They say that postal carriers will brave rain, sleet, snow, and dark of night to deliver the mail. I just did that and more to deliver myself to a surprise party in Virginia last Sunday. One of the people dearest to me turned 80 years old. His beautiful wife gave him a fabulous surprise Sunday brunch at his favorite restaurant. It was an event that dozens of friends and family kept secret for many months despite the fact that many of us are over 50 and can't remember what we had for breakfast, much less remember to lie. You have to be really smart to be a good liar and sadly many of us tripped over our tongues a few times in recent weeks and had to think fast to cover up. Luckily, we made it through and he was speechless when he saw the smiling faces of the sixty people who traveled in the biggest snow of the year to be there. It was an amazing experience and I was honored to attend.
As so often happens with my crazy brain, I started thinking about birthdays. I think they are very exciting but a lot of people don't. I hate it when someone says that their birthday is "just another day". Are you kidding me? That's like saying that the Taj Mahal is just another building. Getting to be another year older should be one of the biggest days of a person's year. The alternative is being dead. I am not planning on doing dead for a long time.
I personally have my black belt in the art of the BIRTHDAY. You know how some people celebrate their birthday for a whole week? I celebrate for an entire month with courteous reminders to my near and dear weeks beforehand as to how many shopping days are left. I was born under the sign of Leo, so the minute the Zodiac goes into my sign on July 23rd, it is officially my birthday until we go into Virgo on August 22nd. My birthday is a big deal to me and so are the birthdays of the people that I care about.
Did you know that more people are born in August than any other month? And more birthdays fall on 0ctober 5th than any other day. February is the slowest month for birthdays. If your birthday is on May 22, then you have the distinction of coming into this world on the slowest day for births.
Do you know why we put candles on a birthday cake? You will know in a minute and if you are ever on Jeopardy! you will be ready if this comes up. The Greeks started the tradition of putting candles on a cake to honor the goddess of the moon, Artemis. The glow of the candles replicated the lunar glow. Pretty cool, huh?
I am especially fond of milestone birthdays which are 13, 16, 21,30,40,50 and 60. After sixty, the milestones come every 5 years—65,70, 75,80 and so on—according to the greeting card people. It makes sense since life becomes more of a craps shoot when you get up there in age. I'm all for it! Birthdays should be fabulous and if yours aren't, you need to make them so.
This article is dedicated to my darling Robert Kamel (yes, you say it just like the animal). You are such a star and you have proven that being kind, helping others, having integrity and a big heart, being a good father, husband and friend plus eating right and going to the gym 3-4 times a week pays off. Did I mention that you are also ridiculously handsome?
Damn, you are too young to be 80!