When I was a kid, I never understood why one of my young uncles gave Mama a "Happy 29th Birthday!" card for several years running. I knew she wasn't twenty-nine-- she's born in a nice round year, it's easy to do the math, so I knew he knew she wasn't twenty-nine. So, what was so damn funny about that card??
Then one evening at Nerd Camp this summer, I was sitting on the patio of our hotel in Virginia City, NV having a couple of beers with the Nerds. I began a sentence with "when I was in my early thirties..." and by the time I'd finished the sentence, I realized no one was paying attention. When I asked what was up, one of the Nerds said, "Your early thirties? You're how old?" A guessing game ensued, and the three Nerds, one in her 50's and the other two in their mid-20's, said they'd previously assumed I was in my late twenties. Twenty-eight, to be exact.
Now granted, this was after a couple of beers, but I'd been with these folks a week, and apparently I'd been passing as a late-twentysomething.
And yeah, that felt a little... great. They're crazy, of course. I may not necessarily look quite as old as I actually am, but there's no way you'd mistake me for a twentysomething. But yeah, it felt a little great. And it made me remember Ma's birthday cards.
Thirty was a dirty word. Twenty-nine, however... well, that was still "young."
Today (August 31) is my birthday. I'm not turning 29. And honestly, I wouldn't go back to my twenties if you paid me (well, maybe if you paid me A LOT) (or maybe if you gave me a total do-over). I'm pretty okay with being thirty-mumblemumble.
I'm even more okay with starting my new year off right with Waterfront Wednesday. It was very nice of the WFPK folks to plan August's Waterfront Wednesday on my birthday, knowing that it's my favorite day of every summer month. I'm not familiar with this month's artists: Sarah Jaffe, Ha Ha Tonka, and Katie Herzig... but you know me, give me live music outside and I am happy.
Don't forget that WW is still on the Big Four Lawn-- when will we be moving back to the waterfront outside of Slugger Field?? I miss the old location! If you're there, look for me. I'm always in the back, close to the walkway.
Happy Waterfront Wednesday to you! And happy not-29th birthday to me!
(And a happy not-29th birthday to my late father. It's always lovely to remember that at the very least, I started my life as someone's really fantastic birthday present.)