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Aging Columnist Can't Think of Birthday Gift
I have a birthday coming up, and I am pleased to report that someone recently told me I don’t look my age. That’s the good news.
The bad news is he said I actually look about six years older. Oh, well. With the life I’ve lived, I’m lucky it’s only six. Fun can age a person, you know.
Anyway, I was asked what I want for my birthday, and guess what? I couldn’t think of a single thing. I’m serious. I pondered the question for a full five minutes and couldn’t come up with anything, not even "Oh, I don’t know, some socks and underwear, I guess."
This proves that I’ve either got everything I want and need, or that after you reach a certain age your imagination simply drains out your ears.
It’s a far cry from previous years, when I was known for what my parents called outrageous birthday wishes. In my world, I was just being honest. People asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I told them.
Age 4 - An elephant.
Age 5 - A chimpanzee.
Age 6 - A pony.
Age 7 - Ventriloquism lessons.
Age 8 - A horse, preferably Palomino.
Age 9 - A go-kart and/or a mini-bike. See, I could be flexible.
Age 10 - A shotgun. Double-barreled. 12-gauge.
Age 11 - See age 10. I was nothing if not persistent.
Age 12 - Either a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar or a Hofner bass, with appropriate amplifier such as the Vox Super Beatle. And a pair of Beatle boots. Plus permission to grow my hair long like the cool kids at school.
Age 13 - A Nehru jacket and love beads. Plus the Beatle boots.
Age 14 - A small motorcycle.
Age 15 - A large motorcycle. Age 16 - Permission to move to New Mexico.
Age 17 - A 1969 Plymouth Road Runner. Robin’s egg blue, with the 383 engine and a four-barrel.
Age 18 - Money, but not much. Just enough to move to New Mexico, buy the Plymouth and the motorcycle, and live like a Rockefeller.
Of course, I didn’t get any of it, not even the money. Can you believe it?
Now, this is not to say I didn’t get some wonderful presents over the years. The Mattel Dick Tracy Snub-Nose .38 with the Snap-Draw Shoulder Holster was a classic. I still have all the baseball gloves. The first electric guitar is somewhere up in the attic, in pieces, a victim of my enthusiasm for The Who.
I still have many of the games (anyone for Smess, also known as The Ninny’s Chess?), most of the books (including The Bears of Blue River, my father’s favorite kidhood book, presented to each Redmond kid on his or her 10th birthday), and even some of the knick-knacks (such as a pair of cufflinks with old-time cars on them, which I still wear on occasion).
I suppose this might be the reason why I don’t really want anything for my birthday anymore. I’ve had a lot of great birthday memories despite all those presents I didn’t get, and I’ve kept many of the presents I did. I really do have about everything I need, including a good supply of socks and underwear.
Although I’d still kind of like an elephant.
© 2008 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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