Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Birthday Attitude

I'll admit it. I was one of those people who downplayed my birthday.

Good Friend: "Now when is your birthday?"
Me: "Oh, I'll never tell!" Ha ha. Chuckle chuckle. Or...

Family Member: "Is there anything special you would like for your birthday?"
Me: "Who me? Oh no, you don't have to get me anything." Change subject.

Sound familiar, ladies? (Men don't have this quirk.) We don't want anyone thinking that we actually thought about ourselves, do we? How selfish. If we divulge our birthdates, does that mean that we are secretly hoping we'll get lots of presents? How greedy. No, by golly, we are women---queens of self-effacement, masters of self-denial. That was me, yup.

Until I became good friends with Candice.

Candice is happy with life. Were you to meet her, that would be obvious. She would look straight into your eyes, put her hand on your forearm, offer a beguiling smile, and ask you sincere questions about yourself. When the initial meeting was over, and she said goodbye, repeating your name (she'd remembered it from the introduction!) you would feel as if you mattered to her. You would realize that you liked Candice and would be sorry to see her go.

Candice taught me a lesson about birthdays. They are causes for celebration of life. Your life.

When it was time for me to celebrate her birthday with her for the first time, I learned something unique about Candice. Her birthday celebration lasts for three days.

"I begin accepting presents on Candice Eve, " she told me, "the day before my birthday. We have treats and maybe we'll do something as a family. The next day, my actual birthday, we call Candice. There are more presents and then the cake and ice cream. My husband will take me out to dinner. The third day, we call Post-Candice. I still take presents on that day and we indulge in leftover goodies. That way people who are late for my birthday don't feel bad because we are still celebrating Post-Candice." And Candice always tells her age. Of course she's only thirty.

I've never looked at birthdays the same way. Neither does my son, who now insists that we celebrate Jeremiah Eve, Jeremiah, and Post-Jeremiah.

Here's my challenge, ladies. On your next birthday, instead of downplaying, celebrate your special day for three days. Accept presents. And always tell your age.


  1. I know when your birthday is...and it's pretty soon! =)

  2. Nah nah...I know when yours is too! Hee hee


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