Monday, December 21, 2009

Some Candor in this year's Birthday Post

Usually when I write a post on my birthday, it is funny and/or somehow life affirming... well, I don't think I really have that in me this year. Well, if this is funny, it will be more like a black comedy. Naturally, this is going to go into a lot of personal stuff in this too, so this is going to be a departure from the usual stuff I write. Because we all know that me and public candor waved bye to each other a long time ago, and it wasn't that difficult a parting. If anything, it was a mutual break up, as candor didn't want to have anything to do with me, and I didn't trust it, so here we are. The fact that the above analogy sounds startlingly like something that happened to me in real life is purely coincidental.

So I am 33 now. The strange irony is, I've sort of been unknowingly holding a competition with my long-deceased grandfather about who would their first heart attack younger... he had his at 32, so I guess this is a contest I am happy to lose. Of course, I got a grim reminder of my own mortality when a young actress that is 11 months younger than me died of a cardiac arrest yesterday. So it is not a question of if I am going to have a heart attack... it is a question of when. Even though I know the risks, well, I am still not in the best shape. I am in better shape than I was 2 years ago when my mother had her heart attack, but I could be doing so much more.

I think my only consolation is if I have a heart attack and live, well, I will be in some good company. I mean, George Carlin and Richard Pryor had heart attacks relatively young, and hey, who wouldn't want to be like them, minus the cocaine. Of course, the fact that those individuals are now deceased shouldn't dissuade me however.

Yeah, my only real addiction is buying PS2 games. I can't stop buying them. I know I should. It moved beyond ridiculous over the summer and turned into something entirely unsettling. I don't even want to do the math about how long it would take to try to go through them all, because I would be very sad indeed. I mean, if it was booze or pills or sex, well, as a writer I would naturally end up with some stories I could potentially mine and turn into something of interest to the general public, or to tell on talk shows (and I am not trying to reduce those problems into something that could be so easily packaged), but with my little shopaholic problem, well, all I end up with is a lot less drawer space and some lingering debts (along with feelings of recrimination, I can't forget that).

I've also come to the realization that I'm probably never going to have kids, and I'm okay with that now. When I was in my late teens and early 20's, well, I always felt like I had some warped responsibility to carry on the family name, because for the most part, the overwhelming majority of children on the side of the family that shares my surname are female, so I always felt like there was going to be an obligation for me to have children, and that is never the right reason to have them.

I think if I would have had children in my early to mid-20's, I would have been an decent parent, but I don't think I am the same person I was then. Even at this relatively young age, I am already starting to notice that I don't have the same youthful vigor I once had, and I know that I have far less patience than I used to.

And let's face it, I am enough of a child by myself that I need my full attention so I don't play in traffic or do any of the other strange things children do.

I also can't forget to mention the crankiness. Wow, if I would have known that there was going to be individual moments where I was so angry I turned into Lewis Black, I would have never believed it when I was in my 20s.

But I think I should wrap it up there... I don't want to turn into George Costanza discussing his life with the tenant board in "The Andrea Doria". Yeah, I just had to end it with a pop culture reference.


Semaj said...

I'm definitively grumpier in my age, and I feel ya on the children thing. I'm really not interested in having kids. Heck, I still watch cartoons from the 70's and 80's as if I am a kid. Luckily, there are a few members to carry on the family name.

Megan said...

Well, happy birthday anyway.

SamuraiFrog said...

I was never interested in having kids until very recently, and I'm pretty sure it will never happen.

Happy birthday.

Lili said...

Happy birthday or whatever you want to celebrate :)

Kristyn said...

Happy belated birthday. I hope it was an okay one. I don't think it hurts to be a bit introspective on your birthday. I find that as I get older, birthdays mean more soul searching, and less "yay I get a cake" (though I still love the cake!).

MC said...

Semaj: I think we are all getting grumpier as we age as a group (you know, the Justices of the PCSC).

Megan: Thank you :)

SF: Sorry to have bummed you out.

Lili: Thank you, and it is a pleasure to see you.

Kristyn: Yeah, there was no cake for me this year. There was some pie in a pizza form however.