Getting ready for my birthday

This newspaper is dated October 1, 2014, which means my birthday is only 30 days away.

6-25 Page 4A.inddI was born on Halloween, which confused me when I was young — why did other kids get candy for my birthday? And the part about folks dressing in costumes to help me celebrate confused me too.

I’m in the middle stages of birthdays. At first, you are excited for each birthday. Sometimes it comes with new privileges. Sixteen means you are old enough to drive. Eighteen and you can finally vote, though you honestly can’t think of a reason to vote for anyone. At 25, your car insurance rates supposedly go down.

I guess perhaps they were lowered from “way too high” to simply “too high.”

Auto insurances are special businesses, because they alone can legally discriminate. Used to, a boy’s rate was “way too high” while a girl’s insurance could be added to her parents’ policy for free. I think somebody complained about that years later, and girls were eventually charged “way too high” rates so everybody became equal.

Either way, like I said, I am now in the second stage of aging, when you no longer look forward to reaching another year’s milestone. Your insurance rates do not change, except your health insurance keeps going up until it reaches the “unaffordable” level. You get no more privileges by getting older. You simply continue to exist.

The third stage of aging is when each year truly comes as a surprise.

People look at you and say, “Wow, I can’t believe he’s still around.”

Then I figure life will become enjoyable. Folks will always be surprised to see you. They won’t complain about the way you eat, because they will be thinking “its not like he’s going to live that much longer regardless of how good he takes care of himself.”

That’s the stage I’m looking forward to.

I remember late in the life of my Uncle Eddie Robinson, his daughter had a big birthday dinner for him. Uncle Ed sat at a table, opened the envelopes that had birthday cards in them and searched to find if there was any money included. If there was, he would take the money out. But he never read any of the cards. He did not care who was giving him anything, only whether they had put cash in their cards.

He was probably in his mid 80s by then. That’s where I want to be someday — where people don’t care if I’m insensitive. They are just glad I am still alive.

We’re heading that way now.