Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy birthday to me - and St. Leander

Had a birthday yesterday – stopped making a fuss about them years ago, but the older you get the more fuss other people think they should make of them – lest it be your last I guess. But Monday birthdays tend to be quiet affairs – here in suburbia most decent restaurants are closed Mondays, and people don’t feel like going out anyway. But we found one that we hadn’t been to for years and it was as morgue-like as we had expected – wife, daughter and me sitting there trying not to chew too loudly lest we woke the waiter. Then an old friend and former neighbour, with whom I share the March 13 birthday, arrives, place livens up, cakes, candles and much singing of ‘Happy Birthday’, great meal and a good time had by all.
Wife, just home from eye surgery, sports a tasteful multi-coloured eye which we shall call 'spectrum minus only red': yellow, blue, indigo, violet and black. I sport a T-shirt bearing the words ‘I didn't do it’. I buy her an eye-patch and parrot but she is not amused.
On the subject of dates of birth, the conversation got to changes of values of abstract things according to one’s age. To us wrinklies, time is about the most precious commodity there is because you know there’s a finite amount left and you can’t bear to see young folk squandering it - lying in bed until noon, say - as if they expected to live forever. Impecunious youth thinks that money is the only big problem, but that tends to reduce in significance as the gray stuff increases. No, to us it’s all about health: yet kids can eat junk, sunbake, smoke and snort stuff, while knowing full well what it does to them.
Don't we have any values in common with youth? Well, yes, there is one – but even that has different attitudes accorded it by Anno Domini – you can manage on less of it, and it has to be shared with the right companion.

Yes, I can't bear to drink good wine alone. And I lied about the parrot.

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