BIRTHDAYS: Past and Present


The 28th of the Month saw that annual landmark that I go through every year of ‘celebrating’ another year on Planet Earth.  With the exception of my seventh birthday when my parents laid on a birthday party for me and I had friends around for my Birthday Party/Tea, I have never bothered nor has anyone else ever bothered to celebrate another year of my being on Planet Earth.  I have remembered my birthday with others and on my lonesome but never actually celebrated it.  In fact looking at my Journal recently, I came across this entry for Birthday 2009, which made for pretty depressing reading:-

“The Birthday Boy Cometh!!  Well, here I am.  All Forty-six years of me.  My time on the Planet.  And a motley time it has been.

“I slept in.  No money so the day was going to be uneventful.  And for a time it was.  At least until I got on Facebook.  There were more greetings and birthday wishes than I expected.  And I only received one card – From my lovely daughter.  All in all, that made my day.  Later on Glenn called and we went out for a drink – At his expense, as I was totally broke.  A couple of pints of Guinness, good conversation and my day was made.  There is not much more to say.  The day was quiet, uneventful, and then eventful.”

Daughter and Friend aside, I had no intention of going through any of the above this time around in 2010. But before I discuss Birthday 2010, let me look back at Birthdays from hell and that is pretty much nearly everyone from Age Seven onwards.

My most memorable Birthday was my Seventh for the reasons I discussed above.  Another significant factor (which also involved Christmas that year,) was the last birthday that my parents were together.  By my eighth year anniversary, their marriage was over, dead as a dodo.  Things would never be and never were the same again.  Christmas’s came and went with joy or total indifference but virtually every birthday of mine was met with less than let us say a joyous expectation. There were reasons I guess.

One reason my birthdays were less that joyous occasions I would say was the family setup I was a part of (not by choice,) also my birthday always occurred around the Whitsun Bank Holiday, worse, once every seven or eight years on the actual Bank Holiday Monday.  Not sure why I hated British Bank Holidays so much, one reason was they always occurred on a Monday but that is beside the point.  I never like British Bank Holidays and I still don’t.  The only respite I get from these public holidays is nowadays I find something constructive to do before being hauled back into the nine-to-five slave existence.

Looking back and reminiscing on Birthdays of years passed, apart from my seventh, I cannot think of a single one from Childhood to Manhood that left me warm thought or one where I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Even the landmark ones I recalled are not even worth remembering.  My Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh I have no recollection of though with the latter I was in my finally year at Junior (or Junior High if you like).  The only think I could recall at a stretch was I moving on to a totally different school environment in September, as well Abba winning the Eurovision Song Contest that year.  My Twelve I only recall I had finally settled into High School, was learning French, getting over my first year and not missing Junior High in the least.  Plus the weather was warmer than it had been in years.  My thirteenth, oddly enough I recall because by this time I had reconnected with my Father, was visiting him and he had given me some money for my birthday.  Oddly enough I remember buying an edition of Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’ with a May cover date for that year, not to mention buying sweets/candy for my siblings.  Like the previous year the weather was the same, only hotter, much hotter.  My fourteenth and fifteenth were completely forgettable affairs punctuated by my disability kicking in between both birthdays.  Post fifteenth my disability became a major issue and I was confined to home for a total of twenty-three weeks in total over the course of that year. My sixteenth was led into via my being hospitalized, Margaret Thatcher becoming the UK’s first female Prime Minister, as well as my leaving School with little or no prospects I could think of.  Life was going downhill fast.  My Seventeenth was living proof of that being in a dead end job as a sales assistant.  By my Eighteenth I was downsized, unemployed, though on the Day, I received a cheque from the Inland Revenue to the sum of £15.90GBP.  Not much of a birthday gift as I was supposed to receive £98.87GBP.  So much for the generosity of the British Taxman.  Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-First even were not memorable – Nothing happened of significance which is why I have no recollection of them.  The same could be said of the rest from Twenty-One though to Thirty-One.  Thirty-Two saw a difference because by this time I had met the lady who would become my wife and we got engaged the day before my thirty second, then there was my birthday, followed by hers the day after, which in turn was followed by having our engagement photographs taken.  This was a bank holiday weekend so got engaged on the Saturday had our respective birthdays on the Saturday and Sunday followed by having our photo session on the Bank Holiday Monday.  Best Bank Holiday weekend I had ever enjoyed.  Thirty-three onwards has been a mixed bag but nothing to recall or would want to recall One year, I was home alone so spend that birthday evening with a Chinese takeaway meal for company.

Given what I read in my journal for 2009, I decided to break with the non-tradition of being bored stiff with my birthday and do something a little different.  Birthday 2010 was going to be different and the first sign of that came last Wednesday when my agent called and told me I had landed a job on a Nigerian television commercial for the following day.  The payment for a day’s work was a handsome some ‘a good early birthday present,’ I thought.  Friday morning came along with my Birthday and I put my plan into action.

I decided to spend the day with a friend I had yet to meet.  And meet we did and had a good time, played catch up on what had been going.  Even got a ‘phone call for some work scheduled for the following Tuesday.  It was a long day, a lot happened, a lot was enjoyed along the way and overall it was a good day all around.

So in decided to make a break with what had become the norm, I actually made a difference, spoiled myself and actually consciously went out and enjoyed my Birthday for once.  So here’s to Birthday 2010.  Hoping I enjoy many more birthdays just like it.

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