My birthday blues

Published 10:47 pm Friday, July 17, 2009

You know what people say is the weirdest and most annoying thing about me? I never tell people when my birthday is. I haven’t shared that information with anyone in about eight years.

Not my friends. Not my co-workers. I don’t even think my beloved mother knows the precious day I rolled into this world. The reason why I don’t tell people my birthday is that I don’t really celebrate it.

And before people starting guessing, it’s not a getting old thing. I’m aging very well and very modestly, thank you very much. I don’t celebrate it and I will tell you why…

Many years ago when I was working in Ahoskie, N.C. at one of our sister papers that rhymes with Showanoake-Nowan Slews-Barrel. Somehow, someone got wind of my most top-secret of bio information and decided to play a little joke on me.

Every morning, I’d enter through the rear of the building, go to my desk, and get right to work, so as to avoid the general public upon my arrival. (It was a pretty demanding job and I need to sort of balance my chakras in the a.m. before I get going.) Little did I know there was a giant sign on the front of the building reading “Come in. Say ‘Happy Birthday, Troy’ and give him a big hug.” Who knew just how many beloved Ahoskians would follow the instructions on the sign?

Well I’ll tell you how many – 23. Twenty-three people touched my body that morning. And don’t get me wrong I love a hug as much as the next guy but I have insomnia and most mornings aren’t my best times to participate in a sugary love fest.

Ever the gentleman, though, I had to grin and bear it but, it was not my favorite thing to have random, though perfect lovely, strangers come hug my teddy-bear like physique. (One person kissed me, too. Thanks sir.).

The long-and-short-of-it for me when it comes to birthdays is that I like to celebrate things I’ve accomplished. The day I graduated from college, I celebrated that like a rock-star. The day I sold my first piece as a professional artist, I celebrated that. Heck, I’m sure the day I lost my first baby tooth, I threw up a high-five to somebody. But birthdays, I never have been able to get into them.

I get this weird feeling when people focus on me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a piece of cake and when it comes to receiving foodstuff as a gift, let’s just say everyday can be my birthday for those willing to give up the goods.

So, thanks to all those who try to do something special for my birthday. It’s just wasted on someone like me. I do encourage others to go out and have a blast on their birthdays though.

To all my close friends, maybe you all deserve to know when it is. My birthday is actually….well, that’s all the time we have