Unlike so many who regard birthdays as the poopy diaper of celebrations, I still embrace my special day with all the joy and anticipation of a child. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone who knows me to forget my birthday. It’s April 21st and I started sending reminders out today.
My earliest birthday memory is the Mickey Mouse Club theme party I had when I was six. I got to be Annette, of course. A dozen kids gathered around three card tables pushed together and covered with a paper tablecloth picturing Mickey and all his friends. Matching napkins and paper plates completed the décor, with a few balloons thrown in.
Back then you could throw a kid’s birthday party without depleting their college fund. Pin-the-tail-on the donkey, cake and ice cream, and we were happy. Best of all were the presents. There was loot to be had that day and some of us were known to invite kids we didn’t even like.
These days I have to admit I’m hard to buy for. I’ve already gone through my stuff-accumulating years, gotten rid of most of that stuff, and downsized to a tiny cottage where there’s no place to put any more stuff. To make it even more difficult, I’ve reached a very blessed place in my life where I actually want for nothing.
This year friends are taking me out to lunch, other friends for drinks, and another will be popping for dinner. When it comes to people who love me, I won the freakin’ lottery. You’d think that would be enough. It’s certainly more than a great many others ever receive. And yet, I’m embarrassed to admit, the child in me still wants to unwrap a present.
On the other hand, at my age there’s a fine line between childish thinking and dementia.