I would first like to explain. It is prudent to explain the reasons why birthdays are such an obsession or a priority. You must know the drive that compels me to get up early most mornings to write very long messages to everybody celebrating that day even if they are obscure acquaintances or even strangers. After delving into my earliest memories, I remember a night as a preteenager where I shed enough tears to fill a veritable ocean. I had been obsessing over my birthday for probably weeks, I was not bestowed a cake or any kind of an acknowledgement in my grandparents’ home in Millerton, NY when they were both still alive. My grandmother Shirley gave me a funny look and asked, “What would you like?” after I inquired whether there would be anything else for dessert that night around April 2ndafter she emotionlessly dumped some ice cream sandwiches on the table. As an adult, I sort of understand that her coldness that day was due to the fact that she was undergoing tests for the uterine cancer that eventually killed her and there were more dire priorities around that time besides rushing out to get Little Jesse a Carvel ice cream cake. But even as an adult, someone should have found a cake just like the other years. Birthdays have to thrive especially during one’s childhood years. Even John F. Kennedy Jr. was granted a small birthday celebration days after his father’s assassination at least in accordance to that movie about Jackie Kennedy Onassis starring Natalie Portman. During a childhood of being bullied on a near-constant basis, even my relentless classmates had respect and seemed to give me immunity if they knew my birthday fell on April 2nd. This permanent anguish is what creates passion for augmenting birthdays. The damn show must go on…!
I believe in celebrating birthdays a few days in advance just in case the Big Day turns out to be a debacle. The weather does not always show the mercy you deserve and you never know whether an outdoor picnic in July will be destroyed by torrential rain. Having a few rain dates in places will help dramatically while decreasing bitterness if circumstances fail to cooperate on your actual day. There is always the possibility of celebrating “belatedly,” but it often feels like decaf coffee or a two-hour delay for a schoolboy who still has to take the big test! For this reason, my birthday on Monday, April 2nd, 2018 was perfect especially because of the pre-celebrations the days before!
If memory serves me correctly, I started celebrating on Thursday, March 29, 2018 when I took a time capsule to the 1970s (or whenever gas was under fifty cents per gallon). The circumstances were surely perfect. My gas tank was nearly empty and I had hoarded $2,200.00 worth of gas points over the past year. In other words, this translated to $2.20 off each gallon as the attendant enthusiastically ran out to fill his own car to receive the same discount considering that I would lose the remaining gallons left. It cost only $5.00 to fill my gas tank with eleven gallons! On Friday, March 30th, 2018 I justified imposing my birthday glory on everyone in the office by taking over the loud speaker and announcing all the baked goods that were purchased for everybody. Then a lot of us celebrated at a restaurant called, Juniors where I felt like the Man of the Hour! On Saturday, March 31 I went to my significant other, Alison’s house for Passover and blew off my own family’s Seder, but they understood that my birthday wish is my command. I wanted to spend time with her considering she had to move to Connecticut and followed my heart instead of what others wanted. The next day Alison and my entire family went to my favorite diner where a lit candle was placed in the tiramisu that I ordered at the conclusion of brunch. Even though I took the day off from work on Monday, April 2nd, 2018 my birthday was not perfect. For one thing, it snowed at the beginning of the day when I had fantasized for 60-degree weather. I also polluted this sacred day with a flurry of chores such as picking up a package of my books at a local bookstore that supplies inventory and visiting the bank. There was also the fact that my birthday fell on a dreaded Monday this year. But it was still perfect based on the pre-celebrations that took place the days beforehand. Whether or not one has Asperger’s syndrome, there has to be something to cherish from those childhood days of yore and yesterday. Among other things…I choose birthdays that are so sacred they must be celebrated well in advance and not subsequent to its climactic glory.