Is declaring a new birthday for yourself a sign of narcissism? Probably.
My husband finds this idea perplexing, but as I get older his state of perplexment deepens.
“Why would you create a new birthday?” he asked.
“Simple. I’m sick of sharing my birthday with you, Joan, and The Resurrection,” I explained.
Historically, few of my friends are available to take me out to dinner because of their other birthday commitments and Easter. I’m not that available either. My husband’s and my birthdays are two days apart, so we do the two-for-one birthday thing and I feel like I’m supposed to defer to him about how to celebrate.
Not anymore! I cooked up this new birthday in conversation with my motley Britannia crew in November. Little goes on in January besides Christmas recovery, I reasoned. A get-together during this dark, cold month was good for the soul. After the second glass of wine, the deal was sealed.
When my favourite, local folk-rock duo was booked at the New Edinburgh Pub on my new birthday, it was clear that the fates were smiling on me.
This duo is called the Dead Prophets of Western Canada and they’re the husbands of two of my galpals. I tend to confuse their band name with the Dead Poets Society–a consistent mistake that I blame on a symptom of perimenopause–Loss of nouns. I’ve resorted to calling them Glad because it’s the perfect fusion of their first names (Brad and Glen) and sums up how they make me feel when I listen to them play.
We danced, even though it’s not cool to dance in pubs. It was my birthday, dammit! But when the guys got the whole pub to sing Happy Birthday to me and then Sue presented me with a birthday cake that she baked for me, I cried. It was a fake birthday, but it involved real tears of gratitude.
My husband was incredulous and so was I, but I should have expected the fuss, given our friends’ historical thoughtfulness and appreciation for the absurd.
“This is what happens when you set realizable goals and have supportive friends,” I told him, as we drove home in our packed minivan. I was euphoric and humbled.
Here are the Dead Prophets of Western Canada performing one of their original pieces, I am me. Have a listen; you’ll be Glad you did: