A short while ago, I decided that I wanted to live to be a hundred years old. I could live to be older, and that would be great, but all I really want is to live to be a hundred.
I have a lot of reasons for this goal (my big to-do list, improving the world, my health, becoming a great-great-grandfather, etc), and I’m pretty sure I am going to make it. I’ve got some really old people in my family tree, and medical technology is getting really good (see the speech from a Cambridge researcher who explains how the people born today will be the first to live to be 1000 years old!). I’m so convinced that I will see the big one-double-o that I started planning my 100th birthday party. Now I’m not the kind who loves to throw parties all the time, but there will be a big one coming for the day that I become a centenarian. This is how it’s going down.
First, you’re all invited (unless you don’t live to see February 7th, 2087… in which case, may you rest in peace). We may need to rent out a gymnasium or a concert hall or something. It’s gonna be big.
I’ll put together this huge time line out of butcher paper that spans the last hundred years and lines the walls of the building. I’ll provide a bin full of colorful markers, pens, and pencils, so everyone can mark the major events in their lives by drawing pictures or writing descriptions of the events. We’ll get everyone drawing all over the walls, from young to old, all going back in time and remembering the experiences of a lifetime. We’ll put up memories of the graduation days, career successes, broken bones, world events, family vacations, stock market crashes, weddings, earthquakes, and NCAA national championships. I’ll be up there with all my great grandkids drawing up a storm. It will be a record of the history of the world I knew and the people I knew that were living in it with me.
Then there is going to be a kazoo choir with a hundred members in it playing “Happy Birthday to you,” after which I will blow out the hundred candles on my birthday cake. Then they will drop a hundred balloons from the ceiling and cue the music (a shuffled play list of my 100 favorite party songs). We can dance all night (since it’s going to be a Friday… thank you for telling me the specific day of the week Microsoft Excel).
We’ll order a hundred pizzas, or at least a 100” sub sandwich (depending on how many people come). We’ll give away prizes: a hundred Starbursts, a box of a hundred crayons, a tin filled with a hundred chocolates, a one-hundred piece puzzle, and Scrabble (it has a hundred tiles).
And when it’s all over, we’ll set off a hundred fireworks to tell the whole city that life is worth living long and well. It will be a celebration of the human experience, the blessing of health, and the triumph of happiness and love through adversity.
I’m letting you know way in advance, so save the date. I won’t take any excuses for not being able to make it.