(Alternate title: It’s My Party and I’ll Blog if I Want To)
Today is my 25th birthday.
I realize that this is supposed to be a “significant birthday”—most of my friends are older than me, which means that I spent last year watching many of them become boggled by the whole quarter-of-a-century turning point they’d achieved on their 25th birthdays. As for me, I’m not really boggled, per se, though I am nursing a hangover following my pre-birthday party last night, at which I drank 2-and-a-half-beers-plus-a-shot, became violently drunk, and viciously murdered a cupcake. (Before you say anything -- no, I cannot hold my liquor; and yes, it really was only 2.5 beers; and yes, that is pretty funny. Ha, ha.)
Still, although I’m not freaking out over having reached the All-Important Age of 25, I have been thinking a lot about birthdays. And I realized that, for the past few years, I have had no frigging clue how I’m supposed to celebrate mine.
The thing is, for the first couple decades of your life, milestone birthdays (and their corresponding celebratory activites) are totally obvious. At 13, for instance, you’re all, “I’m a teenager now! I’m independent and mature! I’m staying up all night with my best friends and eating six bags of Doritos!” At 16, you celebrate your driving aged-ness by skipping school to sit in the DMV office, chewing on a pencil and filling in the answers to difficult questions about automobiles so that you can strut into class at 11am with your freshly-laminated learner’s permit in your pocket.
(*Note: Somebody in the
So really, right on up through 21, big birthdays all correspond to important milestones in one’s journey toward adulthood, and those milestones all correspond to easily discerned activity pairings. For instance…
Milestone: NC-17 movies
Suggested celebratory activity: Rent “Showgirls”
Milestone: Porn and cigarettes
Suggested celebratory activity: Jerk off to legally-purchased pornography while smoking legally-purchased cigarettes
Suggested celebratory activity: Drink until you throw up on your shoes
But now that I’m 25, I realize that there aren’t any good milestones to look forward to. First of all, there is no remaining legal activity from which I am barred due to my underaged-ness-- I don’t even have to pay those creepy surcharges on rental cars anymore, that’s how fucking old I am. I’ve also noticed that all the “big” birthdays from here on out are decade-based, meaning that I have to wait 10 years to get excited about another one, and furthermore, based on extensive research conducted in the Greeting Cards aisle at Duane Reade, these birthdays are not so much “milestones” as “occasions on which I will be made the butt of horrible jokes about my wrinkles/ fat/ varicose veins/ lack of sex appeal/ impending death”.
So, after much consideration, I have decided not to participate in this hackneyed pseudo-celebration of birthdays. Instead, I’ve discovered that there are, in fact, lots and lots of milestone birthdays (both legal AND biological!) on my horizon (and, hopefully, on yours).
Milestone: Metabolism slows down
Suggested celebratory activity: Eat cake, in fact, eat a cake—eat a whole, entire cake; blame weight gain on Arbitrary And Nefarious Metabolic Slowdown
Milestone: No longer eligible for the military draft
Suggested celebratory activity: Give an 18 year-old a copy of “The Things They Carried”; laugh
Bonus activity: Come out of the closet
Milestone: Fertility decreases (women only, sorry)
Suggested celebratory activity: Have unprotected sex; replace morning panic run to pharmacy for Plan B with more unprotected sex, followed by bacon
Milestone: Bone mass peaks
Suggested celebratory activity: Challenge elderly people to a “falling down” contest; jeer at them when they lose
Milestone: Legal age to hold office in U.S. Senate
Suggested celebratory activity: Announce plans to run for Congress, have massive fundraising party, use money raised to purchase alcohol/cocaine/cheese; blame 21 year-old “campaign manager” for disappearance of funds
Milestone: Peak age for onset of depression
Suggested celebratory activity: Make unreasonable and self-serving demands; if anyone objects, say, “Fine, but don’t be surprised if your unwillingness to accommodate my high-risk status for depression results in my violent and untimely death by my own hand”
Milestone: Eligible to play in “Over-35” sports clubs with other over-35 year-olds
Suggested celebratory activity: High-stick someone’s grandpa
Milestone: Peak age for onset of mid-life crisis
Suggested celebratory activity: Buy a convertible, get hair/breast implants, have sex with 19 year-old food service employee
Bonus activity: Die.