Happy Birthday to Me! Please Hold the Applause
was my birthday.
No, I won't tell you my age. Let's just say I'm fast approaching mid-life, or something like it. Also, I desperately need to update my profile picture, even if it means paying a professional photographer. Admission: that profile pic is over 5-years old. Ouch!
Anyhow, this is a blog post about birthdays.
So Happy Birthday 🎁 🎂 to me!!!
But please hold off on your congratulations and well wishes. Why? Because I’m not big on birthdays, at least not my own. I never was a birthday person. I’m not sure why?
because I don’t like surprises, especially surprise birthday parties thrown for
me. I don’t mind if it’s for someone else. Maybe that's because I don’t like
being the center of attention, at least not in the real world.
So please hold the applause.
I’m a lifelong writer. Thus, as a creative type I tend to be a bit introverted at times and prefer the written word compared to face-to-face communications. I know this is good and bad. Good because we’re in the golden age of social media. Bad because I know how much direct personal interaction matters in networking and life generally.
used to be a world class in-person networker before social media.
That’s how I got to work for a Congressional leadership office in the U.S.
Capitol and then in the White House during my 20s. But in-person networking was really the only choice
back then if you wanted to close the deal. Perhaps that's still true.
Today is a different era. Yes, I understand the importance of face-to-face networking. I just don't do it much anymore. Yet I digress.
There comes a certain time, or age, when getting older just doesn’t seem that great anymore. It’s not as good as yesteryear.
For example, I fondly recall
many joyous birthday parties thrown for me as a kid and teenager. I looked forward to my birthday back then. The parties were fun.
Moreover, I didn’t
really mind celebrating my birthday during my 20s and 30s. It was always a blast to go out on the town with the guys and gals. Big time fun!
Then my 40s hit and things changed. Now it’s a different story, a whole new ball game.
(Photo Note: That's me on the top, far left, as a kid with my friends back in the day. We were all happy campers, particularly for birthdays.)
The Turning Point
I think the turning point with birthdays is when you stop looking forward to getting older and start wishing you were younger again. I know, I know…age is just a number. I say that a lot.
I also tell people: it’s not the number of years in your life
but the life in those years.
The problem is I don’t always follow my own
advice, at least when it comes to birthdays. Perhaps I’m becoming hermetic or on
the verge of a mid-life crisis? I hope not.
But that’s for another post.
So I know you’re probably wondering what this birthday sourpuss actually did for his birthday? Sorry to disappoint, but not much.
I took the
day off from work for starters because life is about more than working. I actually slept late, very late, then got up and made the
bed, and gulped down some coffee per my usual routine.
half, Nicole, has the summer off. She’s
a high school Spanish teacher. And, lucky for me, she went with the flow (you know what I mean guys). In
addition to making the coffee, she got a few chocolate croissants as a celebratory gesture to sweeten the day. Okay, she really likes them too. Those are always yummy. Alas, I only ate one.
I was saving my appetite for the big event: the vaunted birthday dinner!
it was mid-afternoon and I was still being a slouch. Thus, I jumped on the
computer and did some social media surfing. That’s always fun and I
like to keep up, to the extent possible. Apologies to those whose blog posts and buzz I may have neglected to engage with, or inadvertently overlooked. It happens with information overload. You know what I mean, nothing personal, just time constraints.
Then I shaved, took a shower and got
dressed. Nothing strange about that, right? Well, Nicole really likes when I groom myself and dress up. This is because I usually work from home in shorts and a tee-shirt, unshaven and all scruffy looking. Maybe it's a guy thing?
Nicole treated me to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Seasons 52 (shameless plug), which is in walking distance. This is very convenient if you want to booze it up occasionally.
When I say
favorite restaurant, I mean similar to the 1980s TV sitcom, “Cheers” (theme song intro via YouTube, series ended in 1993). You walk
in and, “Everybody knows your name...and they're always glad you came.” -- as the mantra goes. They’re beaming with happiness to see
you, and I mean everybody -- from the hostess, to the servers, to the managers, to the chef.
always nice on your birthday or any day.
seated, a bottle of my favorite German wine, Riesling, and some sparkling water was immediately
brought to the table without even asking for it. Like I said, they know us well there. And yes, I know it's traditionally a desert wine, but I consider myself a culinary rebel.
impressive, I thought. They even remembered the limes I like for the Perrier. This was too much!
Finally, I started feeling a little better about my birthday. It sure took long enough.
So there we were, Nicole and I, in one of our favorite restaurants and ready for a great meal. We shared a pizza-like flatbread and I ordered an awesome arugula salad with avocado. I ended up eating most of the flatbread, as usual. That's because Nicole counts her calories. She works out almost every day. No wonder she looks so good compared to me. But, again, that’s for another post.
The Birthday Cake
The restaurant managers
came to our table and chit chatted with us for several minutes, as usual. We like this restaurant because -- in addition to the high quality food -- it's upscale, classy and has great ambience with mahogany wood everywhere and big windows.
For the main course I decided to have a New York Strip Steak – being a native New Yorker and all. I first thought about the fish, a special seasonal Copper River Salmon. But that wouldn’t cut it for me tonight, too light. Nicole had the trout.
I know what you’re thinking now: time for the birthday cake!
Well, not so fast...
I’m not really into birthday cakes, generally. That’s another reason why I like this restaurant. They don't serve big deserts. Rather they have those mini deserts served in something resembling a shot glass. Nothing big or fancy, just yummy and low cal.
And the servers present these deserts on a fancy tray with a flash light pointing each one out and talking it up. It's kind of similar to the celebrated Baked Alaska on cruise ships.
That’s all fine and good with me. Let the show go on...
So that's pretty
much it, at least for now. Nicole also gave me a very sentimental birthday card entitled, "To the Wonderful Man I Love!"
I asked her if she had the right person, just to make sure. Then lot's of hugs and kisses. Awe shucks.
Nicole also plans to take me out shopping over the weekend for some practical things I really need – like new slippers (or “house shoes” as my late father called them), as well as some new pants. I know, very exciting.
Yes, another birthday has come and gone. Oh well.
And while it was just another day to me, I'm another year older -- and, hopefully, wiser. I also have a few more gray hairs coming in which my barber refuses to cut out.
But in actuality I don’t feel any different. I suppose you can call that a low-key birthday. Perhaps that's an understatement
(Photo Note: That's my "amorcita," Nicole. I know what you're thinking: what's a beautiful woman like that doing with a slacker like me? Well, I just consider it a blessing and don't ask questions.)
Like I said,
I’m not big on birthdays. But I do love writing.
Enough about me. How about
What’s the deal with celebrating YOUR birthday?
Please share your valuable feedback below and remember: I'm not looking for any birthday love, just sharing my personal experience and views. So please don't be shy in commenting.
Consider it a belated birthday gift...