Monday, February 20, 2006


“It’s only a number.” Just keep telling yourself, “It’s only a number.”

Why is it, do you suppose, that some birthdays seem overly significant? Why did Jack Benny reach 39 years of age and then stop there, perpetually at a number beyond which he might be perceived as “old?”

Why is it that we start having parties with black balloons at someone’s 40th birthday, or for sure on their 50th?

In the lyrics to “Strawberry Wine” the singer laments, “I still remember, when thirty was old.” And we (who have approached or passed that milestone) laugh, remembering when, as a teenager, WE thought thirty was old.

Frank Sinatra crooned about milestones in “It Was a Very Good Year.” He started at 17, and the small-town girls. Then at 21 he remembered the city girls. After a brief musical interlude he leapt to 35, remembering blue-blooded girls. But that’s as far as he went!

The very next line laments, “But now the days grow short. I’m in the autumn of the year.”

Damn. He must have turned 40, right? What an old guy he had become. He was remembering all those girls of the past because he was too old for girls now, I guess.

In case you’re wondering what I’m rambling about, it’s this: I promised some pictures of the surprise birthday party my family threw for me at the end of our ski trip. So I’m ready to show you the pictures, but they’ll make it very plain what milestone I’ve just attained and passed.

And I’m not sure I want to do that because most of you will think I’m OLD! Well, I’m NOT! So there!

I still run and ski and swim and snorkel and walk the golf course. My wonderful wife and I still have an active, uh, (sorry kids, I know this embarrasses you) physical life.

So go ahead. Look at the pictures. Figure out my age. Feel smug.

But remember...

It’s only a number!


Anonymous said...

Birthdays are for counting blessings in chronological order.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Right! I also believe they're for thanking your mother, without whom you would not be having a birthday, nor would you have been raised the way you were.


Miss Cellania said...

Happy Birthday from me, even though its late! The party looks like it was a complete success.

So YOU are the one who started this "baby boomer" thing we've all been accused of! I came in at the tail end of that.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Miss C.,

In my own defense I'd like to say that I had NOTHING to do with starting anything. It was my PARENTS and their "have lots of children, because the war is over!" mentality that started it. I just happened to be a lucky, early recipient of that mentality!

But yeah, that said, I am considered to be part of the leading edge of the baby boom. I may address that further in today's post.


Nankin said...

Hey John, Happy Birthday. I'm just a year behind you. I also remember when 30 seemed OLD. What did they know anyway? LOL

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday.

But ....

I am soooooo not talking to you for not letting me know in advance. You may just be left off the hook if you tell me the date so I can add it to my birthday list for next year.


Nic said...

Hey there my friend. You may not have intended the Corona question to be part of the Ask Nic Q&A but I answered it anyway and also happy belated b-day, my awesome friend! Hope you had a blast on your special day!

Candace said...

"59 + tax" -- I love it!
Thanks for more great pics.

Shooter said...

It is only a number! Happy Belated Birthday!