Friday 28 Oct 2016

Matt Seinberg

I just had a birthday. It was almost my worst birthday, ever. I won’t mention which one it was, but I’ll admit to being a bit north of my teens.

Last Saturday was the big day. My family and I went out to dinner the night before. There’s a nice Italian restaurant near us, which serves huge portions of great food. We always end up taking lots of leftovers home, and get another two or three meals out of them.

I got home on Saturday, after work, looking forward to having my left over veal parmigiana and pasta. I knew something was wrong when I got to the house and the outside light was off. I saw a utility truck working down the street, which wasn’t a good sign.

I open the door to a very dark house, with candles burning and flashlights in use. My wife tells me the power went out off around 5 pm and there was no expected time for the power to come back on. It looked like there wasn’t going to be any hot leftover Italian food.

By 7 pm, I’m hungry. I settle for a bowl of cereal. I am not a happy camper to say the least.

I get my own flashlight. I start reading a book and listening to my iTouch. We’re all bored and hoping for the power to come back on very soon. Finally, around 8 pm the power comes back on. Yeah!

I order “Social Network” from Amazon On Demand, and we settle in to watch the movie. At 9 pm, the power goes out yet again! Now, I’m definitely not happy or enjoying this birthday.

Did I mention that so far I hadn’t received any cards or gifts? My wife was making a birthday dinner on Sunday; everyone decided that’s when I would get my gifts. Come on; now, give me a little something on my birthday.

I decided to try to finish watching the new Star Trek movie. I enjoyed the movie until the battery, on the iTouch, ran dry. Again, I am not a happy camper. By 11 pm, I was done and decided to go to sleep.

One of the managers at work always baked me a birthday cake, and she promised me one for Sunday. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when she didn’t bring it, and apologized for not having the time to bake it. She promised to have one during the week. Unfortunately, later that week I found out that she left the company.

We have almost four birthdays in a row in our family. Melissa is in October, Marcy is December, Michelle is January and I’m in February. We each get to pick the restaurant we want to go to, and the meal that Marcy will cook at home.

My choice to go out was a steakhouse in East Norwich, where a meal for two can run around $150. Marcy felt that was too much money, so being the bossy wife she is, her veto stuck. My reaction was one of disbelief. If you ask me where I want to go out for a birthday dinner, you don’t have a right to tell me my choice is wrong, not a good idea or too expensive.

While the Italian restaurant was a second choice, I still enjoyed it. As well, I did get to finish the leftovers during the week.

Let’s talk about presents, shall we? For the last seven years, I’ve asked for the same gift, a New York Mets jersey. Be it for Father’s Day or my birthday, this is what I’ve wanted. Years after year there’s no jersey among my gifts. I learn to live with the disappointment.

I muddle through work on Sunday, looking forward to a nice dinner at home that night. Marcy had bought some nice steaks to barbecue, and her parents were coming over as well for dinner.

I had also asked for a red velvet cake for dessert, so I was hoping they had gotten that as well.

Dinner is great and now time for my gifts. Three boxes show up. Melissa gives me the first one. She starts laughing as I open it. Inside is pair of New York Mets pajama pants. I’m thinking I'm finally getting the jersey as well.

Melissa hands me the next box. She’s smiling so wide that her eyes are almost closed. She, again, starts to laugh as she gives me the next box. I open it, and inside is a New York Mets #5 David Wright authentic spring training jersey! I finally got my dream present!

Maybe next year I’ll ask for a Lamborghini.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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