So I’ve got a birthday coming up next week. I honestly haven’t been thinking about it too much, though, because I’ve been so busy trying to catch up from all my book stuff. But then yesterday, on the front page of the paper, there was this whole story about next Tuesday, which it just so happens, this year, is 06/06/06. And on that day, I’ll be (gulp) 36. Three sixes. Sign of the devil, mark of the beast, the whole shebang. The new Omen movie is even coming out on that day, just to capitalize on it. Can I just say that’s hard enough to turn (gulp) 36 without worrying about demonic possession? Here I was planning to spend the day getting a pedicure, going to lunch and reading magazines, but now I may not even get out of bed. It’s like your birthday being Friday the 13th, but with a satanic edge. Sheesh.
I know 36 is not old. It’s just the start of the second part of my thirties, which, by the way, have actually been great. But there’s someting about a sixth year of a decade, the second half beginning…I don’t know. I made the mistake of trying to explain this at a reading a few weeks back, and chose the wrong words to convey it by saying, “You know, it’s that kind of downward slope,” and demonstrated with an equally unfortunate hand gesture, at which some people in the crowd actually booed me. (But in a good-natured, Chapel Hill way.) That’s what you get for even intimating you feel old in a roomful of retirees. Whoops. Stupid, I know. But the thing is, it’s hard to feel relative about your age, because each one is new to you. I remember when turning thirty felt old, to me: now, it’s like, nothing. I’m sure I’ll feel that way about 36 next year, too, and forty someday, and on and on. For now, though, I’m just happy to be here, and I will claim every one of my (almost) 36 years, because I earned them. Although it would be nice to start the next year without the satanic angle, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Speaking of getting older (and looking back) I just have to say again how much I’ve been enjoying the reruns of 90210 on SoapNet lately. I know a lot of you probably never watched this show, and never will, and that’s just fine. But because it IS a the dead time TV-wise, with a lot of reruns and realilty, you might be looking for something to watch, and the 9er (as we fans call it: or maybe that’s just me that calls it that) is about to hit its BEST stretch, so if you’ve ever been interested, now is the time to tune in. I’ll give you a quick recap: Brenda and Dylan have been forbidden to see each other by Brenda’s dad. Kelly and Donna are supposed to go to France together for the summer. Brandon’s working at the beach club. The summer is just starting and there is MUCH drama ahead, as well as possibly the best teen love triangle EVER. Also: Shannen Doherty doing a terrible French accent, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”! And more! Plus, of course and always, Luke Perry smoldering to the point that your TV may just burst into flames. Yikes. Is there a better way to transition to watching his new show, Windfall, when it begins soon? I don’t think so.
Finally, before I head off to run errands, a word about the spelling bee. I watched the last five minutes or so, and yes, it was very dramatic. But my favorite part was when I actually recognized one of the last words, the one that knocked the girl with the dark hair out: weltschmerz. Now, I couldn’t spell it—and sadly, neither could she—but I knew it, because I remember when I was in high school, and would be laying around moping, feeling entirely dramatic, and my dad would walk through the living room, look at me, and say, “Ah. Teenage weltschmerz.” It means “a sadness over the evils of the world,” but I think my dad meant it to convey a different meaning, like “Get up off the couch and stop sighing so loudly.” See, there is no limit to what your parents can teach you. Thanks, Dad!