I’ll be 27 on Sunday. I don’t really feel anything interesting about that. It’s just something that will happen on Sunday. I’ll wake up in the morning, and I’ll eat some food, and I’ll probably play with the cats, and I might drive my car, and I might read or watch TV or clean the house, and I’ll turn 27.
We used to tease Jamie a lot because, for years, she’d start making plans for her birthday in, say, March. Her birthday is in November. But all year long she’d talk about what we’d do for her birthday, and what she’d like to get for her birthday, and what kind of cake she’d prefer for her birthday, and we’d be like OMG JAMIE THAT MOVIE WILL BE ON HBO BY THE TIME YOUR BIRTHDAY GETS HERE. But, you know, I bet I used to be like that too. That was the most important day of the year, after all. It was MY DAY, when everyone had to be nice to me or I would be completely within my rights as Birthday Girl to throw a fit and kick their asses.
I remember getting ready for my 7th birthday party and running into a sometimes-friend, Amanda Blatcher, when my mom and I were leaving the house to go to the store. Amanda asked why I was all dressed up and I explained that it was MY BIRTHDAY and asked her if she wanted to come to the party later. She said she would, and I told her that she still had time to get me a present beforehand, but she’d probably better hurry.
Eesh. I was really such a dick.
I had a couple of really awesome birthdays. When I was younger, we always had great parties, and often went ice-skating or something along those lines. My 21st was loads of fun, and that celebration lasted for about three days and included such gems as a dirty schoolgirl costume, Burger King chicken tenders in a dorm hallway at 3 in the morning, and the South Park movie. My 25th birthday was pretty good too. My 20th and 18th birthdays sucked ass.
I think I got a can of pineapple for my birthday one year when I was a kid. Mom told me that I had specifically requested it. There’s also an awesome birthday picture of me opening my Yoda Play-Doh playset.
This year’s going to be quiet. I think I’m going to Roanoke to have dinner with my parents, and then on Monday I’ll have margaritas with some work friends.
When my mom was my age, she was married with two kids. Almost all of my friends are older than I am, and many of them have married and bought houses and had kids and such by 27. I look at them and think maybe I’m behind. Maybe there’s something I’m not doing. Even though I’m not interested in getting married right now, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids, and it doesn’t make much sense to buy a house when I’m still getting my finances in order and I’m not sure where I want to put down roots anyway. I have some cool things happening in my career. I have family nearby who loves me. I can afford to live comfortably by myself. I have a relatively new car that runs well. I have two great cats. I’ve made some great friends lately. If any of these things are what you’d use to measure success, then I think I’m doing just fine. Things are going well. I’m not ecstatic, but I’m pretty content and I feel relatively stable. These things are all good.
But sometimes I still wonder if I’m forgetting something. There’s a huge gaping restlessness sometimes, where I get a little stressed for no apparent reason and I find myself dissatisfied with everything around me. I feel like I should be going back to school or moving across the country or changing careers or buying new socks or something. Maybe it’s that I’m still getting used to this whole stable, responsible adult thing and I don’t know what to do with it.
Whatever. I’ll be 27, and something tells me it’s going to feel a lot like 26.