Birthday Blues

2416505_orig When did birthdays become so bleak?

Mine is approaching and I’m thinking of holding a wake.  Sitting Shiva might even be better since it goes on for a week.  Another reason to want to be Jewish.

When I was small, birthdays were like national holidays, my mother pulling out all the stops.  I think I was 12 before realizing schools weren’t closed in order to celebrate.

And you think you had a nutty childhood.

We’d start off the day with streamers gracing my bedroom door over a sign my grandfather made in, what I like to call, broken penmanship…


I’d jump out of bed like the most important knucklehead in the world, my mother calling me Birthday Girl, serving blueberry pancakes as if I were royalty.  My father even joined in calling me Curly, his pet name for me, saying I didn’t look a day over 5.

I was age conscious even then.

The worship went on all day ending with a big bash supper complete with bad singing and enough lasagna to feed a tribe.

And yes, we all wore hats.

Now what happened to those days and that level of enthusiasm?  Rather than a cake with buttercream roses along its sides from Ann’s Bakery, made by fat women tied with string (the cakes, not the fatties), I’m thinking more along the lines of Valium over ice with a shot of Johnny Walker Red.

Good old Johnny.  He’s always available for parties, even on short notice.

How many men can you say that about?


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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26 Responses to Birthday Blues

  1. I love your birthday traditions growing up. Ours were similar in that the birthday boy or girl could dictate whatever they wanted to eat for supper and what kind of cake to eat. Over the years, I requested a Viking ship, a Roman fort, a dump truck, etc. Also, I know what you mean about birthdays now. I’d rather not have any more, and these days it’s just my wife and I so they’re very subdued affairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hal R says:

    Yes it’s nice to have them keep on coming,
    but the joy of celebrating has dampened somewhat.
    Your piece puts it very nicely !

    I wish you a very happy quiet or whatever suits
    you kinda birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia says:

    Birthdays were quiet at our house. Nice but…understated. I like when my it’s birthday I think of it as my personal New Year. If you celebrate with Johnny do so with thought to the next day. You don’t want the first day of your personal New Year to be miserable. I sort of hesitate to say, Happy Birthday, so I wish you an ok birthday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have a good point Patricia. Last thing a girl needs is a hangover. I was exaggerating of course about Johnny. My plan is a subdued affair, to quote David Stewart. Thanks for writing.


  4. Gail Kaufman says:

    Just went to a 73rd birthday party this weekend. The birthday boy and guests were sharp and active, and had great stories. There is reason for hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. micklively says:

    They say age is just a number. I can see the truth of that. But life is just cause for celebration and birthdays are as good a time as any. The world is a better place because of you Susannah. Don’t ever forget that; particularly on your birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I don’t make a big deal out of my own birthday, either. For a couple of decades I had my Pookie take our four children and each of our parents out to dinner. But as the kids got older and the bill zoomed past $400 I stopped that tradition.
    As for my children, they still get a birthday dinner of their choice, complete with several different hors d’oeuvre and desserts. Though now with significant others and plans of their own, the dinner is usually on a nearby date. Their siblings and grandparents still attend. With my crew, the dinners might be elegant, but the crowd is rowdy.
    Have an elegant, but slightly rowdy birthday, Susannah!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like Patricia, birthdays were never a big deal in my house. There was a cake and a gift but that’s about it. There was no celebration in school (for anyone’s birthday). No cupcakes were brought in by overachieving moms. Mostly it was just another day. I was surprised when I worked with a woman who went into severe stress because she needed 3 dozen cupcakes with gift bags to celebrate her kid’s birthday at school. Sheesh! Times have changed. They say age is a number but it’s also an energy-suck. I worry less about wrinkles and more about having my boundless energy back. You look fabulous and will for another 20 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susannah,
    Please don’t fret over your birthdays. Personally, you look great!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We always made a big deal about birthdays growing up and the tradition continues today. Happy Birthday to you! I hope all of your wishes come true, so make sure you wish for a non Donald presidency. Cheers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have my Ouija board out and he’s not getting elected. Even the board moans when you mention his name. I’m not saying voting for Hill and Bill, since he’ll be the First Gentleman only because First Cad sounds unacceptable, the best answer…but next to a Donald presidency, the Bonnie and Clyde of Politics are more preferable.

      Liked by 1 person

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