I have no scientific study to back it up, but it appears to me that women place more emphasis on holidays and special occasions than men. (Who places the assorted spring/summer/fall/winter wreaths on their front doors? It’s not a man!)
In my case, this is especially true of birthdays. They are simply moments in time, nothing so important to kill a live lobster and devour it in a celebration. There are only two important years in a man’s life: 21 (the age of supposed adulthood) and 65 (the enrollment age for Medicare). Everything else is just an excuse for blowing money on paper and ribbons and racking up credit card bills.
My wife, however, places her birthday right up there with Christmas, Valentine’s Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Winter Solstice. She demands that it snows on her birthday Й She suggests that I approach her birthday by presenting a gift each day for the nine days before the blessed event. Whereas I give a birthday grunt, she shouts out “woo-hoo.”
I don’t understand this preoccupation with time. All a birthday signifies is that we’re getting closer to the coffin Р not something we normally view with anticipatory glee. C’mon, did you feel any different at 46 than 45? Is there magic in knowing that a certain number of years ago you were a fetus?
I have no trouble with aging. When someone told me, “You were writing a newspaper column two years before the invention of the printing press,” I merely nodded and smiled. Similarly, I don’t try and hide my age. Leave the Grecian Formula for the other guy. The only thing grey hair signifies is that I’ve been a parent.
But I don’t want to be a spoilsport. I buy a present for my wife on my birthday. She figures that I’m coming around to her point of view; I see it as life insurance.