Remembering the Birthdays

This week has me thinking about birthdays. My college boyfriend’s birthday is what set it off. For some reason, the date is still engraved in my mind, even years later.

I’m not really a birthday person. I’m not good at it. 99% of the time, I cheat. Don’t get me wrong. I send a card–a gift, where appropriate–every time my phone tells me to. But it’s not me remembering the date. It’s the marvel of technology. I can do that on a large scale, too. Back when I was rocking the secretary life, I had a file. Hundreds of cards at the beginning of the year, and every single kid in class got a card from the boss for their birthday. The trick is to keep it chronological, and write the date in the upper right hand corner of the envelope, where it will wind up being covered by the stamp. You just pull them a week at a time, stamp them, and throw them in the mail.

There are other ways to cheat, too. Give the florist or the Bookseller the dates and a credit card number, and you’ll never forget your anniversary again.

Anyway, this week, I’m thinking of the birthdays that I, myself, personally remember.

Outside of family, there aren’t that many.

I had a friend in grade school. No, I don’t remember his birthday. Sometime in May or June, I think. Maybe December. But I remember his mother‘s birthday.  She was the pre-school teacher, and she had the very same birthday as me. (Obviously, this made me her favorite out of all of the pre-school kids ever, and also her own three children, none of whom had such luck.)

Another friend of mine was born on Election Day. That was before I was old enough to realize that Election Day actually moves around every year. Her bedroom was pink. Like as in pink. Bubble gum pink. Pink walls. Pink curtains. Pink shag carpeting. Pink peg board to keep her from sticking pink pins in her pink walls. There was also a chandelier in her dining room. (Just thought you’d like to know.) And we were not allowed to slide down the stairs. (It’s okay. Somehow, we were never caught, anyway.)

My summer friendship turned pen pal’s birthday was in February. Except, not really, though. She was Chinese-American, and they just celebrated everybody’s birthday all at once in the Chinese New Year. That first year, though, it was February, and the date just sorta stuck. We sent each other very small things that could fit in regular envelopes. And also, she could juggle. Really. Three balls at once.

Moving right along. I also remember the birth date of the first kid born to one of my friends. It’s not a date I ever really celebrated, but the date meant that my friend would be able to graduate from high school before the baby was born. We drifted apart after that. Or maybe, the drift started earlier. Anyway, we didn’t have much in common, anymore.

And then, college boyfriend. I think that’s the last one. Mr. Perfect… For Someone Else. He really was a nice guy. Worth every monogrammed business card holder I ever gave him. (No, actually. I never did figure out exactly how you break a business card holder.)

I can’t think of anyone else I know just because I know. Then again, it’s been a long time since I’ve put on paper hats and blown out candles. Not such a big deal, anymore.

Anyway, there you go. My little chunk of nostalgia for the week.

I hope they’re all doing well, wherever they are.


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