Carnett: Member of the in-between generation says: What birthday?

January 20, 2014|By Jim Carnett

It's my birthday this week, and I intend to ignore it.

I have the right!

I'll close my eyes, plug my ears and sing "la la la la la!"  Whoosh!  See. My birthday's gone.

Call it denial.  Call it anything you like.  But this birthday isn't going to register on the Carnett Richter Scale of Birthdays.  Not like that momentous first birthday did, way, way back. Or the one 35 years later when my beautiful wife, Hedy, surprised me with a huge birthday bash. Or the 65th when Hedy threw another fête and most of my living friends and relations showed up.

But, sorry folks, I'm not into it this year.  It's my intention to let this one glide by without notice.  A freighter in the night.


Just so you know, this birthday is one of those extremely high two-digit numbers that end in nine.  That means next year another big Blank-Oh will confront me.  I handled the "big" three, four and five-ohs with aplomb.  But this birthday is in the upper regions of the Sumerian 1-10 number scale, and the atmosphere there is so rarefied that I may swoon.

Next January –- given that the Earth still orbits the sun and God grants me breath — I'll come face to face with the big 7-0!

Oops, there I've just divulged my actual age.  How clever of me.  I've lately learned that there's a scary inverse relationship between accumulating birthdays and shedding IQ points.

So here's the word on Birthday 2014: I choose to mock you, laugh at you and generally not take you seriously — you faded, bloated, two-bit carousel pony.  

That felt good.

You're just a number –- albeit, in my case, a very high one –- but you'll have no influence over me (other than causing me to produce this 700-word screed).  

Next year?  That's another matter.  I have a feeling 70 is going to arrive on the scene much like Hannibal and his infantry, cavalry and elephants squirting through a Carpathian pass and into an Alpine valley.  I'm afraid the debacle will be beyond my avoidance.

Now that I've gotten this out of my system, permit me to give you my birthday back story:

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