Birthday Boy

I’m turning 60 today. My father, who turned 84 last week, just called to wish me the usual, and reminded me of the story of his trying to get my mother to the hospital just after a big snowstorm. They didn’t have a car, and he’d called for a cab. My mother’s father, frantic with concern for beloved daughter and first grandchild, decided that they’d waited long enough, that the driver must have gotten lost. So he went tearing off into the snowdrifts to look for him. Of course, the cab immediately arrived, my parents bundled in, and my grandfather was left standing on some drift-covered curb somewhere. It’s a semi-famous, much-embroidered family tale, one I’ve heard at least once a year as long as I can remember. This year, it dawned on me that I am now eight years older than my grandfather was when he went off looking for that taxi.

I understand how this post-middle age landmark anniversary could be a bit fraught. But I take my angst where I find it, and I’m delighted to say that right now I’m not finding much. Things are good … for all the wonderful, boring reasons: a great, close-knit extended family; superb, admirable, interesting, and healthy friends; good health and reasonable fitness of my own; and some events and challenges coming along later this year to add a little spice to the unsalted Tuscan bread of my life.

Today I’m allowed potato chips, which I will consume in great quantities—with champagne, of course, to demonstrate what a class guy I am. I will watch my favorite team, the University of Connecticut Huskies (UConn Huskies, get it?), thump the Tarheels of North Carolina in a women’s basketball game. My dad will bring me a pound of dried apricots. My friends will mock my decrepitude.

Not too bad.


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