Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — As of this publication, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, my brother, Tim, has a birthday. I’m embarrassed by the fact that I’m not quite sure if it’s the 29th or the 30th … but I’m certain it’s one of those days.
This year, if you’ll humor me, I’ll wish him a “Happy Birthday” right here in this column. I’ll put his e-mail address at the end, so that maybe, you, too, can send him “greetings.” He deserves it and would certainly appreciate the extra hoopla. Thanks.
I figure it’s the least I can do for my twin.
The problem with having a birthday so close to Christmas is that it gets diluted. People are in a daze and primarily focused on the seasonal festivities. Trust me, I know. Every other kid has their own special day during the year, but when you have to share the limelight with the Son of God, and the glitter of Santa Claus, you tend to get lost in the shuffle and go quietly into the night. What else can you do?
And if that’s not hard enough, try being a twin and having to cut that already depreciated attention, again, with your brother. Everyone else gets a birth-’day’, my twin and I get a birth-four minutes. For a materialistic little kid, it’s not exactly a ‘Woo-hoo, we’re having fun now!” affair. It’s as personal as being in the crowd at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. (“What do you think, Doc? Should I just … you know … let it go?”)
For Christmas, we’d get a flashlight. A couple of days later, on our birthdays, we’d get batteries. It was the “hold-off-on-giving-the-entire-gift (at Christmas) and give-part-of-it-to-them-later (on their birthday)” routine that shortchanges so many close-to-holiday-birthday kids.
I know things weren’t easy for my parents. Those were hard times for them. They could barely pay the maid and butler decent wages. The cook and chauffeur weren’t getting rich working there, either.
Disclaimer: What you just read in the last two paragraphs is nothing more than a boatload of crap. It is pure folly. However, if you should ever experience an actual episode of self-pity, like I often do, seek a newspaper immediately. A newspaper that will let you write an article about it and then add a disclaimer asserting the whole shebang as fiction and nothing more than a boatload of crap. It works for me.
My nephew, Mark: His birthday is Christmas Eve. Same deal. Actually, probably worse. As a youngster, he was told all the decorations were to “mark” an important birthday (Christ’s). So, you can probably see where confusion might set in there. But, he, on the other hand, was able to deal with it.
Even though he is an actor ... pretending to be somebody else. And before that, he went off to Iraq to fight somebody … something ... anything. Oh my God, I hope he’s OK.
It’s, also, my friend Karol’s birthday. Karol, a Lockport resident with her husband, Carl, celebrates the same day as I do. Both she and Carl worked at Fisher-Price Toys when I did, back in the “good old days.”
Another co-worker and friend of mine, Bob, AKA Fid, was born on the same day and year as I was. Fid is another Lockport character. He once told me that he remembers how sad he was the day he was born. His mother couldn’t be there for his birth because she had to bowl that day. She did, however, stop at the hospital after league play and gave him a bag of Doritos she’d won at the alleys.
I’m glad to see that the close-to-a-holiday-birthday thing never affected him.
Happy Birthday to those mentioned. And Happy New Year, to one and all!
That’s the way it looks from the Valley.E-mail brother Tim at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tom's at email@example.com. Don't worry about confusing them, Tom does it all the time.