The best birthday present is a morning without bees.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and somehow aged 10 years overnight? I don't understand this phenomenon. I go to bed after a day in which I ate right, exercised, and slept for a solid eight hours, and I wake up looking like a bee stung me in the eyeballs while it was looking for water in the estuary of wrinkles on my face. I don't believe the bee actually wanted to sting me, but he got a little lost after ricocheting off a zit on my forehead, because once you hit your 30s no one ever tells you that if you're really really lucky, you can get zits and wrinkles at the same time. It's a dermatologist's dream, especially because insurance usually doesn't cover acne medications once a patient is over 25. Under 25, and it's a medical problem. Over 25, and well, you're just shallow. So now, you just walk in and get the twofer special: a tube of cream and a few ccs of botox. Problem solved. Doctor's lifestyle maintained. Ageless achievement unlocked.
I like to think that the little bee is also injecting me with wisdom and maturity to handle the fact that I turn 31 in two days. Not that I care too much about the number. I'll never be someone who throws a "Turning 29 version 4.0!" party for myself. If anything, getting older just makes me feel more confident in announcing to the party, "I shall have one drink and be in bed at a reasonable hour, because I am not looking to summon a swarm of bees to my eyeballs tomorrow morning. Also, I've had enough people for today, so please let me celebrate the illusion of time with a warm bed and a brand new package of earplugs. The world is very loud, these days."
I tend to use my birthday — February 1 — as the true marking of a new year. While everyone is having their little internal meltdowns over January 1 and New Years Resolutions, I give myself an extra month of padding. January 1 is when I start thinking about how this year is going to be different from the last. February 1 is when I push the big red DO LIFE BETTER button.
The 40 or so of you who actually read my blog are now the only people on the internet who know this fact, because I purposely took my birthday off of Facebook so as not to be barraged with birthday messages from people whose names and faces I don't remember. It's also a bit of a test to see who remembers and who doesn't. Not that passing this test gets you anything useful, nor does it guarantee that I will remember your birthday. I'm terrible at remembering, which is why Facebook's birthday messages are so helpful!
If you'd like to get me a birthday present, do me a solid and buy my book! It's full of cupcakes and booze, neither of which you can really go wrong with. If you already have a copy, which is likely since you're one of 40 people that I probably know in life, grab a copy for a friend who likes cake and cocktails. I promise they will be happy, and then you'll be happy because you made them happy, and then I'll be happy because I wrote that happiness. Happiness is the best birthday present of all. Happiness and a morning without bees, that is.