I've always been a little weird about birthdays. I am generally very happy with my job and my friends and my life and yet, without fail, I wake up every birthday with the feeling that a few dozen boxes of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix have fallen on my little toe, pointy corner first.
So when I woke up last Friday, I was unsurprised by the anxiety. But this year was a little different. 24, for whatever reason, was always going to be a particular beast of a birthday for me. Growing up, I pinned a lot of hopes and dreams and goals on 24. Here are all the ones I remember.
By 24 I would have:
- A husband. Most likely a dashing man I met in college, probably in a literature class, probably after making a complex observation about how Thoreau would have been a lot happier if he'd installed a water slide on Walden Pond.
- Twins. I desperately wanted a twin as a child, and when it became apparent that I (most likely) was not going to have a twin sister, I decided that I would settle for mothering a pair or two. Oh, the hijinks my identical blonde daughters, Mary Kate and Ashley, and I would get into together! Nothing in my genetics indicates that I will give birth to twins, let alone blonde twins. But hey. Anything can happen at 24.
- A PhD in something. Whatever is easiest to get. I've never been interested in working very hard, and I didn't think that would change by 24. It hasn't!
- A job editing the New Yorker. Ask me if I've ever read the New Yorker. I haven't! Literally not even once.
- My standing back tuck, even without the aide of the spring floor.
- A savings account I could access without my mom's permission. I nailed this one.
- 3,000,000 twitter followers. I'm so close!
- Fans, just in general. In 2nd grade we wrote a little book called "The Story Of My Life," and mine ended with this exact quote: "Everyone will clap for me. I will be beautiful and everyone will love me. I will be magnificent."
- I would be beautiful
- I would be magnificent
- And finally, I would have a closet full of beige bras with thick, supportive straps. I've always been a realist about lingerie.
Here I am at 24, with almost none of those things. But I'm doing alright. I guess 25 is when the real fun starts.