I looked through a pile of old journals to see what I was writing about each year on my birthday. Apparently one year a co-worker gave me three donuts. (I was to choose two and he would get the third.) I let him have the Boston creme and shared the old standby with him. It was one of the rare occasions that I wrote about food or gifts on my birthday. Sometimes I was at work on my birthday, and except for my 27th, they were all happy entries, or happy enough anyway. On my 27th birthday I lamented getting old and frivoling away my precious twenties.
I tend to let birthdays go by as just another day, pretty much. I never yearn for a cake or a party, probably because as a kid my family made a huge deal out of birthdays, the apartment was decorated, an over the top party was thrown, too much fuss, and I had enough of that.
On one birthday I made a list of things I was tired of hearing my co-workers talk about.
1.Politics (complete with shrill debates)
2.Religion (which Christian has the best church)
3.The diets they are on (and on and on)
5.How much they hate the boss
and I tried to list interesting things I overheard at work:
1. nobody ever says anything of interest.
and yet I like my job.
I went for long walks on some of my birthdays, but didn't bother to note exactly where. (once it was a long hike up a mountain, and I can only guess it was probably Mohonk Mountain by the description of the scenery.)
I spent some birthdays on the road... Tampa Florida, Ireland, Bethlehem PA, Los Angeles. On one birthday I walked through Central Park in the rain and around the reservoir. The rain never let up but I was into it, it was something I had wanted to do, and my companion was fine with it too. Later we walked over to the Metropolitan Museum of art to dry out, but other people had the same idea, and the place smelled like wet people. (which is not anywhere near as bad as wet dog, but still...all the wet coats...) There was a big Diane Arbus exhibit, and everyone crowded in to see it, a smelly woolly crowd.
I noticed I went through phases with my journals. One year they were kept in French, so they read as if an 8 year old wrote them. One year there was much modern poetry quoted, another year it was Shakespeare, another year there were tons of references to operas I had gone to. Then there was a comic book phase
which lasted a lot longer than the opera phase.
A series of grocery lists written in Irish were the only references to food. (besides the 3 donuts.)
The journals were 50% dull, to be honest ~ Stuffed with necessary work notes, lists, and reminders.
In one birthday entry I wrote: Felt like Muriel Fedder at the movies with Seymour. I often referenced books, and this was a J.D. Salinger moment. I instantly knew what this was all about, even though I wrote it years and years ago.
On one birthday in my early twenties I was happy to just do laundry and give my new apartment a thorough cleaning. Although I realized "did laundry" might not be a great journal entry, and added this cartoon.
But who isn't made happier by the sight of basket of freshly done laundry?
Today is not my birthday, but if it's yours, Happy Birthday!