I hate my birthday
If I could sleep through one day every year, it would be the 27th of February.
I don’t mind getting older
or my aching back
or that I can never remember that thing I wanted to say.
I don’t hide my age;
I made it this far in life.
But every year as my birthday nears,
my heart begins to race.
I want to hide.
I don’t want a party or presents or singing or cake.
Or, do I?
The pressure to have a “special” day is crushing.
I just want a day.
An ordinary, beige kind of day,
where any attention on me is blurred
and I talk to my bubbie and listen to Tchaikovsky and maybe take myself out for a slice of banana cream pie.
Maybe this is aging gracefully.
Maybe this is aging anxiously.
Maybe there is no right way to age or celebrate or mark a milestone,
but one thing is always certain:
No matter how old I look,
never, ever call me ma’am.