Birthday Musings, Childhood Memories


Today is my birthday, or rather, yesterday was my birthday.  Some may say it’s sad to be spending the beginning of the anniversary day of your birth at the office and still be at the office when the day ends, but those are people who likely weren’t born in August.

With apologies to my mom, I never cared for my birthday because of when it lands.

August is a terrible time to have your birthday if you’re a student.

I never experienced those birthday munchkins at school.  I don’t recall hanging with friends on my birthday.  I can’t even recall the last time I had a birthday cake.  At the end of the summer, few of my friends were around.  Heck, I was rarely around.

Thus it was that until very recently, my only birthday memories were of dining at a nice restaurant with my family.  Nothing against my family, but I spent nearly ever day with them and I’d rather not have had my birthday used as an excuse to dine at a Michelin-rated restaurant.

You probably remember your big birthdays.  Turning 17 to get a license, turning 21 to get a drink.  The only birthday I remember is turning 18 to get my personal stock brokerage account.

I digress, but one of the ways that my parents tried to “sell” our moving to the United States was by pointing out that the school year begins in the summer here so my birthday will be more celebrated than in Japan, where the school year begins in April.  Apart from the nonsensicalness of this logic that I, an idiot child, bought into–you’d realize on a nanosecond of reflection that having a birthday earlier in the school year would make no difference whatsoever–the situation actually grew worse after we moved.  Whereas Japan only had summer break in August, American kids had the whole months of July and August off.  People tended to be around in July to hang; August was when everyone left to enjoy whatever was left of the summer (hence explaining why movie studios dump movies with little prospects in August).

Now that I work and “summer vacation” is what you take, not what you’re given, I’m surrounded by friends and colleagues–not just my family–on my birthday.  People wish you a happy birthday, go out with you to dinner in a busy schedule to celebrate and pick up the check for you, giving you the opportunity to return the favor in a couple months.  Family dinners were nice, but this is nice in a different way.   This is friendship.  It’s camaraderie.

Thank you, my compadres, for the birthday wishes.

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8 Responses to “Birthday Musings, Childhood Memories”


  1. 1 rattoch August 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    atleast your birthday is not a week before christmas, and with in a few weeks of a few other friends.

    thus, i was always on vacation when my birthday occured and thus no one was around in college.

    • 2 joesas August 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm

      Alas! I found somebody who shares the pain.

      I feel for ya, man. Yours is even worse b/c your celebration gets commingled with Christ’s. You can’t compete with that, not really.

      But then, you’re in Mass, so maybe you can…

  2. 3 Miran August 10, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Mine is in June, which is fantastic timing… until college. Happy Belated! =)

    • 4 joesas August 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm

      Happy belated birthday to you, too!

      June is a great month if you’re in like elementary school. You get to celebrate right before school’s off. What fun!

      Of course, college is a bummer. You get finals, then no friends. Boo!

      Thanks for reading, as always!

  3. 5 Miran August 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

    yup, my mom brought in the cupcakes and soda, only to be overtaken/overwhelmed by screaming, happy kiddies.

    • 6 joesas August 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm

      That’s a nice mom! Of course, kids are nutty.

  4. 7 Kevin September 11, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    My birthday is in December. I was always sad that I couldn’t have a party at Fenway. Happy belated birthday. Next year you should have cake.

    • 8 joesas September 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm

      Kevin,

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, I’d like to have a birthday cake next year. Can’t remember the last time I had one. December is a tough time to have a birthday. Hard to compete with Christ. Adding insult to injury, there’s no baseball… Although… I’m sure you can rent out the stadium in the middle of winter since they’re not using it…


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