I recently celebrated my birthday. It was a lovely day, shared with friends and family. As I encountered people during the week leading up to my birthday, I was told repeatedly that it was my twenty-ninth birthday. I find this to be a very interesting and odd aspect of our society. We seem to collectively fear being over thirty. But why should we all be twenty-nine? Why not some other age?
I began thinking about things I had done on previous birthdays, and realized that there were several I could not recall. What DID I do on my ninth birthday, anyway? What happened on my 24th? I do not recall. This led to a creative new way to calculate age. Assume that, if you are over 30 and you cannot recall certain birthdays, they never happened. If you don’t remember celebrating, perhaps you did not celebrate enough. You get that year back, as a do-over, to do it right! If, however, you had three 25th birthday parties, and you remember each one, then you celebrated three times, and that counts as three years. This can still be offset by not recalling the toddler years, however.
So, If someone is, say, thirty-five, and said person does not recall the day she was born, or turning 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, or 23, then she gets to subtract eight years from her legal age. If, however, she celebrated her sweet 16 twice (once with family, once with friends), and her 21st birthday three times, then she adds the additional one year for her 16th, and two for her 21st, giving her a five year difference from her legal age. This makes her 30!
If the guy leering at you on the subway is 40, but celebrated twice for every year between 18 and 30, he gets to add an additional 12 years to his age, making him 52 until he deducts the fact that he cant recall the first five years of his life (which removes six birthdays, since he doesn’t recall being born). So now Mr. Smarmy Straphanger is 46. Something to think about the next time you encounter a sleazeball on public transportation.
So, when I stop to consider how many birthdays I cannot recall, and the fact that I have never had more than one celebration for a single birthday, I can get away from the default 29, and say that my true (at heart) age is *drumroll* twenty-three!
How about you?