It's like Sixteen Candles.
One thing I've discovered, from time and lack of
effort is, my birthday won't matter in ten or twenty
years when I'm married and I'm taking care of a couple
children. Why should I bother now? I'm nineteen, a
birthday just isn't the same as it used to be. I
should be excited about some new audio CD that I may have asked for, or a movie recently released on DVD. But I'm not. It's just another notch on the wall for me. I
hardly see myself as cynical, but that's sort of the
gusto with which I approach birthdays.
(Mr. Thesaurus says, "Gusto = appetite,
appreciation, ardor, brio, delectation, delight,
enjoyment, excitement, exhilaration, fervor, heart, liking, palate, passion, pleasure, relish, savor, taste, verve, zeal, zest.")
It's a capitalism on my life to deal with how old I
am at a given time. As children we ached and yearned
for each new moment and each new day. We even told
people we were half ages. And as we learned new
fractions we incorporated them into our regime of
time. Oh how wild we would have roared to celebrate
Half-Birthdays as well!
The likelihood of a thirty-something telling you
he's thirty-three-and-a-half is somewhere between nil
(n. Nothing; zero) and zip (n. Slang.
Nothing; nil; zero) in the dictionary. But that's
pretty much my philosophy on life; I'm never halfway
anywhere, I'm either there or I'm not, it doesn't
matter how much of an in-between I could be.
With that said, my life is Sixteen Candles. The
main difference is, I won't be upset if my birthday is
The man my sister is marrying is Greek Orthodox.
What this means is: my sister got baptised; the
wedding is in a Greek Orthodox church that looks like
the Parthenon; and there's going to be roughly two
hundred and fifty people from his family, and only about
twenty people from ours.
Does anyone remember that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Ian's family goes to visit and meet Toula's family before the wedding, and they're conservative and boring and the Greeks are loud and flamboyant and boisterous?
Like Sam in the 80s classic Sixteen Candles, I
will be a casual observer of unbridaled (but bride-d
and groom-ed) mayhem. My world will be turned upside
down after I've met the fourth cousin named Nick. Only
then will I truly understand the sheer audacity of the
world we live in.
And what of my poor sister who will be caught in a
web of Greek Orthodox motherhood? What of her? She
will turn over a new page in her book of life. She
will hand in her deck of tarot cards, the goblet of
eternal youth somehow missing from her chosen few
slips of futureboard. But who needs eternal youth when
you can get married to a wonderful person and have
wonderful children and do a job that you truly enjoy?
What's more perfect than growing old with your true
love and seeing your children go off to college to
benefit the world? Nothing, as long as you stop
worrying about how old you are. Nothing, as long as
you forget it's your birthday. If everybody forgets
something exists, you can't very well celebrate it,
can you? How old could you possibly be without a
birthday? I propose I stay nineteen forever, simply
My sister's thirty year old kids with their
twenty-eight year old mother, now that's a story for
the newspapers. As long as she doesn't name any of
And wouldn't she be twenty-eight and a half?
(Note: In an ironic twist of fate, I realized that the word "very" is between nil and zip in the dictionary.)