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 forgotten.

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 through neglectfulness.

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 them Nick.

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.)