As Al Pacino once said as part of the only string of words in the entire lexicon of the English language that could possibly motivate a personal to physically climb out of hell (hopefully Hitler has never heard it. Get it?): "when you get old in life, things get taken from you..that’s just part of life." I look back at this moment, on my 28th birthday, at the past 2.8 decades of my existence and realize how incredibly simple, and yet salient, that observation is. Reflecting on my past I am stuck thinking about all of the things that have been taken from my grasp throughout my time on this planet, things that, due to me not being Liam Neeson’s daughter, I can never get back. Naptime. Being given free juice boxes during school. Being under the weight limit to legally test ride a Segway. My innocence.
At the age of 20 you lose the right to be marketed to as a teen, and therefore lose all shopping privileges at the mall’s hippest store, the Limited Too. At 21 you can legally drink and illogically lose the right to sneak flasks into speakeasies and TGI Fridays all over this great land. At 22 you begin to recognize that your then current birthday, and all of your birthdays that come after it, have officially become meaningless since there are no consequential milestones you can gain in your life moving forward, a feeling that lingers on through ages 23 and 24, and only is momentarily alleviated as you gain the right to legally (but likely not financially) rent a Kia Sorento at 25, get kicked off of your parent’s health insurance at 26, and notice the newly yellowish nature of your teeth at 27, one full year after being too poor to ever again see a Dentist.
What you lose at 28, the age I reached today, is piece of mind. Now in my late 20’s, officially and without any sort of equivocation, the feeling of infirmity and decrepitness has started to irreversibly creep into my consciousness. For legitimately the first time in my life I feel old. Too old to party. Too old to rage. Too old to devastate a 4'1" 8-year-old in one on one at the park across the street because I am trying to teach him a lesson about life without being judged.
Too young to give up. Today I am 28. My life is not over. My life is not done. My life has only begun the sad and slow descent towards its final bell. Forthwith it is my job to stop that decline for as long as possible. Forthwith it’s my job to delay that fall. And, if at any particular point in time said dip proves inevitable, it will then become my job to ensure that I have as much fun on that plummet as is humanly possible. You know what they say: the drop of the rollercoaster is the part that makes people tingle in their underoos. Today the rollercoaster of my existence has hit its peak. Today is the day when I am going to tell you all how I plan to continue dominating the entire way down.
28 Ways to Celebrate Your 28th Birthday
1) Wake up and don’t be dead.
2) Attempt to make a 28-egg omelet before realizing that 28 eggs cost roughly about $3.03 at your local grocery store, a purchase that will likely overdraw your account when you attempt to make it with your debit card.
3) Show up to work and wait for your boss to tell you ‘happy birthday.’ Instead settle for an Instant Message asking if you are the one who has been using her office as your “fart room.” Type back “No….”
4) Go to liquor store and buy a bottle of Whiskey during your morning break. When you get ID’ed say, “this is outrageous. It’s only 12 years until my first colonoscopy.”
5) Take a long enough office poop to read a blog post about 50 Cent signing up to become an Uber driver now that he is officially broke. Pour a bit of your Gatorade out for the man, wondering where it all went wrong for him financially.
6) Bring in a box of donuts to work. Say “someone brought in donuts for my birthday.” When someone says, “Oh, today’s your birthday?” Accuse them of forgetting your birthday and don’t allow them to eat a donut.
7) If at all possible, go to lunch at Hooters. When your waitress, Brandi, signs the receipt by making a heart over the 'i' refuse to believe that is something she does for every customer and ask if she'd like to accompany you to a Monster Truck Rally next weekend.
8) When the Wal-Greens cashier asks you how old you are when you are buying Clearasil and Capri Suns tell her that you are 17. When she points to the red patches underneath your fully-grown neck beard, tell her “adults can have mild acne too,” and begin to openly weep.
9) Get a tattoo of the Busch Beer logo that covers the entirety of your back so everyone at your local public pool will forever be reminded to “Taste the Mountains” as soon as they see you with your shirt off and you can afford laser removal for your back hair.
10) Start calling all the interns at your work “children,” and make them get you a fresh cup of coffee every 15-minutes as way of proving their respect to their elders. Proceed to throw that coffee in their face because they didn’t put enough Splenda in it.
11) Walk into the nearest class at the nearest law school, go right up to the lectern, and say the words “anyone in this room who is older than I am has officially made some mistakes in their life” out loud for everyone to hear.
12) Propose a spin-off of the hit Keifer Sutherland reboot of “24” on Twitter entitled “28” wherein you star as a out of work barista who tries to save the world before dying of a heart attack after chasing a terrorist on foot for 0.2 miles in the first episode.
13) Rent a Ford Focus and drive it into the nearest body of water as a way of celebrating the 3 year anniversary of the day when you could legally rent a Ford Focus in the first place.
14) Watch professional wrestling at a bar and refuse to believe the other patrons that are telling you that Tripe H’s slamming of a sledgehammer into Vince McMahon’s skull is fake. Yeah right. What else is fake? Santa Claus? Come on. Why would Tim Allen make three excellent movies about the guy if he wasn’t real?
15) Create an E-Harmony account where you lists your interests as “Hoarding old newspapers, collecting fat heads of European soccer players, and bench-pressing 220 lbs.,” because you are finally old enough to be honest with the rest of the Internet in an attempt to settle down.
16) Get your neck beard braided so that people will assume you must have some sort of cognitive disability and treat you like an 8-year-old.
17) Count the amount of girls who wish you a “happy bday” on Facebook as well as the amount of exclamation points they use in their posts. Multiply the two numbers. Try to convince yourself that their product is the true number of girls you have had sexual relations with in your life instead of the honest answer to that question, which is “2 and a third”
18) Do a shit ton of drugs.
19) Go to the gym and audibly rap the lyrics to the hit anthem “Hit ‘Em Up” while working out. Pretend not to know that none of the other members of your intro to Tae Kwon Do class were ever alive at the same time as Tupac Shakur.
20) Take a shower in the “Men’s” locker room at that very same YMCA. Try your hardest not to be saddened that the 90-year-old man showering next to you now has no interested in seeking a peek at your junk.
21) Tell every girl at the bar that “of course you never liked Barney,” even though you once dressed up like Barney for Halloween, a site that caused a nun at your Catholic Preschool to need to “wash her eyes out with holy water.”
22) Take 28 Viagra’s and confirm in the confines of your own head how little the pill has done nothing to change the constant flaccidity of your penis. Thank God for his/her decision to make it physically impossible for you to commit sexually based sins.
23) Stand on a street corner shirtless with a cardboard sign that reads simply “8 Bucks.” Get in the back seat of the first Lexus that pulls up and know that you still got it.
24) Use your newly made $8 to buy 7 McChickens. Eat 6 of them. Use the 7th as a pillow while you go to sleep next to your nearest dumpster.
25) Post a Facebook status saying, “In exactly 2 years I will be elected to the United States Senate.” Wait until someone comments with “I’m gonna vote for ya.” Know that you have stupid Facebook friends.
26) Go to dinner at Chucky Cheese and steal copious amounts of Nintendo DS’s from each and every kid in the restaurant, claiming that they owe you the handheld device since it would be rude for them to attend your birthday party without bringing a present.
27) Get hammered drunk and pass out at the very bottom of the Chucky Cheese ball pit, secure in the knowledge that suffocating under a pile of balls is the way you always knew it was going to end.
28) Compose a list entitled “28 Ways to Celebrate Your 28th Birthday” that is just a 87% shitter than anything you have ever read on Buzz Feed and post it on the Internet.