Another Year Another Wrinkle

images When you’re my age, you do try to play your birthday down, but sometimes there’s an unexpected sniper shooting, with candles.

I’m in Panera at 6 a.m. on a normal Saturday sprawled in my favorite back booth when suddenly four very enthusiastic young ladies line up to sing Happy Birthday.  I thought my bagel and I would climb under the table.

How did they know?

My fault, for adding it to my profile online when registering my Panera card.  How else are you supposed to get your birthday pastry.

I’ve come to know them all seeing them most mornings, and despite my discomfort, was very touched by their efforts.

They also sang like little angels in aprons and caps.

Two other customers moseyed over to wish me well while Audrey brought me a piece of carrot cake to take home.

I thought a lot about this, how a group of girls I hardly know truly have become part of the fabric of my daily life.

You think it’s only your family and close friends, but that isn’t so.  It’s the shoemaker and dry cleaner, the deli man and grocer….and the young librarian who is no more.  You see them every day, and when they don’t see you, they wonder where you are.

I hadn’t been there in a couple of days so Tina the cashier said, where you been, funny not seein ya…we was worried.

The impersonal become personal…caring enough to sing before the sun is even up all in your honor.

Despite wanting to bury this aging head deep in the sand, I felt blessed to be remembered.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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41 Responses to Another Year Another Wrinkle

  1. micklively says:

    You spread happiness and hope wherever you go: of course they care about you. Anyway, 71 is just a number! 😉


  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Happy birthday, Susannah! I hope your day is filled with many more acts of caring!
    It’s true that we tend to lose track of how many lives we touch and vice versa. Small kindnesses are appreciated and remembered.


  3. Happy Birthday! They say you’re only as old as you feel…


  4. Happy Birthday Susannah! Don’t forget your cyber friends who also go noticed when they’re not around. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful day … hope all your wishes come true!


  5. Happy Birthday Susannah! Thank god you won’t have to hear me warble here. I don’t know how you continue to look 29! :O)


  6. Lynn says:

    Never bury your head in the sand Susannah. Celebrate each & every birthday you are fortunate enough to have! Happy, Happiest of days to you today & always!


  7. H.B.! I know what you mean about the everyday people becoming part of your tapestry. For me it’s Starbucks and the gym. I miss when someone leaves or isn’t around anymore. They also miss me if I’m not around and that always feels good. Hope that carrot cake was fabulous. Me — not so big on carrot cake but I bet they have other stuff I’d just love.


  8. Elle Knowles says:

    You were very deserving of that small chorus Susannah, otherwise they would not have done it. I always say, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” The carrot cake was a welcome bonus! I’m right behind you in December. Need to find a place to give me carrot cake. 😉 hope you had a wonderful day! ~Elle


  9. Happy birthday Susannah! Glad you spilled the beans here. Now it’s in my calendar so I’ll be ready for next year. Maybe by then I’ll be rich and famous, so I’ll fly to New York and take you out to dinner. Hey, a guy can dream, right? Hope it was a good day.


  10. Happy Birthday fellow Cancerian …!!!
    I know exactly what you mean about birthday songs in public places.
    At my birthday dinner – July 20th – waiters and waitresses gathered to sing. A BIG surprise !!! But, then I thought …. This has put a smile on my face … I’m happy they did it. It would feel a lot worse to not have anyone notice. I’ll take being noticed.
    Hope your next year is filled with good health and happiness. 🎉🎂👑🎁🌹🍰😀😍


  11. MJ says:

    A Very Merry Unbirthday, Susannah! (Having been in Gotham-on-the-Bowery all week with only my dumbphone, I’m just catching up with your blog now.) I’m sure you’re such a favorite with the Panera staff that they took real pleasure in celebrating your birthday. And all’s well as long as nobody sings the 2nd verse of the birthday song: “How old are you now? How old are you now?” I know a few people who do that just to be annoying, so I made up an equally obnoxious reply:

    “I may be very old
    Even older than you
    But I still look better*
    Fuck you. The End.”

    * Alternative 3rd line lyrics: “…am smarter”, “…have hair”, “…don’t have acne”, “…at least I’m not de-aad” et al. (Wow. I wrote the F-word. What sleep deprivation hath wrought!)


  12. Patricia says:

    Happy Birthday, a bit late. I think of birthdays as our personal new year. So Happy New Year! Hope it’s a great one.


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