Thursday, May 26, 2016

B is for Birthday Buddies

Perhaps it stems from an inflated estimate of my own importance, but I have long believed that one’s birthday is a very special day and should be well-marked, and as such, I have always had an excellent memory for birthdays. When I was a kid, birthdays seemed like singular events, and the only people I knew who shared one were the twins next door, Lois and Laura. The more people I met, however, the more the birthdays doubled, and even tripled, up.

For example, my friend Mary shares her birthday with my brother-in-law, Jordan, and there is a week in July where my nephew Treat and our god-daughter Delaney have the same birthday, as do Treat’s brother, Riley and our other nephew, Kyle, and Delaney’s sister Allyn and our dearest dog, Isabel.

And now that I’ve been teaching for a while, there are birthday buddies for everyone. It only makes sense when you consider 2000 kids spread over 366 days. In addition to my own birthday buddies, Abby and Matt , I’ve even known a couple of February 29-ers—if they’d like someone to commiserate with for getting the short straw when it comes to birthdays, I can definitely hook them up!

Somewhere along the line I began to consider celebrity birthdays, too, and soon the notion of famous birthday buddies became a minor fascination.

How interesting to think that my brother shared his birthday with Thomas Jefferson, and my sister hers with Florence Nightingale, Yogi Berra, and Katherine Hepburn. My mother’s birthday buddies are George HW Bush and Anne Frank, but my dad and I never really seemed to have anyone very impressive, or even that recognizable.

In the last few years, my birthday buddy list has expanded a bit to include Vincent D’Onofrio, Mike Tyson, and Michael Phelps, but I’m still waiting for someone to represent our special day in a more historical way. I wonder if those guys are waiting, too.

Life Lesson:
You say it's your birthday?
Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!
They say it's your birthday—
we’re gonna have a good time.
I'm glad it's your birthday.
Happy birthday to you.
We’re gonna have a party, party!
~John Lennon and Paul McCartney

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