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…
HOPPI BEIRDAY SENARENA SUSILENA
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?