Turning 34 twice

Posting will be light today. I’ve slapped up a few things to tide you over, but I won’t be near a computer again until the late afternoon at the earliest. In fact, the rest of the week will be a partial washout: Stephany is taking this Friday off, and Mr. Maud and I leave for Philly Friday afternoon so I can hide out from my birthday.

I’ve always sworn I’d never lie about my age. On Monday I changed my mind. Technically I should turn 33 this year, but I’ve decided I’ll just turn 34 twice.

I have this idea that 33 is the last good year. You’d think I’d want to savor it, but it’s impossible for me to enjoy something if I know it’s going to end. If I turned 33, I’d waste the whole year worrying about how I should be spending my time: Should I really be estranged from both my parents during this crucial period?, for instance. Should I still wear plastic star earrings and a 1983 Swatch and a mini-skirt imprinted with tiny hearts even though people stop me on the L train to ask if I’m “going to the costume party”?

I’d rather end the good times now. I’ll say I’m turning 34, and next year I’ll say it’s my 34th birthday again. Nobody really pays attention after 30, anyway. Birthdays become humdrum and melancholy, and by the end of the evening everyone’s so drunk nobody remembers whose party it was.

For those who’ve asked, my preconceptions about the significance of 33 are based, like most preconceptions in my life, on Jesus and my father.

Not long after Dad turned 33, he announced that he would stay that age for the rest of his life. Last I heard, he’s still trying to pass. Never mind that he turns 60 next year and has stained all his towels with hair dye and colors his white eyebrows with a makeup pencil every morning.


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