So my hooman turned a year older today. She’s convinced herself she’s still 21 so I’m letting her indulge in this fantasy. Just for today.
I know that for some reason, she was dreading the advent of this day. Who does that? I love birthdays! Most people love birthdays! But I guess she’s not most people.
I delight in birthdays because it means a cake, presents, and I’m treated like a boss. They give me a pass for chewing the couch or they hand me an extra rasher. For my mom though, she claims birthdays somehow make her wistful. These remind her of what ifs, of missed opportunities, of sky dives that never happened, and the worst decisions she’s made. Boy, it must be tough being a grown-up.
The pact she made with herself to Angelina Jolie herself a brown-eyed, freckly baby that doesn’t drool or gurgle when she turns 28 never came to fruition. She’s seen that age come and go but she ended up having me instead and this cheeky little bugger I call my younger brother. (We fart and barf, that’s a better deal methinks.) I know too that aside from us, she has devoted herself to other fur babies. Humans are strange. They don’t know what they want.
Kojin and I wanted to do something special for her today but the best we could manage was to refrain from having diarrhea and not give her another scar mark from excessive nipping and biting. We give her ‘ruff’ love.
Today she went about her daily grind. Three-hour commute back and forth to work. (She doesn’t drive. Too many fenders bent.) Nine-hour shift. Ten pages leafed through a 360-paged textbook. One lottery ticket and another scratch card that was not at all lucky. A conspicuous gray hair plucked from her black mane. One or two candles snuffed out.
She seemed chipper but she cried a little. She pondered why bliss for her age seems to be perpetually pursued. She says it’s a constant effort; that it needs to be chased. I don’t get her. I hound dragonflies and smelly butts, and these make me euphoric. It’s not that complicated. Maybe I ought to take her butt-a-chasin’ next time. Humans are weird. Especially women. Especially women her age.
She says she’ll start doing more favors for herself. Eat healthier, drink lesser. More adventures, less passiveness. More spontaneity, less routine. Be happier, and be impervious to people who make her feel otherwise.
So far she’s managed to turn herself into a flexitarian. Whatever that means. (I call it a cheating vegetarian.) She started running again and does these ridiculous squats that scrunch her face ugly. She can now sleep without having to watch those murder documentaries that she says lull her to oblivion. And she’s withdrawn from drinking soda (but she started drinking beer). She still enjoys her favorite pastime which is to have duets with herself. Cringe-worthy. I guess she’s getting there.
My brothers and I wish her the best today and all the days thereafter. I wish to see her cry lesser. It can get weird seeing her sob when she watches dogs or cats being rescued, or when she sees reruns of the Gladiator. She does say we raise her oxytocin levels when we let ourselves be cuddled. I should not begrudge her those hugs then. I hope she knows that despite constantly chastising herself for her inadequacies and falling short of expectations she’s set for herself, she’s our world. She makes us happy. Happy 21st woman!