Happy birthday to me. The longest day of the year and I can't think of any better way to spend it: at the dentist and giving blood. It's a little like getting a fifty thousand mile checkup. Check the plugs and points and maybe an oil change while I'm on the rack. Back in the olden days, I used to listen to John Denver croon, "It turns me on to think of growing old," and get all wistful and imagine how life would be once I rounded the bend to that "certain age." Now that I'm squinting at labels on packages of extra-strength Tylenol, I wonder if that sentiment isn't a tad overrated.
For the most part, when I am asked what my favorite age was, I generally choose the one I am currently, since it is the most inevitable. I hold great affection for days gone by, but it is the now that I am stuck with, so why not make the best of it? I really liked being eight. And twelve. And certainly sixteen held its allure. Even my thirties had their own surprises and mysteries, representing the end of my bachelorhood and the dawn of my fatherhood. As much as I enjoy looking back, I don't find myself wishing I could live there.
It's a little bit funny, but not ha-ha funny, that John Denver wrote those words when he was twenty-eight years old. He died in plane crash before he turned fifty-four. I hope for his sake that he had a good enough imagination to extrapolate beyond that sad fate. He worked with George Burns, after all. John only outlived George by seven months. Life can be short and ironic, sometimes. Mine just keeps humming along.