For people who know me, this is not a secret: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. This isn’t really a popular opinion, and it usually tends to get overshadowed by Christmas, but it’s my favorite. There are two simple reasons for that—food and presents.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “There are no presents on Thanksgiving. You are talking about Christmas, dummy.”
Normally, yes. But my Thanksgiving involves presents. That’s because my birthday is right in the midst of the Thanksgiving hoopla. And since it’s usually easier for family to get together once and call it good, we usually combine Thanksgiving and my birthday celebration. I know people (like Karli) who sometimes get their birthdays mixed in with Christmas and hate it, which I can completely understand. However, in my case, I’m the only one getting presents, and you can’t really ask for a better dinner than Thanksgiving dinner, and I prefer pie to cake any day, so I dig Thanksgiving birthday. It’s really pretty amazing.
Every few years, like this year, my birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving. This year was even extra special, because it was also the day I turned three whole decades old. Yep, I’m 30.
And I don’t get it. I don’t understand the big deal with it. My friend Luke keeps trying to impart the gravity of my elderliness (especially since he turned 30 earlier this year), but it fails to hit home. I’m convinced that it’s because I’m horrifically out-of-shape. Luke is a runner and takes pretty good care of himself. He probably doesn’t need to confront his mortality till the number of candles on his birthday cake pose a fire hazard. I, on the other hand, being the guy who treats his body less like a temple and more like a rented bouncy house, have had back problems and trouble breathing and achy joints* since I was in college. I’ve felt like I’m in my 40s since I was 20. Realizing I’m 30 makes me feel like I’m somehow coming out ahead.
*And ::ahem:: a receding hairline.
This doesn’t mean I don’t feel old. I do. It’s just not my age that makes me feel old. You know what did make me feel old the other day?
Yes, it’s the inferior of the Ghostbuster movies and it’s 23 years old and I can remember when it came out and I did the math. That’s not what makes me feel old, though. I realized, as I was watching it the other day, that it’s the opening scene. You know the one, where
Zuul Dana is chatting up her building superintendent and her baby’s stroller starts driving itself away, weaving through traffic and pulling up short of a bus?
No joke—scared me shitless. I may have peed a little, which also makes me feel old, but that’s a different post for a different day.
As I was watching that, I realized 1) that even though I’ve seen that sequence a hundred times and knew how it would end, I couldn’t keep from being so terrified for that baby’s safety, and 2) as concerned as I was, I was even more focused on the fact that the baby’s stroller didn’t have straps. On a busy street! In New York! Okay, that part made me feel young, but the first one, where I was legitimately scared for a baby I knew was going to be fine, was when I realized my age.
I could no longer watch it the same way I did when I was little. I’m a parent. I’m old. I see the world in a different way now. No going back.
It’s cool though. It seems like I’ve always felt old. Now turn down that racket. Some of us have to work in the morning.