Yes, the rumors are true. I’m now 28-years old. I remember one Jessica Simpson, in her prime, some may say, telling her parents that she was upset to be turning 23. Because it was almost 25. Which is almost her mid-twenties. Well I’m kind of upset to be turning 28, because it’s almost my 50s. Yes, this makes sense to me.
Twenty-eight felt very heavy to me, and I couldn’t figure out why. I usually don’t worry about my age too much, except for my 20th birthday when I had a serious meltdown, and when my mom asked why I told her it was because I knew I was never going to be a professional tennis player. I’ve never played organized tennis, and I’ve never been very good when I’ve tried. But for some reason I knew that 20 was the cutoff for any dreams I might have about winning the Grand Slam or returning a Venus Williams serve without it literally making a tennis ball-size hole in my stomach. Twenty is just too old to try to do something like that. Man, that stayed with me for days.
Anyway, I felt very tired turning 28. Twenty. Eight. I’m not trying to be melodramatic about this, but I was freakin’ exhausted. And I had no excuse for it, until I found the above picture. Because clearly the past 28 years have been about a specific kind of struggle. A struggle to survive that is both as suburban as it is dangerous. I’m exhausted because every day of my 28 years has been a battle from the time I wake until the time I close my eyes. Exhibit A, my second birthday.
Now some of you may look at this picture and thinks it’s adorable. You are a sadist my friend. There are so many things threatening my well being in this picture, first and foremost: where are the parents?? Secondly, why was my second birthday at some kind of construction site? I see exposed wires and outlets. I can imagine everywhere I touched would result in a splinter. There’s probably a saw somewhere off camera. This is dangerous!
Moving on, I notice I’m wearing a very tight beaded bracelet and choker necklace which was probably a normal-sized child’s necklace that was just small on my man-neck. Not only are these things cutting off my circulation and air passages, but I imagine they are some kind of hazard because I could have easily swallowed one of the beads. I’m an avid eater. I’m destroying that plate of ziti and hot dogs. I would have no problem trying to see what plastic tastes like. And as a side to that, this is where carbs started to become a big part of my life.
My final observation has to do with the unattended baby in the background. I’m not entirely sure who that baby is, but judging by the ages of my subsequent cousins, I’m guessing it’s RJ, who would have been all of three months old. That said, it could have been a long lost cousin that we never heard from again because he was left unattended and shocked himself on an exposed wire and had to go to a home. I don’t know. Maybe no one does. All I’m saying is that car seat contraption does not look steady, and if I got furiously thirsty for the soda sitting next to him, I’d have no problem pushing that baby out of the way.
So you can see why, 26 years later, I’ve decided that the best birthday present would just be a good nap. Maybe this is what happens to people as they age. They look back on their life and think about all the years that they’ve literally had to keep their head above water and they just are down right fatigued. I know I am. But I can say what I do like about this picture is the camera on the tripod, stage right. Clearly I was on some kind of reality show when I was little. I always knew I was famous.
Happy Birthday to me! Here’s to the big 2-8!!