It was my 25th birthday over the weekend. It was also cold and snowy. Temperatures here were in the single digits and a few inches of snow fell intermittently on Friday and Sunday. My parents informed me that the night I was born, it was 20 below zero and there was a rather heavy blizzard, so things are getting better if you choose to look at 25 increments as a significant trend. Extrapolated out to my 125th birthday (assuming the technology of the day can keep me alive that long), it should be 80 degrees and negative humidity. Assuming humans are still living on earth. Really. In 1907, the car was still a bit of a novelty. We have space tourism as a very real concept right now. Who can say what 100 years will bring.
We didn’t do a whole lot for my birthday. I’ve never been a big birthday celebrator – maybe it’s the fact that for the past several years, my birthday was normally right around the time that spring semester was starting at college. The day after my 21st birthday, I attended an eight hour lecture on nuclear physics lab safety. I wasn’t hungover. Not even close. I know how bad the lecture was, and I hesitate to think of what it might have been like.
The high point of the morning: Or professor looked at the 12 of us very seriously. “Whatever you do, always remember to never eat the radiation sources. This would be very bad. Also, do not be putting them in your pockets unless you do no desire children.”
So, I don’t celebrate birthdays. It’s nice to get the cards and phone calls, but there are no big parties. For a wild a crazy time, Rhiannon got me the yellow frosted sugar-cookies that I love from Super Target. We put a candle in one – it ranks up as one of the top birthday cakes I’ve ever had.
People seem to think that turning 25 is a big deal. I used to think it might be too. Perhaps, on the morning that you are 25, you wake up and realize that you’re really an adult with mature responsibilities, yet you’re still young enough to realize that your entire adult life is ahead of you and you can do pretty much anything you want.
I didn’t really get this feeling. I didn’t really feel older at all. I still work at the same place, drive the same car. I was beginning to think the real highlights of turning 25 is that our car insurance went down and I can rent a car without paying mandatory extra insurance. Apparently the car rental companies feel that someone who is 25 is a lot less likely to take the rental cars out for a joyride that someone who is… I don’t know… 24 years and 362 days old.
The real truth about turning 25? It isn’t that the person having the birthday feels older or different. It’s that the old people in your life will now call you old. I was asked how my knees are feeling. I’ve already had an ACL replacement, all things considered, I’m doing well. I was asked if I have to use the bathroom more frequently. Well, since I’ve adjusted to the gallon or more of water I drink on a daily basis, not really. I was asked if I had plans for my retirement party. I wish.
And then I ask a question back. When did you graduate from high school? Hmmm…. I wasn’t born yet.
So no, I don’t feel all that different than last week. And no, I may complain about it, but I’m really not all that old yet.