Sunday, August 12, 2007
I just turned 29 years old.
And I’m pretty damn happy about that… though not overly zealous. I mean, to me, a birthday is just another day; or more precisely, another day I am alive and in awe of the universe, and a day I can ‘cry if I want to’ and contort my face in otherwise unacceptable positions while blowing out flaming wax sticks. It’s pretty special, yes, but no more special than any other magnificent day when I scrunch up my facial muscles and purse my lips in the privacy of my own bathroom.
That’s why I was surprised at how many birthday-wishers plummeted into well-intentioned, graceless verbal acrobatics around the apparently dismal and scary fact that I had almost spent 30 years alive and healthy:
“Happy Birthday, -c! Don’t worry, though: you have one more year before you’re Old!”
“Happy B-day! It’s amazing you’ve led such a full life! Soon you’ll be shaving your nipples and chin!”
Call me a liar. Call me a fake. But, I swear, I have never been afraid of growing old. I have never suffered from gerascophobia, as it is medically called. If anything, I think getting old is an evolutionary sign of strength and virility.
In my opinion, getting old is sexy. I think gray hair, wrinkles and experience are the hottest attributes anyone could have. I think an intelligently expressed opinion over a racing, over-heating heart is more vagina-moistening than any unexamined proclamation from a physically-fit, wrinkle-less youngster on a treadmill any day.
That’s right: I’ll take man-tits and nose hairs over ignorance or stupidity, hairy hands down.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Just because I’m not a sufferer of gerascophobia (fear of getting old) or rhytiphobia (fear of getting wrinkles), doesn’t mean I don’t have other irrational fears.
I’ll admit I am slightly ergophobic (fearful of work and responsibility), plutophobic (fearful of wealth), emetophobic (fearful of vomiting), and apiphobic (fearful of bees). (*Honestly, if I were a character in Orwell’s 1984 and were trapped in a cage with work responsibility, a bunch of bees, a stack of Hamiltons reading ‘In God we Trust’ and the threat of lunch regurgitation, I would not only admit that 2 and 2 were 5, but also that the Earth was flat and that George W. deserved to be elected supreme Dictator of Positive Progress for eternity.)
I’d say I got off pretty easy with my fears, really. To think, I could have been one of the unfortunate souls who has a paralyzing fear of ticking clocks (chronophobia), a debilitating and antidisestablishmentarianistic fear of long words (Sesquipedalophobia), or even worse a fear of opinions (Allodoxaphobia), a fear of erect penises (Medorthophobia) or -most horrific of all- of thinking (Phronemophobia).
Yup, I'd say I'm pretty lucky. Not only am I excited by the fact that I am growing older, but I do not have an irrational fear of chickens at dusk or of toothpaste tubes taking over the world.
And, those, I'm sorry to say are not claims everyone can make.
*Edit/Update 1: I sometimes feel angst about dinner conversations. Could I be Deipnophobic?
Posted by -c at 9:21 PM