I have one more week to post about being 29 (and use the above lyric as a post title).
This year has kind of sucked, (well, the first half, anyway). I think if you ask a lot of people, they will agree, 2010 was just a lousy year all around. But despite my rocky start to last year (Deep breath — out of work, moved back in with parents, had an undiagnosable health issue that kept throwing me in the ER, got divorced, my crush of 6 years finally broke my heart, and… well, at least my dog didn’t die) things have been looking up. Which is why, unlike most people who get freaked out at turning 30, I am excited. ‘Cause it can’t be as bad as 29. How’s that for a pessimistic, “well, no where to go but up” sentiment.
My mom instilled in her 5 children a profound special-ness of birthdays. She went all out, throwing us costume parties, finding a way to explain to her mom, the cake decorator, what an ALF birthday cake should look like, letting us pick the meals for the day of our birthday, all that stuff. Presents were never a big part of it (I couldn’t name a birthday present if I tried), but all the other stuff, feeling like you were the most important for one day, was a big big part of it.
My older sister always got to have a sleepover at the cottage, being a lucky summer-birthday kid. Those sleepovers were fairly epic – I learned that poking a hole in your pop can, above the tab, gave you superpower ability to spray the rafters, got some really bad makeup tips (blue eyeliner, on the inside edge of your eyelid), and took part in a giggley looking up of the word ‘sperm’ in the Funk & Wagnells Dictionary.
My younger siblings birthdays were… kind of embarrassing for me. My friend Elizabeth W. and I dressed up as clowns to be in the Santa Claus parade one year, and my mom thought we were really into red nose entertaining. And pretty soon, Bubbles the Clown was learning how to make balloon animals, telling bad jokes at birthday parties, and realizing that she probably wouldn’t ever have a boyfriend.
So, in the spirit of birthdays, getting older, moving on, and my last week as a twenty-something, I’m going to post the songs (and more importantly, the key lyrics) that have been coming up on my shuffle and making my head hurt with the realization that there are a lot of people who had a tricky time at some age or another.
Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit
“And if I hadn’t come now to the coast to disappear, I would have died in the landslide of rocks & hopes & fears” (but seriously, the whole goddamn song is one of those songs)
Apartment Story – The National
“Stay inside til somebody finds us, do whatever the TV tells us”
“Tired and wired, we ruin too easily, sleep in our clothes and wait for the winter to leave”
Matches – Wildlife
“We’re making our beds while the city’s burning, cleaning our house while it’s falling down”
Younger Us – Japandroids
“Remember saying things like ‘We’ll sleep when we’re dead’, and thinking this feeling was never gonna end.”
I have about 12 other songs to write about. Will save it for another post. Upcoming:
Seven Day Mile – The Frames
Seven Year Ache – Roseanne Cash
Scattered Pearls – Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Old Panda Days – Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
And now, a picture that I saw at Open Studio by an artist I really like. She uses a lot of sad bastardisms as well.
Title credit: Muther-effin Gin Blossoms!, 29