Another Birthday and an Unsuspecting Birthday Fairy Godfather

Obviously, Satchel didn’t send this to me…or did he? Satchel Paige image credit: Wikipedia

So, today is my birthday. I’m supposed to be happy about it. However, the elation aspect of it is all a bunch of bunk.

I love these people who have rays of sunshine shooting out of their eyeballs and say things to you like, “Oh, don’t pay attention to the number that’s associated with your birthday. It’s better than the alternative!”


It’s tough to frown at flowery, cheerful, eternal optimists. Of course, I’d rather be here than in the hereafter, that’s a given. But can’t anyone just let me wallow in this number that’s less than thrilling?

My husband tries to impart his positivism about this particular birthday and aging in general by sharing something with me. I’m obviously not excited about it, and all the logic in the world won’t make me feel differently. It’s not to my liking; it’s the wrong side of forty-five.

“To quote Satchel Paige,” my husband begins…“‘How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?’”

I know I’m in trouble when baseball quotes are coming out in the form of life’s wisdom.

“Well?” he asks. “How old would you be if you didn’t know your actual age?”

Oh, God, I think. We’re going to play a numbers game. And I’m required to answer.

I think for a moment. “Thirty-five,” I say.

“Okay, then. You feel like you’re thirty-five, so you’re thirty-five.”

Good in theory.

“Yes,” I say, tentatively. “Thirty-five.”

I feel myself lying. I have tennis elbow and runner’s knee. It will take me a millennium to lose the weight I want to lose. I used to only see silver above my shoulders in the form of necklaces, but now the color is taking over my hair. And I have a kid about to start middle school in two weeks. I can’t pretend I’m not the age I am. Didn’t we learn about the ills of deception during Catholic education?

I go upstairs and look at myself in the mirror. Holy Crap-ola, I think. You can’t stop time; that’s bloody true.

Then another Satchel Paige quote pops into my head. I’m starting to get concerned that the ghost of Satchel Paige is my birthday fairy godfather.

“Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter,” I hear a small voice say.

I suppose that will have to be the quote to cure my anxieties about all this birthday nonsense. I shake off the voice and make my way back downstairs adopting the attitude that I don’t care what age I am. I’ll pretend to feel thirty-five today and for the rest of the year. Hair can be dyed. Knees and elbows will heal. And my middle-school kid, well, at least he’ll be there for three years. (We won’t talk about losing weight. I’ll save that for Jenny Craig.)

I feel much better now. I breathe a sigh of relief and sip my coffee. I’m feeling empowered, and I open a birthday card.

“Happy 46th Birthday,” it reads. I stare at it.

Thirty-five is slipping away. There is no voice whispering to me now. Where the hell is Satchel when you need him?

It’s still the wrong side of forty-five.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue Ellen Grove says:

    I am your eternal optimist friend with sunshine shooting out of my eyeballs and you are a grouch who writes a very entertaining blog!

    1. Yes. You are eternally sunshiney and I am eternally mopey.

  2. akismet-7078510c9c5112602e5767c5fd691698 says:

    Great blog (especially as it’s my birthday on Thursday!) and glad to hear you too are exploring the electronic publishing route. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. Thank you so much! And happy birthday to you early! We bloggers must stick together!


  3. Charlotte says:

    “Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.” – Lady Bracknell, courtesy of Oscar Wilde.

    1. Charlotte,

      I loved my thirties. Best years of my life. Thirty-five sounds like the age I’d be forever, if that were possible.

  4. 27 forever 🙂 happy happy birthday. we are not older, just wiser 😉 love ya!

    1. Maribeth,

      I am definitely wiser. And decision-making has come much easier. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  5. Amy N says:

    I enjoyed this, Steph! As one who is barely dangling on the “right side of 45,” thank you for editing out any references to wrinkles, waddles and errant hairs.

    1. Amy,

      This comment warrants an award. Love it!

  6. Mom says:

    I can easily “second” each and every comment in your post today. But at my age (which is the prime of senility!), I’m enternally grateful to be this side of the grass!!! Golda Meir said it best, “Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there is nothing you can do.”

    Happy Birthday and a hug,
    The MOM

    1. Mom,

      If you can laugh heartily at Crazy.Stupid.Love. you are not old.


  7. Maribeth says:

    Hi Stephanie, Happy Birthday!!!!!! Take each new year as another year of confidence and you will be fine. The older we get the closer we get to knowing who we are.

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading yours as well.

    Birthday’s are meant to be celebrated. Whoop it up, sulk tomorrow:)


    1. Thanks, Maribeth! Looking forward to connecting more often!

  8. Pam Hasson says:

    I posted on your FB wall before i read this….i was close w. 36!!! That is your “true” age is what we’ll call it, like your dental age and your physical age, as opposed to chronological age. ha ha…anyway, i hope you had a good one. BTW, if you are mid -thirties, tell Anthony to start planning the 40th this time!

    1. Pam,

      35, 36, 37 … at this point, any number in the 30s will do. I still love Sandra Bullock’s quote about age the best. She says, “After a while, you’ve lied so many times, you forget how old you are.” Sounds sensible to me.


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