But I haven't felt this way about my birthday since I turned 23. That was the year I really freaked out. I remember driving with T2, the guy I had just started dating (not to be confused with T1, my college boyfriend of the same name), and having what can only be described as a meltdown in the passenger seat. (To T2's credit, he talked me off a ledge and continued dating me for many months more. I think he found the whole thing kind of charming. He was great that way.)
Anyway. This year I did not freak out in any discernible way, but I have felt tailed by a certain melancoly since August began.
And then my brother, WS, called on Saturday morning. He left this message: "Hello, birthday girl! Where are you? Why aren't you picking up? I can't believe you're 27... Man, you're getting old. Okay, I'll talk to you later!"
Compare this to the message he left me last year: "Hi, birthday girl! Happy 26th... Now you're in your late twenties. All right!"
He means well. He even made a cameo appearance at the birthday party which Jess was cool enough to host-- how fantastic is she? So WS brought me a bottle of Boone's Farm ("'Cause I know you like fruity!") and Glen Ellen ("For old time's sake!"-- we used to sell it at our old summer job). He said his round of hellos, then left to "drink a couple brewskis before I head out to the city."
It was a little after 11, and two V&Ts later, when my phone rang. It was WS. "Happy birthday, birthday girl!" he shouted.
"Um...," I said. "Didn't I just see you? Why are you calling me?" (This sounds harsh, but it isn't-- WS only calls me if he needs something or if we haven't talked for a while.
"Just to say 'hi'! And to see if you and your party posse want to come out to [insert bar name here] with us!"
"My party posse?"
(In the living room, my friends hear me and start laughing.)
"Have you been drinking?"
"Well, we did a power hour before we left... And now we're walking!"
"Okay," I said. "That's good. That's better than driving, I guess."
"Yeah! And you know, if we were like eighteen and under, we'd be like a gang!"
"Um," I said.
"And if your party posse would come out, you could be like the rival gang!"
"Um," I said. "I don't think my party posse would be too into that tonight, but thanks."
"Okay!" he replied. "See you later! Bye!"
And he hung up. And that is the first conversation I have ever had with my drunken brother. Even now it makes me giggle and forget that I am indeed 27 and almost-- but not quite-- in my late twenties.