Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

About a month ago I told Karina, "It would be nice to have a few people over for my birthday this year. Just a few close friends with whom we can sit and have a quiet evening. No big party, nothing special. I'd just like to spend the day with some of the people who are important to me. But. . ." and I emphasized this clearly, "I will not have this turned into an 'over-the-hill' joke. If anybody comes in with "Over-the-hill" stuff, I'm walking out. Because I'm celebrating moving ahead in life, not desperately clinging to any youth that I have left. I only want to focus on the good stuff. So. . .no 'Over-the-hill,' and I mean it."

So, what is then the proper response when the entire church throws a surprise party during and after worship on Sunday, complete with lots of 'Over-the-hill' paraphernalia? When people go to the time and trouble to write (and perform) skits with 'Over-the-hill' themes? When you walk into the fellowship hall and see "Over-the-hill' banners and posters, and most of the gifts are gag gifts related to getting older, and you realize that everyone is wearing black? When the worship service itself is interrupted (twice) to push this thing forward?

And what do you do when it's the people you love and respect who are making all this happen?

You enjoy it, that's what you do. You enjoy the love and appreciation from people who, well, love and appreciate you. You enjoy the cake and the potluck and the folk musicians in the corner - you even grab your mandolin and sit in for a few.

And you consider yourself fortunate to be in such a good place, surrounded by some amazing people.

And in your heart you resolve to prove just how wrong they all are with that "over-the-hill" bit.

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