Wednesday, September 11, 2013


IT'S THE LEAST ONE CAN DO and I don't do it that well. I have given up on ever being a card sender on the birthdays of my friends. It just wasn't a part of my culture, except in elementary school where it was emphasized. But like most things at that age, I didn't get it that it was being emphasized for my benefit and learning.

I grew up thinking that whatever I wanted to do at the moment was the most important thing in life. Picking out a card and filling it out for someone else's birthday never made the cut. It should have but it didn't.

My partner in life, CA, on the other hand, spends as much money on birthday cards as she does on food. Her entire family places a high priority on sending cards for everything. She can not imagine not doing it.

I go through periods of thinking that even at this late date I can learn a new trick and send out cards on time for everything. Alas, It doesn't "take", as it were.

Along comes the computer age and I plug into it with a fearlessness that astonishes even myself. I have a calendar on every device I own. There are three that matter: my desktop computer, my laptop and my phone. If I change a date or enter an appointment or birthday on one of them it instantly appears on the other two, as if by magic. You'll forgive me, but I remember when electricity was discovered. All this really does seem magical to me.

Yet, with all this assistance at my fingertips, I still am not the best at remembering. Now there is FaceBook and it's pathological insistence on reminding us of every breath anyone takes, and I have to say it helps me remember, but you must be here every day for it to work well, and I am not.

And if you are wondering - I do love getting your greetings on my birthday. I have always been amazed that anyone ever thought of me. I had this low self esteem thing, you see. I managed to compensate for that with an overwhelming bad temper and an impressive sense of being right about everything. I have overcome the former while seeing nothing wrong with the later.

But back to the card sending thing: I have this reminder pop-up that appears on all my devices that reminds me of birthdays. Yes - even that doesn't work for me all the time. But today it did. An old Istrouma High School buddy of mine is 81 today and I sent him an email with "happy birthday" in red capitol letters. He replied immediately, thanking me and telling me that he and six classmates of ours are meeting this morning for breakfast, and that he was going to tell them of my note. Now how cool is that? And how I wish I could be there.

One would think that I'd learn from this how important it is to be consistent in the simple act of remembering important dates. Well, I have never been consistent about anything. My eye doctor asked me once if I put my glaucoma drops in every day without fail. I laughed and said, "Sam, I don't do anything without fail!". And there you have it.

Happy birthday everyone. I hope you have cake and perhaps a glass of wine to lighten your heart.

Love - Jerry