So, it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I’m turning 29. Which really is FINE, but this week, I had a mini freakout about it, and believe it or not, it was all because of “The Bachelor”
As many of you may know I really like ABC’s “The Bachelor”. Let’s call it my guilty pleasure. I know it’s trash – but, sort of like a train wreck, I can’t look away. I have to watch.
The dates… the drama… the red roses… I’m HOOKED!
Little did I know that this past week, this silly show would get real personal
– for ME.
The other night I was finally watching episode four (after about six hours of streaming… clearly China does not fully understand my need for North American Television. The nerve.) Anyway, Juan Pablo was on a date with Sharlene (the Opera Singer). You know how they always display the contestant’s name and age at the bottom of the screen? When Sharlene’s popped up, I turned to Erika and said with some surprise,
“Oh! I didn’t realize she’s 29! She’s one of the OLD contestants!”
To which my loving sister promptly replied,
“Mere, she’s YOUR age. Or at least she will be once you have your birthday next week!”
So, if I were a contestant on “The Bachelor” I would officially be an “OLD” one.
When did that happen?
Now before everyone I know over the age of 29 starts yelling: “29 is young!” or “You’re not old”, let me clearly state that I KNOW in my HEAD that 29 is not old, really I do!
And truthfully, I’m not usually the type to get weird about birthdays.
The only other birthday that felt a little weird was when I turned 20, and I remember thinking “Oh my goodness, I’m not a teenager anymore. Now I have to be responsible.” I sat in my purple Vibe and cried. Then I went to the mall and bought a bunch of stuff that I promptly returned the next day, because I was a poor, 20 year old university student and couldn’t afford any of it. I even briefly debated going and doing something “crazy” that day, like getting a tattoo to commemorate the end of my life as I knew it. HA! Dramatic much? (And no, I didn’t get a tattoo).
Anyway – all of that to say that I wasn’t prepared for 29 to feel weird.
And especially not because of an episode of “The Bachelor”!
Embarrassingly enough though, I have to confess that for the following few days, it kept coming to mind! I started to feel that nagging restlessness, like maybe I needed to go out and do something crazy (like get the Chinese symbol for “youth” tattooed ANYWHERE) just to “prove” I was still “young” and “free”.
Thankfully, though, something happened that helped remind me that there’s a reason we CELEBRATE birthdays every year, and take note of the fact that we’re getting older, as opposed to hiding under the covers all day.
On Saturday, Jeff showed up with a single red rose – an early birthday gift from my dad. You see, my dad has been handing out roses a lot longer than “The Bachelor” has! My dad has been delivering roses to me on my birthday since I was 8 years old. Every year, on February 3rd, I would get called down to the school office where a beautiful birthday rose would be waiting.
After I graduated and moved out of the house, my dad had to get a little more creative in the delivery of the roses, but nevertheless, one always showed up to celebrate my birthday, no matter where I was or what I was doing.
And this year makes 21 roses.
Now, here’s the part where I stop whining about turning 29, and get a little sentimental instead.
Seeing that rose show up here in China reminded me of all of the other roses I’ve received over the years, and all of the memories – both the good and bad, that those roses and years represent. And I remembered what an honour it is to actually be able to add another rose to the collection. It means I can add another year full of adventures and memories and regrets and choices and blessings to the pile as well.
So, while it’s true that I’ll never get a rose on “The Bachelor” – (I’m probably too old for that show now anyway) – I’ll stick with my own collections of red roses – and memories.
Even if it means I have to keep getting older!