Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Non-Birthday?

Yes, folks, the calendar says that today is your scribe's birthday. In the interests of sparing his already bruised and wounded feelings, we will not discuss numbers.

"What's up with the b & w f's, dear scribe?" one hears y'all asking. **Profound sigh** The reason, dear readers, is that for the first time in my life, or for at least as far back as I can remember, I have not received a single "Happy Birthday" card.

Now, birthday cards are a flourishing part of our culture, carefully fed and watered by the Hallmarks of this world. In past years, my Aunt Kate would always send a dime store card, with a check for $3 enclosed. The amount remained constant, from my childhood through college and into adulthood. She always got a nice hand-written thank-you note, telling her what I had done with her thoughtful gift. Of course, that was less and less over the years, as the purchasing power of her $3 eroded inexorably, from the time when I might have used it to go to the movies with two friends to the point where it bought about a third of a seat in a cinema - or perhaps half a seat, if one went to the matinee.

But she died at a ripe old age a few years back, and her cards are now but a memory. My mother, the other stalwart sender of birthday cards, mailed what I fear will have been her last one a year ago. Since then a mild stroke has slowed her down, and even though she still sounds the same and remembers events of decades ago with perfect clarity and astounding (not to mention embarrassing) detail, she is a bit foggy as to her current whereabouts and what has transpired in recent months. I could always call her up and get a "Happy Birthday!" in person from her, of course, and maybe I shall do so; but for the moment we're still on the subject of cards and their non-appearance in my mailbox this year.

My son was a pretty faithful sender of cards for many years, but more recently he has been delivering the message in person, timing his annual visits to the East Coast to coincide with the day itself. (Much preferable to a card, of course.) This year, we saw each other just a few weeks ago in Oregon, and will be seeing each other in a few more weeks in NYC, so he probably has assumed no card is necessary. And he's right, of course - it isn't necessary. It's just that it woulda, coulda been kinda nice if maybe somebody, somewhere, had bothered to send just one...it's not a happy feeling to be totally skunked for the first time in one's life history.

Next year, forewarned by the b & w f's of this year, I'll probably cheat a little and send a card to myself. Hey - it's gotta be better than an empty mailbox, right? But for now, I am left to contemplate the transitoriness of life, in which all things, including birthday cards, come to an end. And thus endeth your scribe's requiem for the Hallmark years of his life.

4 Comments:

Blogger ERiCA said...

Awww! Happy day after your birthday. I'd've sent you a card if I knew your address. (Email it to me! I send handmade cards. Only the elite get on my list. *g)

May 24, 2007 1:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

You're a sweetheart! Email on the way. And thanks!

P.S. My not-so-prodigal son *did* leave a message on my answering machine, so the day wasn't a total wipe-out.

May 24, 2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

I can't believe I missed the Greenwich Gossip's birthday!!

Blame it on moving-itis. And Ex-spouse agita related to the moving-itis.

I shall hereby mark the date in my handy dandy electronic brain - which works oh-so-much-better than the real one...or at least until it breaks, like it did a week or so ago.

June 04, 2007 4:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Thanks, AuthorBabe! Maybe next year I won't get skunked again!

June 04, 2007 5:19 PM  

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