at. When was the last time I partied all night? After years of actually being one of the young ones in classes and at work, a freshmen taking classes with seniors and an associate working side-by-side with partners, I was now a veteran player wondering how I was going to keep up with the rookies on the team.

Being surrounded by people nearly 10 years younger then you has serious side effects. Their very youngness amplifies your own aging process. Being older and wiser is fine, but looking older and wiser sucks. I still look young for 32, but I definitely look older then the new hires and interns with their perfectly smooth, wrinkleless skin and lightning fast metabolisms. The only time I get carded these days is if the dirty old man behind the counter wants to know my name.

My wallowing in self pity will eventually pass and I will begin to appreciate all the wonderful things that are symbolic of being in your thirties. After spending most of your twenties trying to figure out the meaning of your life, you begin actually living that life in your thirties. You appreciate who is important to you, realize what direction your life is going and understand that you will forever be a work in progress. Most have stabilized their careers, their relationships and their living arrangements by their thirties. I welcome being taken more seriously at work and in conversations and enjoy being able to afford extra luxuries in life like surf and turf and exotic vacations that seemed impossible straight out of college.

There is nothing wrong with turning 32 and in the eternal words of the great Frank Sinatra “the best is yet to come,” but I still just can’t help but think that I’m going to be forty… someday…

12 comments:

Sornie said...

Yes, hearing the palnning of a 21st birthday will always make a person, regardless of age, feel old. I can relate all too well.

Dan Sullivan said...

I look back over the years and I still feel young. I am getting slower! When I get to be the age of my step grandfather 73, I hope to be picking up 18 year olds on Beal Street at 3 am just like him. That is if Tina lets me! :-)

Miss you Michelle!

Dan

NeeNee said...

Oh Stop 32 is the new 22 ;-) Happy Birthday!

Explosive Bombchelle said...

From the Star Tribune: TODAY'S BIRTHDAY Horoscope(Aug. 14). You're not interested in doing what you know you can do. Your quest is to do what you're not sure you can do. Backward things happen. You'll earn fantastic money while looking for the perfect way to earn money. And people you meet play brilliant roles in your life, just not the roles you thought they'd fit into. Gemini and Aries people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 4, 20, 11, 33 and 28.

Explosive Bombchelle said...

From the NY Post: Horoscope if your birthday is August 14, 2007 -- Mind planet Mercury aspects Neptune, planet of imagination, on your birthday this year, so you won't find it hard to come up with new ideas. What you may find hard though is organizing those ideas into a coherent whole that can make you money. Get yourself a partner, someone whose practicality balances your idealism.

husband said...

I'm an Aries... and I do balance you. :-) Happy Birthday Chelle!!!

Anonymous said...

Chelle, No matter how old you get, you will always be younger than me. At least take solice in that. :-) And the bouncers always card in Boston. If you need a good pick me up, swing on by!!!

-Jules

ps - moisturize under the eyes...

Nursedude said...

Yo 'Chelle, Happy Birthday. Now, stop your moaning. You're still young. If you were in Hollywood they would be casting you in 20-something roles. You know what? For me, I'll admit 30 was traumatic. Turning 40 was liberating: I no longer gave a crap what other people thought of me. At the risk of TMI, Sex is still great(It helps when you choose the right partner). It does take longer to heal from sports injuries, that is the main thing I noticed after I turned 30. Now, blow out your birthday candles and go out continue to live life to the fullest.

Ronald said...

Happy Birthday Chelle!

Incidentally, I am also "of a certain age" yet just last month someone mistook me for a teenager. Thanks for the good genes, Mom & Dad! :)

Kira said...

Happy Birthday Chelle! Just thought this might be a good time to remind you of the immortal words of Ogden Nash - "You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely."
I live by this.

Kira

Wade said...

Happy B-Day Chelle! Scout out 32 for me and let me know what to expect! ;)

Amy said...

Happy, happy birthday, my amazing friend! 32 really isn't so bad... :)

When can we go out to celebrate?

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