Wednesday, December 16, 2015


           A couple of columns ago I had mentioned that I was fast approaching the last birthday I will reach in my 50’s. As a matter of fact, I started writing this column on December the 12th and it’s my birthday. 59 years-old. Yikes! Well, at least it’s not 60!

            I was born at five minutes past midnight; a fact that has bothered my sister Judy for…I don’t know… some 59 years, I guess. You see, she was born on December 11th about a decade before me and I was going to be her actual birthday present. I was going to be born on her birthday and I missed it by five minutes! Well, technically, I didn’t have anything to do with it. It wasn’t my call, I don’t think. I didn’t even hear about it until I was much older.

            Being born two weeks before Christmas has no advantages whatsoever to speak of. That’s the way I see it and my sister Judy concurs. It’s pretty tough to get a really great birthday present when the parents are hard-pressed to supply enough Christmas gifts for their nine children let alone throw in a couple of birthday presents in there to boot. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people born on the 25th, though. That’s a tough one. But still.

            And you can forget about a birthday party altogether as there is no way you are going to gather a bunch of kids in the house when we’re only two weeks away from Christmas. What with all of the cleaning and baking and wrapping and shopping who has time to organize, conduct and clean up after a bunch of wild boys? Forget it!

            Mom’s solution was to combine my birthday party around the time when my older brother Gordon celebrates his very timely May 1st birthday. Five months after mine. You know, have them together. Nobody’d think it’s just Gordie’s party. Why would they think that?

Out of the whole year, May 1st has got to be one of the most ideal times for a birthday party. Everything can be held outside, nobody should get sunburnt like they can at those July birthday parties, most of ‘em probably won’t even use the bathroom in the house, there’s very little chance of them breaking anything in there, either, and their noise will mostly disappear into the air, saving on the headache medication.

But it was okay in the end anyway. Gord was only a year older than I was and his friends were my friends and my friends were his. We all hung out and did the same goofy things we always did together. We ended up having a great time, as usual, with very little household upheaval. Funny, too, though, for all my talk about presents and gift receiving I can’t remember any specific gift at all. All the fun must have blocked it out.

Well, that was my pity party. Thanks for coming. Now it’s time to get ready for the real party. Enough whining. 59 years-old and counting. And I hope for a while, yet.


“Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”-Satchel Paige (1906-1982).

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