I've joked many times in the last couple of days that this is the last birthday I'll officially recognize. After this, I'll be "49 and holding...." I'm quite sure I'll have a better attitude come this time next year, but right now I can't even say the word "fifty." I surely can't say it when followed by the words "years old."
Being the victim of an overly-active imagination (the one that leads me to tell stories, write songs, live for the next good joke and basically still go through life as the class clown) causes me to over-think everything. Even the simple things...like birthdays. They used to be fun. The only time we got a steak when I was a kid was on our birthday. Somewhere there's a picture of me sitting at the dining room table on Fayetteville Road, wearing a Georgia Tech sweatshirt (shocker, right?) and about to dive into a steak as big as I am with a birthday cake on that long buffet in front of the window behind me. No doubt all three sisters were home for dinner that night (instead of flitting around being cool somewhere with their cool friends) and I got SOME presents.....I say SOME because one of the negatives to being a child with a December birthday is hearing the words "You'll get more at Christmas!"
By contrast, over the last few days and today, I've celebrated my birth by waiting in line for my birth certificate at the State of Georgia Vital Records Office. This was so that I could go wait in another line at the Department of Driver Services to renew my driver's license. THEN, today I got to go wait in another line to renew my truck tag. (amazing what Gwinnett County thinks a postage stamp-sized piece of paper that says "December 2013" is worth.)
I bitch and moan for the sake of comedy. In actuality, I've had an awesome day. Nieces, nephews, sisters (adopted and biological) old friends, new friends, a former teacher (who asked if I was 11 or 12 now...I hated breaking the news to her on my actual age) all checked in to wish me happy birthday. I make fun of social networking...until it serves to remind me how many damn fine people there are in the world and how many of them are on my side.
The lady of the house is working her late night and won't be around 'til later (I knew when I married a nurse that some days it would be all about the sick folks!) But I fully expect the best present I get today will be falling asleep next to her on the couch, trying to watch some television, listening to her snore and thanking The Almighty that there's one person on earth who can put up with my stupidity and take care of me. I might just be "the richest man in town." (something one sister is always trying to make me believe...it pains me to admit she might be right.)