Birthday to-do list

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Birthdays only come around once a year. Thank goodness. Each year I lose a little bit more hair and gain a bunch more weight. If things keep going the way they are, by the time I die, I’ll be completely bald and weigh well over a 1,000 pounds.

The Wife has teased me for the last two weeks that when I see my birthday present I’m going to just die. I told her I couldn’t die yet; I still have hair and another 780 pounds to gain. Ignoring me, she said, “You’ll love it.”

With a smile on my face I said, “It’s a year’s worth of Rogaine and a pallet full of Slim Fast?” That comment got me a friendly poke in the ribs, and it did get me to thinking: What else do you have to spend money on just because you’re fortunate enough to have another birthday?

My birthday is in April, so the first thing that comes to mind is taxes. Each year we search through faded recipes trying to reconstruct the past year. We promise ourselves that, if we only live through the process, we’ll keep better records, which of course we never do. While we’re shifting though our recipes, the government stands back and says, “Congratulations, you have another birthday. Now pay us a ton of money or we’ll come get all your Rogaine and Slim Fast.”

The next thing I have to make sure to buy before my birthday? My car tag — or I should say car sticker, not tag? It used to be that every year I’d get a new car tag, the old one I’d take off and add to the collection nailed to the wall in the basement.

Now, for the same amount of money, they give you a two-inch sticker which must be placed on the corner of the tag. If you don’t, you’ll get stopped by a friendly deputy who will write you a ticket. Not that that’s ever happened to me, but now it’s going to take forever to finish my tag wall with those little stickers.

Next on my to do list: The sheer joy of renewing my driver’s license. Now I know I don’t do that every year, but once every four years you have to do it before your birthday, or you get another ticket.

A visit to the DMV could be an entire article by itself. During my recent visit to the DMV, I stood in line one for 15 minutes, before it was my turn. I gave the nice lady all of my information and she told me to stand in line two. Simple enough, what could go wrong?

Somehow, while standing in line two, all of my information was lost, and I had to start all over again back in line one. I didn’t want to get mad at her, she works for the DMV. It’s a brotherhood — they might give me another ticket.

Finally I got through line one and two, and stood in line three. That’s where they tell you to smile for the picture. I didn’t smile. Instead, I tried to look as sad as possible. When the lady taking the picture asked me why, I said, “When I get pulled over I assure you – you will not be smiling.” She chuckled and took my picture.

Next on my to-do list? Anyone over 40, male or female, must have what doctors call “invasive medical procedures.” I’ll call them a pain in the – well you understand. For all of the testing and everything that I just went through, I think the least my doctor owes me is a nice dinner out.

The last thing on my birthday to-do list is cleaning out my closet. At 49, my life’s half over with, I’m on the downhill slide, one foot in the grave — in other words, I’m now an official old guy. The fishnet tank tops, tie-dyed shirts, flip flops, and cut-off blue jeans I wore in college all need to go to charity. That is, if they’ll take them.

I was going to update my will, but it’s not changing. When I take the big dirt nap, The Wife gets everything. I figure she’s made my life worth living; she should get something when I die. Just don’t know what she’s gonna do with all that Rogaine and a pallet of Slim Fast.

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