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Appetizer

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday?

5.

I have a love-hate relationship with my birthday because it is December 21: So close to Christmas that insensitive friends have often carelessly written “P.S. Happy Birthday” in Christmas cards, it is difficult to plan celebrations because everyone is busy with Christmas parties and events, and as a child, I felt cheated because I never had a classroom party (my birthday was always during what was known in those days as “Christmas break”). Thankfully, by the time my kids started school, teachers had “wised up” and all kids whose birthdays fell during breaks picked another day for an “un-birthday” classroom celebration.

To my parents’ credit, my birthday was always a distinct event, never overshadowed by Christmas, but my mother put my presents under the tree. I still vividly remember coming home from college after finals and walking into the living room to find my presents — wrapped in pink — under the tree amid the red and green boxes.

As an adult, I learned not to care that my birthday is rarely celebrated on the exact day . . . in fact, I don’t care if it is celebrated at all since I am no longer getting any older. I’m only getting better. 😎

Soup

What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of?

The only thing that comes to mind is a phrase I never, ever use: “Passed away.” I absolutely hate that expression, never use it, and cringe whenever anyone else does.

People do not “pass away.” They die. I prefer to say that they “cross over into eternity” or, simply, “cross over” because I believe that they continue on their journey to another sphere. “Pass away” has always sounded like a weak cop-out explanation of what actually happens when life in this form comes to an end and is re-manifested in a place beyond our mortal reach.

Salad

Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like?

Always. My water aerobics sunglasses are fairly large, medium brown. I use them to deflect the splashing water and keep as much of it as possible out of my eyes because I always have my contact lenses in place. For everything else, I have fairly small-frame polarized lenses that deflect glare and are great for driving.

Main Course

If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it?

I would dedicate it to Wayne Field, my high school journalism teacher. He is a low-key, straight-forward, plain-spoken man who is not easily impressed, rarely gets worked up or visibly excited about much of anything, and has a wry wit and love for words.

He was one of the very first people in my life who made me feel that I was a writer. He quietly empowered and affirmed my work, but not in an overt or flowery way. He just nonchalantly assigned me — the newest member of the yearbook editorial staff — the task of writing one of four major essays to be published in that year’s edition. At the time, I considered it an honor but found it daunting. He spurred me on as I researched, drafted, edited, rewrote, and, finally, sent my product off to the printer. I have never forgotten that experience or the pride I felt when he edited my work, saying quietly, “Good.” That one word was enough.

Dessert

Name a beverage that you enjoy.

I enjoy iced white mochas, but I gave them up more than a year ago.


25 Comments

  1. Yen Rubie

    I stopped celebrating my birthday at 25 as well… i want to stay young at heart.. 🙂

  2. My twins’ due date was Jan. 14 but since twins almost always arrive early, we were hoping that they wouldn’t pop out the week before Christmas (or on Christmas Day!) for the reasons you describe.

    I held on past Dec. 25 and had a scheduled induction on Dec. 30 — as far away from Christmas as possible, not on New Years Eve but still in 2003 so we could get a double tax deduction for 2003!

  3. I love your main course!! I wonder how he would feel if he knew how much you respected him? Great feast this week–have a great weekend.

  4. What a great feast! I enjoyed it very much:D Happy FF!

  5. Love your feast. Enjoyed your explanation of birthdays.
    MIne is in December too, although not as close to Christmas as yours.

    Good to hear of another feaster who wears sunglasses!

  6. I used to get annoyed because my birthday fell in the Feb half term break and my ‘so called friends’ never remembered it. We didn’t have celebrations at school though… that sounds like a nice idea. Happy Friday.

  7. Pingback: Friday’s Feast #163 at Eye Care

  8. :mrgreen: i love my birthdays. we always party a lot. this year ( my birthday is 5 days ago ) we had a big party with my football team in sausalitos fürth. lot of good cocktails and every good mexican food. it was just great.

  9. Great feast! How wonderful your parents made your birthday so special — because we are all special!

  10. Very INTERESTING soup!!! Wow, that’s the best soup this week.

    My feast is served, won’t you come dine with me?

  11. I enjoy mocha frappucino.

    And

    My niece and nephew have birthdays that fall right at Christmas also. I always try to send a different box to them with the birthday presents and cards.

  12. Loved your main course. How lucky you were to have a mentor like that!

    Great feast!

  13. I have sympathy for your appetizer. My daughters birthday is Dec. 27th. I hate saying passed away also. We are pretty laid back about death at our house and call it what it is…

  14. I’ve never liked the phrase “passed away” either… or really any of the euphamisms.

    I’m glad your parents kept your birthday and Christmas separate… and it’s cute she put your birthday presents under the tree.

    Happy Friday and have a good weekend.

  15. Great post! I have never participated in this meme (no reason beyond maybe not knowing about it), but I like it! I also like your answers and the way you write them. I feel everything you say!

    I’m a Dec. 2 baby, so I have it somewhat easier. My birthday heralds the beginning of the end–the goofing off, the overeating, the praying for snow days from school, the countdown to Christmas.

    We share an appreciate of high school journalism teachers. Mine was a tough cookie named Charles Phelps who blew out the cobwebs and taught writing and story and, best of all, truth. Amen!

    Great post. Thanks.

  16. HI,

    i am new to this friday feast and i like it so much.
    i feel, even i must write something like this.

    i love my birthday 10 on 10.. 😛

  17. I agree with you abut the term “pass away.” I dislike it even more when people merely say “passed,” as if they’re talking about an embarrassing bodily emission.

    Death is not something to hide from. It’s a natural part of the life cycle, and yes, we miss those who are gone from our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we should shroud the word as if it’s something shameful.

  18. Hair Loss Solution

    I love my birthday. I get so many good wishes that day and I love the pampering that I get on my birthday. And the best part is my birthday does not fall close to Christmas so I can have all the celebrations.
    Great answers !!!! I liked your answer for the main course. People always write about big people and famous people, I liked the idea that you would dedicate your book to a simple yet very important person to you.

  19. I would like to participate on your dessert. My favorite beverage would be an avocado shake— crushed avocado with condensed milk, chocolate sauce and sugar. Yum yum

  20. i really dont care much of celebrating my birthday nowadays. but ofcourse, who doesn’t wanna celebrate right?

    what i mean is, i would much appreciate celebrating my birthd if we have extra money for that, but if we dont.. then its fine with me too. 🙂

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