I am not a birthday person. It’s okay if I tell someone it’s my birthday but it’s not okay if the people I’m with tell – I do not care for waiters singing in Spanish, Italian, Peruvian or Martian, I do not care for the dregs of a scoop of vanilla, candle plopped in it, delivered to my table with fake enthusiasm and everyone looking. People, it is just another day.
When I was a kid we went every year to Family Camp at the Feather River. We always went for the week of my birthday because it was…hold yourselves back…Square Dance Week. I remember at least once running out of the fake log cabin mess hall, its long tables filled with family-style diners, the screen door slamming behind me, red-faced and angry as once again they all felt the need to sing.
Family Camp was for inner-tubing (and praying that your fat 13-year-old body wouldn’t get stuck in the inner tube). It was for watching the silhouettes of people changing after dark, their Coleman lamps lit, showing every last curve and jiggle through the white canvas of the big tents. It was for drinking Fresca (that’s how long ago I’m talking about). It was not for mortifying a shy, budding adolescent.
So fast forward…what am I going to do for my birthday this year?
My one-and-only is in Detroit taking pictures and writing poems. As I write this he is “still” at the Motown Museum. This is actually a win-win because I will write some Detroit poems too. I have already written one entitled “Our Town” and one entitled “The Corner of Desolation and Waste”. Still tweaking that second one but I know I’ll write at least one more before he comes home.
My son has become addicted to Dr. Who. I can’t even get his eyes to flicker my direction when I come home from work. He may get up to get a yogurt, and he may hug me as long as he’s at it, but he may not.
It’s the weekend. I work. After the dry-cleaners, bank, post office, grocery shopping, bill paying chores are done, I’ll have a workout, THEN plan what I’m going to read for my feature in two weeks, THEN rehearse it and time it, then what? I’ll definitely watch the streetlights come on from the front porch, the moon sneaking up behind them. I’ll definitely nap in the leather chair in the living room, a female stereotype of everyone’s lazy dad. I’ll definitely go to Starbucks about 10 times. And eat rotisserie chicken. And bless my very fortunate life. Happy Birthday to me 🙂