Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Stealing

They Say It's Your Birthday

1. as you get older, are you jazzed about your birthday?  Still, and always.

2. do people usually remember your birthday? They freaking well better! If you're my friend, you know that fussing over me on birthday is mere "greens fees" for hanging out with me.

3. an ex-coworker used to begin 3 mos. before her birthday flat-out reminding us that it was coming up. it's amazing what no self-esteem does for you. anyway, do you know anyone who pre-announces their birthdays? That would be me. (Though I only give a 30-day warning.) I guess I'm the No Self Esteem Gal.

4. what was your best birthday? why? 2004 was good. I had worked very, very hard on John Kerry's Presidential campaign and weeks before my birthday that election did most decidedly not go as I'd hoped and prayed. And my beloved cat, Billy, had just died. I was so blue about life, and my friends really came through that year.

5. what was your worst birthday? why? When I turned 6. Lee Harvey Oswald effectively ruined the day for me. My mom cancelled my birthday party with classmates because the nation was in mourning, and when the adults came over (theoretically) to celebrate me,
all they did was yell at me to be quiet and sit in front of the set and stare. My mother cried nonstop for days. It was disappointing and confusing and scary and a lot to expect a first grader to comprehend. For years afterward, when I'd give my date of birth to the librarian for a new library card or the school nurse or my Girl Scout leader, the adult would invariably say, "November 22. Oh, I remember ..." and then look sad. Which would piss me off, because my birthday should be a happy time.

Good came of it, though. I'm always very sensitive to children when major, tragic events happen. I warn parents, "Your kids are watching you, and they take their cues from you." Trust me, it scarier to be little and not understand that darkness around you. And at that tender age I began reading about JFK and I have learned so much about politics, government, celebrity, human nature and courage from the hours I have spent with The Kennedys.

6. name your best birthday gift. My then boyfriend was on a business trip in New York and saw an official, framed Elvis gold record in the window of a Soho antique store. He knew I'd love it and bought it on the spot and had a terrible time getting it home on the plane. BTW, they're worth less than you'd think. Only about $300, because the RIAA and record companies give them out to anyone who anything to do with the record's success. (Mine had belonged to a New York disc jockey.) Still, it was perfect and thoughtful and I love, LOVE the thought of him going through security and then boarding the plane with it under his arm.

 7. name the best birthday gift you've gotten for someone else.  I give very good gift. I don't mean to be immodest, but I'm a naturally good gift giver. For example, this week, I'm giving a friend a t-shirt with the logo of the law offices of, "Stern, Lockhart and Gardner." She's obsessed with the TV show The Good Wife, so I know she'll love it and I bet it's something she didn't even know was out there. I can't wait to give it to her!

8. as i age, i value SLEEP as a priceless commodity. i didn't get any for my birthday, however. what do you want this year for your birthday? Just to be fussed over. I don't much care what form the fussing takes. (Why would I? After all, we've established I don't have any self esteem, as per Q3.)

MY BIRTHDAY IS 11/22. Please make a note of it!

Major Cause for Concern

Mr. R. lives across the hall and is on my mind this morning. He thought he was having a heart attack last night and was taken away by the local fire department. I offered to go to the hospital with his wife and sit with her, but she said no, "No use in both of us worrying." I wish I'd insisted. She looked so tiny and vulnerable as she got into her car.

His wife stopped by this morning with good news. It wasn't a heart attack -- "just afib," she said. It was scary, but he'll be fine. I'm so grateful. And she'll be so happy in a day or so when he comes home.

Mr. R. is such a nice man. Big, courtly, with a very deep voice. I suppose some might find him intimidating. I know Crazy Old Neighbor did. During our bizarre neighbor's reign of terror, he used to offer to accompany me when I did laundry, just so I'd feel safe. I always did feel safe -- I never thought Crazy Old Neighbor would hurt me -- but I loved Mr. R. for the chivalrous gesture.