Today on the secular calendar I am thirty-six years old. I was actually woken up by my two and a half year old child, who spent the next two hours not wanting to go to sleep, changing where he wanted to go to sleep, and spending close to five minutes making a loud sound with his mouth similar to flatulence just for laughs. He decided to wake up again halfway through my Focus T25 workout to ask me to change his diaper. No problem. I caught an early F train to be at my office a little early only to have it turn into an E train which then turned into a G train. Pro-tip — when the announcer tells you that your train is now a G train, get out and start walking if you have to because you will get wherever it is sooner than if you stay on the train.
With that I started my thirty-sixth birthday. I did make it to the office earlier than my official start time but later than I wanted to be, after getting a free drink from Starbucks — with just one wasted plastic cup in the process. For some reason I thought about eighteen years ago, when I turned eighteen — probably because of that lovely doubling that will make me think of my twenty-first birthday when G-d willing I turn forty-two in six years. Of course, I will most likely also think about Douglas Adams on that day.
I remember on my eighteenth birthday how I thought to myself — this seems like a dull birthday year. Now I can vote and buy cigarettes, but the major elections were not for over a year (it was 1995) and at the time I had no interest in smoking — so what was the point of the birthday for me? Oh, and of course, I could go to Nevada and pay for a prostitute if I wanted to do so. I absolutely did not want to do so. I could not have had any less interest. To me, the act of intimacy is something to be shared with a loved one, not a stranger off the street.
Now that I am thinking back to eighteen, I would like to step back to nine. The year was 1986 and I had recently gotten a teddy bear as a gift to myself when I was visiting Lake Tahoe, on a boat. That bear recently celebrated his twenty-seventh birthday and is dear friends with another bear who has an advice web site. I remember at nine being impatient, wanting to just grow up already. Thirty-six year old me would certainly like to tell nine year old me to slow down and enjoy sleeping in on summer days and to just enjoy the fact that he could go for a long walk without thinking about a phone or checking e-mail or text messages or Twitter or Tumblr or Facebook. He could sit on the train and see people reading the newspaper or a book, maybe even listening to a Walkman or playing music loudly out of a boombox — but in any case not throwing birds angrily.
Is this me dating myself again — or being a couple of eyebrows away from being Andy Rooney? By the way, if you did not know this, I am doing fundraising for a web series I am going to make featuring a puppet that bears a strong resemblance to Andy Rooney. The purpose of the web series is to be entertaining while being educational and will cover a variety of important social topics. You can get in on the fundraising here and for different amounts get different rewards. Still quite a few spots for people who wouldn’t mind appearing on the series in an episode — get in while the getting is good! Only two weeks left!