David B. Grinberg en Lifestyle, Publishers & Bloggers, Writers Strategic Communications Consultant • Independent 23/6/2017 · 5 min de lectura · 2,3K

Happy Birthday to Me! Please Hold the Applause

Happy Birthday to Me! Please Hold the Applause

Yesterday 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?

Perhaps it’s 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.

Actually, I 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.

Okay, back to birthdays.

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.

My better 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!

By now 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.

That’s always nice on your birthday or any day.

After being 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.

Pretty 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 you?

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...


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I'm an independent writer and strategic communications advisor with over 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors -- including work in the White House, Congress, federal agencies, and national news media. I'm also a Brand Ambassador for beBee Affinity Social Network. In addition to beBee, you can find me buzzing around on Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn.

great story @David B. Grinberg Happy Birthday - I am not that good with my own birthday. It is early in the new year, and everyone has just had Xmas, and new years so it seems like everyone is kind of over celebrating by then, or away on holiday, etc etc. I love making my kids birthdays special!

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Michele Williams 28/6/2017 · #60

Belated Happy birthday @David B. Grinberg🍰🍨🍮!

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David B. Grinberg 28/6/2017 · #59

Thank you for the last two comments below @Donna-Luisa Eversley @Preston 🐝 Vander Ven, I'm grateful for your positive engagement and well wishes.
Now, did I say mid-life -- or approaching mid-life?
Well, either way you got me, Preston, as I just asked Siri to define "midlife." She says, "The central period of a person's life, generally considered as the years from about 45-55." Thus, it's true, I recently crossed the threshold. I'll try to wear this glorious distinction as a badge of honor, wit and wisdom -- and sarcasm, of course (although I'm usually the only one who laughs at my jokes).
Thanks again to everybody who commented below. And don't forget: Keep buzzing!!! (including Live Buzz because if someone if someone like me with a face that only "a mother can love" -- and my amorcita -- can do it, then anybody can). Buzz on...

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Preston 🐝 Vander Ven 28/6/2017 · #58

@David B. Grinberg I want to say Happy Birthday. You said your in mid-life so I'm guessing Methuselah's age like me. Thanks for sharing.

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Donna-Luisa Eversley 26/6/2017 · #57

Wow happy birthday @David B. Grinberg💐🌸🌼💮🎂🍷🍧🍡🍺🏖 I wish everything for you above and lots more.God bless 😊

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David B. Grinberg 26/6/2017 · #56

Thanks so much to everyone below for the gracious outpouring of constructive comments and delightful discourse . Everybody had excellent points to make. I think the bottom line regarding birthday celebrations -- or lack thereof -- is whatever works best for the individual. There are no rules about why some people like birthdays while others don't, just personal reasons.
Moreover, the comments below exemplify the great diversity of views, opinions and people who share buzz on beBee. We bees are all amazing and unique in our own ways. It's this diversity of views and life experiences, and acceptance thereof, which is especially pleasing. That's why beBee is always overflowing with good intentions, good advice and good cheer. Thus, I raise a glass to salute all of YOU for taking the time to positively engage with this post. Many thanks for all YOU do -- and keep buzzing...Vamos!!!

Barbara Henslee 24/6/2017 · #55

I'm not a birthday celebrator, either. Never have been, even as a kid. I was the youngest of 4 kids with a span of 15 years between me and my eldest sibling. My single mother was too busy and too tired to throw any parties, and I was perfectly fine with it. I'm terrible about recognizing birthdays at work as well. I don't mind partaking in the obligatory 20-minute celebration and enjoying that piece of store-bought cake. I just don't want to be the initiator. I won't say happy birthday, David....but I will say: What's a beautiful woman, like Nicole, doing with a ........a fine introvert such as yourself. I kid! You both are lucky to have each other. By the way, working from home in shorts and a tee-shirt, unshaven and all scruffy looking is not just a guy thing. :-) Here's to another year! *clink*

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debasish majumder 24/6/2017 · #54

belated happy birthday my dear @David B. Grinberg! you have added a new dimension to time and space to birthday bash and surely a unique design to make others feeling special and precious about your valuable presence as well sharing a true warm association, though but, perhaps more appealing than real. lovely insight! enjoyed read. thank you very much for the share.

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