March 18, 2008


If you're one of those people whose birthday I should remember, you probably already know that I won't. I don't know what it is about me. I'm a thoughtful guy in some ways, and a dramatically thoughtless one in other ways. I'm not saying that acknowledging that that's the way I am makes it okay that I'm that way, the way that acknowledging that you're a Beer Snob makes it okay that you're a Beer Snob (and in fact I'm not sure that it does) ... BUT ... I'm not good with birthdays.

It must be acknowledged (if I can use that word YET again) that since I banged my head 23 years ago, months and days of the week have become kind of difficult for me, in that when I mean April I'm liable to say "August! November! Wednesday! April." And to be fair, I might have done that some even before sloshing my brain (and facial features) around.

The good news is, I can often sneak up on birthdays. I remember my mother's birthday, April 23, because it's Shakespeare's birthday. I remember another important birthday because it's only a day away from James Joyce's birthday, which is memorable because it's also Groundhog Day. But isn't my mom more important than Shakespeare, at least to me? And where does Joyce fit into all of this? And what about Punxsutawney Phil? The trick is to come at these things sideways. If your birthday is a day away from something else, like the famous 5/8/77 Cornell Grateful Dead show, or maybe 4/20, you pick the year, maybe I'll be able to hang onto it.

My own birthday is a day away from a major historical event, but I guess I'm probably going to remember it anyway. I wonder what it's like to have a birthday when something major happened, instead of having your nativity being the most important thing that happened on that date.

Hubris? I've been accused of worse.

Anyhow, this is the long way around saying that I've failed to wish a happy birthday to one of my oldest friends, whose birthday was on the 16th. We were quite the thing back in 1982, and then in 1986, and though we haven't seen each other since, I guess, 1990, we still keep in touch sporadically, except that I've lost her damned email address. And we don't have any friends in common. We write to each other every couple of years and talk about raising kids and stuff. So happy birthday! What are the chances she'll see this?

So if you see her, say happy birthday for me.

1 comment:

NNH said...

How to remember April 19--

1. The day before 4/20 as you mentioned in your blog.

2. April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing

3. April 19, 1993 U.S. attacks Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas

4. April 19, 1775 First battle of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord

5. April 19, 1987 The Simpsons makes their television debut on the Tracey Ullman Show