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(Not so) happy birthday to me

No one knows how to bleed the fun out of a birthday like the mail carrier.

My birthday was not for another few days, but the birthday greetings started arriving last week. On Tuesday the mailman brought a postcard from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling me to enjoy my birthday, and when it was over to visit one of their branches or their website to renew my license. My driver's license won't expire until next year on my birthday, but they'd like me to save time and avoid the rush. The postcard had a cupcake with a candle on it, so I'm trying to overlook the fact that the message was a little naggy. I've got 12 months to renew. What's the rush? Maybe they think I won't make it another 12 months and want their money now. Not a bad strategy in a downturn economy.

Wednesday, I received a birthday card, from a company I won't name, offering to talk with me about my life insurance situation. Happy birthday to you, too. That doesn't happen in your 30s and 40s. The real kicker was Thursday -- a postcard announcing it was time for a colonoscopy. It didn't say Happy Birthday, but the timing was suspicious. On Friday, I received an ivory envelope containing an invitation to a free dinner at one of the better steakhouses in town. The husband and I could have our choice of three entrees as long as we agreed to stick around and listen to some ideas about long-term financial planning.

Apparently the colonoscopy people were miffed I didn't respond to the postcard earlier in the week because by the end of the week they had sent a one-page letter reminding me again. I'm so hurt. Nothing from the dentist or the OB/GYN.

All I'm missing is a card from my hairstylist suggesting it's time for color, a brochure on brow-lifts and liposuction from a plastic surgeon and a refrigerator magnet listing the warning signs of heart attack and stroke.

Hold on, the mail just came. I now have in my hands a greeting card with a beautiful photograph of rolling emerald hills and large shade trees. Have you considered a prepaid burial?

So far the only upbeat card I've gotten is from Stein Mart. They want to give me 20 percent off any one item for my birthday. Talbots sent a birthday card, too, but they're only offering me 15 percent off.

I started getting birthday wishes on Facebook five days before my birthday. I appreciate the kind thoughts, but I'm in no hurry. I'd like to drag this year out as long as possible before rolling over to a new number -- or a new plot, if the cemetery people get their way.

I wish everyone would back off. I haven't even had a piece of cake yet. That's right, I'm having cake. Or tiramisu. Or cheesecake. Whatever it is, it will be tasty, high calorie, loaded with fat, and I will enjoy every wonderful bite.

Don't even think about it Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig.

And for the record, I don't care what kind of downer cards I get in the mail, I plan on having another good year.

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