I’m almost officially two months into my 28th year on this good Earth Wow, so I actually can’t believe it’s my birthday. As many of you know, I’m still a huge kid when it comes to my special day. I love my cake (usually an ice cream cake), my presents (with lots of pretty pink bows) and lots of love and laughter. Birthdays are just fun and magical….NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE!!!
And it’s OK, I can say it…I’m 28. I’m OK with that age; yes, it’s on the OTHER side of 25, maybe it’s so over the hill that it can’t even see 25 any more (we won’t think about that, though), but at least it hasn’t smooched 30 on the lips yet. I still feel young, though, or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself of that, so I’m relishing in that as long as I possibly can. I could conceivably be the only 65-year-old woman who screams over the Jonas Brothers! Who knows?
But in the last few years – and I could conceivably credit this to my upward momentum on the Age Hill – I’ve toned down my party-‘til-I-drop mode, if ever I even had one in the first place. And of course, this led to some wondering: Why are we so ‘worried’ about ourselves (read: yes, mother, I’m directing this at you) when we just feel like hunkering down at home? And even more, why do we even make ourselves feel guilty for doing so?
Let’s just face it: I can at least give myself credit for spending the last few birthdays (OK, more like birthday pre-2008) outside my lovely home. I lived it up in Chicago (OK, I technically snooped around Virgin Megastore and Borders, but that’s beside the point. At least I was traipsing up and down Michigan Avenue). True, it was only a drives-worth away, but it was out of my house, out of the city limits and even beyond the county line.
But these last two years, I just felt the need to nest and relax at home. Take last year, for example. I began the festive celebration around 5 p.m. by opening a jumbo bag of cheeseburger-flavored Combos and pairing it was a refreshing and ever-so-cooling tall glass of ice water. And what pre-birthday bash would be complete without a little trashy and mind-numbing reality TV (Thank you, Denise Richards; I owe ya one). Oh, and let’s not discount the ice cream Sundae I had from McDonald’s and the episode of ALF that had me in stitches!
Stars like Paris Hilton may jet to Vegas and have their birthday celebrations splashed across every magazine the following week, but there’s something to be said for those quiet celebrations. Something very real and humbling and, dare I say, pure. But in the end, it’s nice to not feel guilty for doing what you want. That included, but was not limited to: munching on Sour Skittles, quality time with family (and ALF), playing a mean game of Yahtzee and spending just a wee too much on ebay.
I’ve realized that birthdays don’t have to be all ballrooms and caterers and limos and fancy dresses. Sometimes the best ones end up being the ones you have with those you love the most: the people closest to you, who know you and who, by just seeing their faces, can make you smile for days. Sometimes, well, most times for me, home is where the heart is. So why should you ever feel guilty for wanting to be there as much as you can?
Who really needs a big, extravagant shindig like Paris Hilton anyway? I bet she doesn’t get to watch 7 episodes of ALF and be in bed by 8 p.m., with a genuine sigh of contentment escape her lips as she falls asleep.