A Belated Conception Day Essay

As much as I may have railed against St. Patrick’s Day, I will admit that at least one good thing came out of it: me. Well, theoretically.

Thirty years ago this week, my parents were having sex. I was born late November, but prematurely, which by my thin grasp of mathematics means it’s conceivable that I was conceived on or around St. Patrick’s Day 1987.  That’s why I like to give my parents a gift in March, a little token of gratitude for letting me exist.  Usually it’s a bottle of booze, a fitting commemoration.

Why do we celebrate birthdays and not conception days? I didn’t do anything, why do I get presents for existing? Congratulations on not dying again this year, thirty years running!  I mean, if anything, we should celebrate Mother’s on birthdays, they did all the hard work. Hell, they did ALL the work. Not like father’s really have any work to do.  Though, I’m sure there are broken homes out there filled with Stay Together For the Kids Dads that will argue that it was all hard work for them too, but fuck them. Cowards.

Birthday’s are weird.  I mean, I’m in my thirtieth year, but am still regarded as twenty-nine (although, if you think of them as birth anniversaries, that optic can change). I also don’t see the point once you’re beyond twelve. As a youth, you can celebrate the fact that your little one made it another trip around the sun without dying—that’s worth celebrating. But once the teen years roll around, the milestones are really the only important ones. And once you’re in your twenties? It’s just another excuse to get your friends to buy you drinks and coffee shop gift cards. It’s really kind of selfish, isn’t it? And so few of us celebrate other life forms on their birthaversaries. I mean, some of us are nice and have parties for our pets. No one admits that New Year’s Eve is really the day early celebration for the Earth’s birthday – or at least the Gregorian Calendar’s representation of it – but that’s really what it is.  Does anyone have birthdays for their plants?  They should, plants are alive too, y’know…

I suppose I’m just wrestling with my own mortality in a very roundabout way. Thirty. That’s like, almost a quarter of my desired life expectancy (I want to live to 125 so I can listen to Rush’s “2112” in 2112).  Have I accomplished 25% of what I want to accomplish? Have I lived my best life? There are so many things I want to do and people I want to meet and countries I want to poop in… Well, I’m a quarter of the way through 29, so I suppose that’s a metaphor I can embrace. Time to make the best of the last of my twenties.

So thanks Mom and Dad for knockin’ boots all those years ago: without you there would be no me and I really like me. So thank you for me.