Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Birthday 2012
Matt Seinberg

I will be the first to admit I am a big kid at heart. I like birthdays as much as does the next person. As I get older, I have mixed feelings about birthdays. Do I want to actually celebrate getting older or try to ignore it?

On my birthday, this year, I had to work. I work in retails sales. This is the Presidents Day holiday weekend. For me, this makes it that much harder to celebrate getting older. I can’t take this weekend off from work. Birthday or not, I don’t like working during any holiday.

During our morning meeting, one of the sales managers announced my birthday in front of everyone. Being used to certain amounts of attention, I gratefully accepted the mild applause. It’s good to be gracious.

During the day, many of my coworkers came up to me to wish me a happy birthday and asked how old I was. I’m not shy about my age. I think I wear it well. Some days I feel older than other days. Loyal readers know all about the medical appointments and the stuff in my life that makes me crazy.

Friends posted on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday, but not nearly as many as I had hoped, including one particular radio sister who shall rename nameless, Robin.

I planned to leave work early, around 6 pm, so I could have dinner at home, with my family. That plan went out the window. I was with a customer, when I looked at my watch. It read 5:30 pm. I said something to a co-worker and he looked at me as if I were nuts.

He said, “Dude, it is 6:45!” Holy crap; I had been with these people for almost two hours and didn’t even know it. I explained to them what was going on. I called home to tell them I wasn’t going to be on time for dinner and I didn’t know what time I was going to leave.

It was another hour before I left work. Although I had just made a nice sale, I was not a happy camper. I wanted to get home, have a nice dinner and open presents.

Come on people, who doesn’t like opening birthday presents? If you don’t, you’re lying. As it turns out, my wife gave me a card, but no gift, as she said that she was getting it tomorrow. Michelle gave me a very nice card and some Godiva chocolate. Melissa gave me a box that contained gifts she had picked out for me with her grandmother.

My mother-in-law loves to buy me clothes. The only problem is she never gets my shirt size correct. I wear a 17 neck, with 36/37 sleeves. I have very long arms and anything shorter looks ridiculous. The very nice blue shirt in the box was a 34/35 sleeve. Now, I have to make a trip to Kohl’s and try to exchange it.

The tie with that came with the shirt is from the Jerry Garcia collection of rock and roll, drug inspired art. Is Jerry designing ties from the other side and channeling them to someone still living? For someone dead he really does many things, including making lots of money.

I have quite a few of Garcia ties and always get compliments and comments on them. This is the first necktie I’ve gotten as a gift; it’s worth keeping.

Although I was still at work, my father and my friend, Rich, called. Dad called to wish me a happy birthday. Rich called to say hello, not realizing it was my birthday. Marcy talked to both of them and said Dad would call me tomorrow. I needed to call Rich back during the week.

I haven’t seen Rich in at least a year, but we did get to talk a couple of times. We used to work together, about four years ago, and liked to keep in touch. He now makes a living selling on E-bay. He sells like baseball cards and vinyl record albums. I’ll have to do lunch with him soon.

My friend Steve, “The Hairy Beast,” called, as I was getting ready to eat dinner. I thanked him for calling, but explained that I just got home and needed to eat. Marcy and Michelle wanted to talk to him. I gladly passed the phone over.

Thank goodness, this birthday is over. I’m getting too old and cranky to celebrate birthdays anymore. Just call me a grumpy old man, at 54; well, not really.

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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