Happy Birthday To Me Happy Birthday To Me 13,879 And A Half Days Old But I Don’t Look A Minute Over 10,953

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“I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”; Tom Waits
Let me know if the YouTube isn’t available.




At some point today I will have been outside my mothers womb for exactly thirty-eight years.

I’ve always had a weird relationship with my birthday. The things we are used to doing when we’re older are taught to us when we’re younger… “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man” and all that. I had my first real birthday party when I was eight.

I dated a woman who had her first birthday party when she was eighteen, her family had left — “escaped” in her words — the Jehovah’s Witnesses a few years previous to our connecting. She had the same basic hangups. It was interesting meeting her and first discussing our backgrounds… I grew up in a Marxist Collective, she grew up in the Witness Program and both had the same objections to Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Birthdays and generally Being Happy.

It seems to me Everyone has some issues with their birthday, even beyond the getting older parts. From what I can remember from Elementary School birthdays become very political affairs once we start noticing someone having a post-birthday glow in homeroom — no one’s quite as popular in Homeroom as the days around their birthday party… then there’s the pre-party group “I hope she invites me” toadying and the post-party selected “she invited me and not you” gloat.

I can just barely remember the first birthday party my mom put on for me after we escaped the Collective. Four or five kids I barely knew showed up to my ninth birthday with parent-wrapped board games which, until that moment, I had never played before… I don’t think I had even touched a board game until then. Probably my favourite birthday party was my thirtieth, I wrote a post about it on my Original Blog. It was pretty messed up.

Then there was, I think it was my eighteenth birthday, when my brother got the band to play Kashmir for me… that was pretty sweet.

Something I’ve Never, Ever, been good at has been remembering the dates of Other people’s birthday. They just never register. Even my own family… I wasn’t Sure about my younger (full) brother’s birth date until I was in my late teens. I’m still not sure about the dates for my three younger (two halves and a step) sisters or my step-brother. My Jehovah Girlfriend and I dated for three years and I was always confusing her birth date with someone I had dated in high school. That was never, ever, good. Especially since her experiences had the opposite effect of making her hyper-aware of anniversaries and birth dates.

Last year I invited a bunch of people over for wine, beer, cheese and nachos and during one of the conversations Birthdays came up and I remembered it was my birthday… that day.

I’m taking my birthday off this year. It’s just me, some not-Too-bad Chinese Food and the SuperBowl. We were supposed to go to Ottawa for Real Chinese Food and a Movie last night but, while I was busy being ninety minutes late meeting my parents for the ride to The City, my grandparents showed up at mom’s place and wouldn’t leave. I think they’re starting to get fed up with their Assisted Living Home.

After dinner we sat down to watch the first period of the Maple Leafs / Senators game and my grandfather started the same conversation about hockey he has been starting sporadically over the past eighteen months. Somehow I’m responsible for Every Thing wrong about the Ottawa Senators, specifically the play of centre Jason Spezza. Good times. It’s something I posted about last year on my Other Blog… which I’m in the process of starting again.

If I can get there on time we’re going to try to get to Ottawa again next weekend.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Friends, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mary, Memories, Ottawa. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Happy Birthday To Me Happy Birthday To Me 13,879 And A Half Days Old But I Don’t Look A Minute Over 10,953

  1. melanie says:

    Let me be the first to wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You might have decided to spend the day alone to celebrate or not celebrate the wonderful day you were born but know that there are many people who will be thinking of you and wishing you well today, me especially. Enjoy the super bowl!


  2. Happy birthday NIN-jah partner in crime!

    I’ve never been big on my birthday…and I always forget other peoples’ birthdays too. Actually, I almost forget mine, as well!


  3. thordora says:

    I always want a surprise on my birthday. Nothing big, just something slightly surprising.

    happy day Gabe. 🙂

  4. bine says:

    i never made a big fuss about my birthdays since i left home – the numbers just don’t mean much to me. i neither celebrated nor fled from the “big numbers” either.

    a very happy birthday to you nevertheless. and many many more happy days too.

  5. exactscience says:

    My friend who is 26 has decided on her next birthday she will be 25 because being 26 two years running is daft.

    Happy birthday dude, however you mark it have a good one.

  6. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks… YAY ME! Third Quarter… Giants 3, Patriots 7. If I had the cash and the ability to time travel I’d go back and drop a whack of cash on the Giants to beat the spread. Good game so far, and the Chinese Food has been pretty good — General Tao’s Chicken and the mixed veggies and shrimp. And I still have Diet Pepsi left so… so far my birthday party has been pretty good.

  7. Happy Birthday!

    Wish I’d put that YFS on the Giants.

  8. Gabriel... says:

    Giants: 17
    Tom Brady: 14

    Eli Manning now has a SuperBowl ring… Dan Marino and Jim Kelly will never have one. Unfreakingreal.

    Thanks dude.

  9. Nita says:

    Happy Birthday Gabriel and many more to come!!

  10. Freya says:

    Aah, I’m a day late but I do want to wish you a Happy Birthday. 🙂

    Interesting you mentioned the JW girlfriend as my first birthday party was when I turned 18 as well, being an ex-JW and all. I embrace my birthday each year and try to use it as a reminder to get the best out of my life…we’ll see how long that works, lol.

  11. Kitty says:

    Happy birthday, Gabriel.

  12. Happy birthday! Is that a cigar?

  13. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks Nita and Kitty. Tender Hooligan, it’s a $0.36 Century Sam… technically it’s a cigar but only in the loosest definition. I looked and couldn’t find it, but I’m pretty sure I still have it tucked away somewhere… I know if I do have it it’ll still be wrapped in plastic so I’m sure it’ll be as fresh as the day it came off the assembly line.

    Freya, she had… more than a few hangups moving away from the JW Program but most of them were about learning How to do stuff, not necessarily learning how Not to do things anymore. Her parents were hilarious with the gifts they used to give… the first Christmas I was with her they gave me a wooden spoon and a ceramic bowl to rest it in so, after I was done using it to stir something, I’d have someplace to put it so the stove wouldn’t get dirty.

  14. puddlejumper says:

    Happy Birthday my sweet. I was going to send you something but then I remembered how fantastic the Canadian Postal Service are at getting presents to people on time. I decided I’d probably be quicker raising a sheep, shearing it,spinning the wool and knitting you a jumper and then saving up for the airfare to come and delivery it personally! :L

    Seriously though…hope you had a super-dooper day.

    Sending the biggest hugs (via some kind of telepathic connection called words on a screen)

    Much love

  15. dame says:

    happy (day late) birfday, mister. glad the chi-chow was good, and the game had a shifty, exciting capper.

    xx (old man)


  16. Darell says:

    Happy bday, bro. Lemme know if you really think about coming out this way… 🙂

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