I could have called this post If I were a rich man, but then I’d have to win the lottery and have a sex change (but at least I’d rest easy knowing that I had properly used the subjunctive mood).
Oops, tangent already. Let’s get back to the story.
50 years ago this week, I was born. It was three days after the 1964 Harvest full moon. But even more auspiciously, it was two days after Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway. I’ve always loved that play – now I know why.
This year, my 50th birthday falls on a new moon and the start of Rosh Hashanah. I might be secretly Jewish. At least one co-worker wishes me happy Hanukkah every year. Maybe she knows something I don’t. So Happy New Year! Sound the Ram’s horn, bring me apples, honey and pomegranate wine and cast your sins into the depths of the sea!
Jewish or not, I won’t be doing Ashtanga Yoga on my birthday this year; the studio is closed on moon days.
I was born at 8:41AM. I weighed 6 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mom and I checked out of the hospital three days later and my parents paid a bill of $126.60. I was cheap then, but I’d easily make up for that exponentially over the years in cash, checks, loans, credit cards, second mortgages, and sleepless nights. But it all would work out. My dad had his good government job making $2.75 an hour or $5800 per year and they’d soon be able to buy a house on East Avenue for $9500.
Mom says that husbands were not allowed anywhere near the delivery room back in the day so she would be the first to proclaim that I was “an adorable baby with tons of black hair”.
When my mom and I rolled out of that hospital (because I’m sure they wheeled us out to my dad’s waiting Corvair), it was the first of 4 times over the next 5 years that mom would uphold this tradition. Between December 1963 and January 1970, she was pregnant more than half the time; 36 of those 60 months. She made it out alive and with her sanity. And somehow she found time to make all of her maternity clothes. Wish I had that kind of energy.
My parents took me home to their manufactured house at the trailer park where my grandmother was there to help. The home’s bathroom door was right next to the basement door and unfortunately, one night grandma mistook one for the other. She fell down the stairs and an ambulance had to come and rush her off to the same hospital I’d just come from. No broken bones but painful and scary for everyone. Despite the slippery start, this was the beginning of grandma’s tradition of coming to help out each time mom was pregnant.
Apparently my mom and dad weren’t the freak out, hovering kind of parents because within a month of my birth, they were leaving me with my Dad’s boss while they went off to watch Duffy Daugherty’s Michigan State football team beat Northwestern. To honor this tradition, my middle sis snagged tickets for my mom and me in the Huntington Club Suites at the MSU vs Jacksonville State game while I was in Michigan a couple of weeks ago. Middle sis also made sure that she, baby sis and I could have a quick lunch at my old
Margarita drinking stomping ground near the MSU Campus – El Azteco – a college tradition.
So to wrap this up, I simply say Cheers, or better yet, L’Chaim, to tradition. And happy 50th birthday to me.