Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me.....

Today I received two more highly appropriate birthday cards, both from my co-workers at school.

The first one had me trying desperately to make some tough decisions.

Which one to start with? Which one to do the most? Which one could I do openly? Which one should I keep secret? As it happens, "Anger" was the only one I think I didn't commit today. There's still time, however, as the Braves' game is only in the second inning. They are currently up 2-0, however, so it's looking good so far.

This was my favorite, though:

Do my co-workers know me well, or what? I try really hard NOT to be a smart ass, but that's like trying hard not to breathe.

I lied.

I don't try at all.

I was thinking back today about some memorable birthdays.

Easter has fallen on my birthday twice in my lifetime, both as an adult (1985 and 1996), and it never will again. Unless I live to be like 158 or something, and that's looking less and less likely. Isn't it weird that Easter falls on April 5th, 6th, 10th and 17th fairly frequently, but only twice on the 7th in my 48 years? The next time Easter falls on April 7th will be 2075 and 2080.

I don't remember what year it was, but I had to be younger than 8 because Brother Bobby was still at home, and he went into the Marines the summer I was 8. We lived in a trailer park with a swimming pool, and I begged every year to be allowed to go swimming on my birthday. I had no concept that April 7th was way too early to go swimming, even in Georgia. I don't think children develop a sense of water being too cold until they hit puberty. Which is ironic, considering that's about the time they become STEWPID about most other things.

I had begged and begged and begged my mother to allow me to go swimming, and of course the answer was "no" every time. As soon as she left to go buy groceries, I asked Brother Bobby if I could go swimming. I figured anyone older than I was had the constitutional authority to give me permission to go swimming, so I asked the person most likely to grant it. It never occurred to me that A) at 15 or 16, Bobby didn't really HAVE the authority to give permission; and B) Bobby might just be telling me I could do something so he could watch me get my ass beat when Mama came home. I couldn't understand how she knew; I was home and dry before she came home from the grocery store. Never occurred to me to brush out my kinky hair that had dried into its typical tight curls.

On my 16th birthday, I received a gift I had been promised since about the age of 7. My birthstone is a diamond, and Mama had promised that she would give me her diamond ring when I turned 16. My father had bought it for her after she asked for a divorce. She got both the ring AND the divorce. I think they had been married 16 or 17 years or something when he finally got around to buying her the engagement ring.

When I married my baby-daddy, we had the stone reset into a more contemporary setting. I gave it to Sweet Girl on HER 16th birthday, and she has the option of having it set into whatever she wants when she decides to get married.

On my 18th birthday, I lived in a suburb of Dallas with Nurse Jane and her two children. I moved out there to help her with the kids and have a little taste of get-out-of-this-town-I-have-lived-in-all-my-life. I met this cute guy at the gas station where I always stopped to fill up on my way to classes at the community college. He asked me out and asked if I liked to go to discos, I think. (Give me a break, it WAS the late 70's.) I said I would love to go, and then I sheepishly said I wouldn't be 18 (the legal drinking age at that time) for another two weeks.

He never mentioned it again. At first I thought he might just be waiting those two weeks for me to reach the legal drinking age. But long after those two weeks passed, he never asked me out again. And I KEPT GOING TO THE SAME GAS STATION.

On my 17th birthday the year before, I was a senior in high school. I somehow convinced many members of the senior class to skip school just because it was my birthday and go to High Shoals, a local swimming hole where the water runs over the rocks and provides an awesome slide down into a pool below. Before the rocks, however, there was a dam right below a bridge. I had seen folks jumping off the bridge into the water below, but I had never had the nerve to do it myself. Until that day. I figured there was no better time than my birthday to do it, so I jumped off the bridge. Twice.

And now I'm two years shy of 50. F-F-F-F-F-F-I-F-T-Y. Numbers haven't scared me up until now. Thirty didn't bother me. Forty didn't bother me. Fifty, though, sort of feels different. It may bother me. But I've got two years to get ready for it.

Happy Birthday to me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I send you awesome birthday wishes, my friend!
And, I just adore how you can tell a story to go along with anything!