Today is my birthday. I grab my iphone from the nightstand and check the time. It’s 5:53am, a little earlier than my usual wake up time. I then check for birthday emails. None yet, but I do have new mail from Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, it’s a free weight loss sample, which normally wouldn’t bother me, but today, my defensive highschoolesque inner voice thinks “Um, whatever Pam! How bout losing some weight from your bOObs, they make you look dumb and tacky, and your taste in men sucks. Just sayin. How did you get my email address anyways?”
I slip out of bed early, the kids and hubby still sleeping soundly. I’m looking forward to a bit of quiet time before the morning rush. Coffee in hand, I plant myself by the fire and put my feet up. Deeeep breath in, exhale. Hmm, not so bad… I don’t feel any older than yesterday. I sigh in relief, I got this!! Not sure what compels me but I flick on the news to see what’s happening in the world on the anniversary of my birth, when an overly-awake morning guy breaks my zen mode and from my television cheerily announces “WELL THIS IS CREEPY, heh heh heh, a University of Toronto professor has discovered the GENE that predicts your TIME OF DEATH.” Apparently, scientists who study genetic mutations and the body’s “circadian clock” say they have found a variant that determines the time of day a person is most likely to die. Crap. I woke up early this morning, did I throw off my circadian rhythm? I decide to not let it get me down and ruin my special day. Fantastic I think, with the help of science I can now plan my schedule around “it.” If “it” was going to be today for example, I have all kinds of exciting birthday activities I need to get done before the death clock chimes, a parent teacher interview for one kid, an orthodontist appointment for the other. Might have to skip the Parent Advisory Council meeting tonight though, I would hate to die there- no cougar dignity in that. I investigate the professor’s claims further, he notes that most people, the average ones, tend to die at 11 a.m. and that heart attacks and strokes often occur in the morning. Better also reconsider that 10:30 Crossfit class, no need for killer abs today, too much to do.
While I make lunches and drink my second cup of coffee, I think more about the death gene. If there is something in our genetic code that predicts the time we are going to die, and the law of opposites states that everything contains two mutually incompatible and exclusive but nevertheless equally essential and indispensable parts or aspects, then clearly, there must be a corresponding mutating gene variant that predicts when we are born, right? Maybe this somehow explains, beyond the mysteries of the zodiac, the connection we have with those that share our birthday. You know, the feeling of affinity that somehow, they are in some way, connected to us. If you have ever said “No way, really? (insert birthdate here) is MY birthday too, COOL!!” then you know what I am talking about. You know that your birthday brethren all over the world will also wake up on the very same day as you and share in your confrontation with mortality: “it’s my birthday today, another year older… shitballs.” If my theory is correct, then science has confirmed something I intuitively knew was true all along, that I share a vague mutated genetic connection with Bo Derek, who also happens (or not so “happens”) to be born on this day. Not surprising though, is it?
I wonder what Bo is doing right now? Well, after thinking “it’s my birthday today, another year older… shitballs,” she is probably exquisitely reposed on a deck somewhere, the morning sunlight dancing through her sheer white negligee as she sips her chai latte and ponders mortality, Ravel’s Bolero playing in the background. Yes, we are very genetic mutatedly similar, but yet, we have our differences. I have children, she does not. She is a Republican, I am a Canadian. I did not leave the continent and flee to Europe at 16 to marry a controlling and creepy 3x married man 30 years my senior to save him from statutory rape charges. Nor did I rise to fame and subsequently become one of the most celebrated worst actresses of all time because my creepy control freak husband would only allow me to act in second-rate creepy soft core movies HE wrote and directed. But I don’t want to beat up on Bo Derek’s deceased husband, the one that answered all interview questions on her behalf, and would tell her when she was getting too fat and therefore decreasing the pleasure he derived from her. Not at all, may his creepy controlling perv ass rest in peace. In fact, kudos to his ability to commodify his wife’s name, image, and body so successfully. She will eternally be the image of the perfect 10: young, blonde, beautiful, hour glass figure, large perfect breasts, golden tan, voracious sexual appetite, and that wanting-your-middle-aged-male-paunch look in her eye that says “I will not challenge you to anything more than a naked wrestling match.”
I may not resemble this ideal, but I have some serious “10” qualities, and I’m guessing that is where the common mutated gene variation birth predictor comes in. I am a 10 at loading the dishwasher. I can always arrange and rearrange to make every extra last minute dirty plate find fit, no matter how full the load is. I am a definite 10 at avoiding phone calls, the quality and quantity of the phone calls I ignore is truly breathtaking, and although I am slipping down the scale in my daughters’ eyes as they become older, more critical, and embarrassed by my mere presence (“Mom, Ella in my class, her Grandma is younger than you, how come you had me when you were so old?”) I’m probably still okay by my toddlers’ standards. I know this because he is the only one in the family that doesn’t wince when I go braless around the house on Saturday mornings. But that too will come to an end, and then it will just be me and Ol’ Bo, two sexy birthday sharing cougars living in a cold world.
Me, Bo Derek, and oh ya, Happy Birthday to Joe Biden too.