Thursday, July 20, 2006

in the matter of birthdays

A friend is celebrating her birthday today (and, actually, the next day and the next and a few days before – she believes in noting milestones). In two weeks, one of my daughters is turning twenty-five. Yet another friend despises birthdays, arguing that each and every day should be celebrated with vim and vigor.

I’m panting to keep up with the handful of birthdays that cross my calendar. I was late with my father’s 80th (he lives in Poland – for a minute I believed, wanted to believe, that they are seven hours behind us rather than ahead, clockwise), I’m sure I missed the opportunity to be especially nice to people who had spring and summer birthdays and have done nothing special for them in ages.

To be on a birthday high year-round? To be chirpy and effervescent, to pick up rounds of drinks, to hand out flowers –daily? No, I couldn’t do it. Even your kids, at their youngest, permit you an hour off every year or so to be without inhibition (meaning grumpy and mean). Being toward another as if it were her or his birthday each day would be as stressful as facing five grizzlies on a hiking path, which you did not notice because you were preoccupied with fending off a herd of charging elk.

But tomorrow, I am on! I can do a day’s worth of good behavior. See you in Chicago, TTC!