News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


When to remember, forget birthdays

Regina had a big birthday Jan. 27. No, it wasn’t the really big one, but it was big enough to go unnoticed, or not to go unnoticed. I’m not always good at picking the best alternative.

So, with my pick I ruined the milestone for her a week before the big Saturday date, and she never recovered.

She likes gifts that keep on giving. Flowers, candy and dinner are too transient for her tastes. She, of course, would like diamonds and furs, but that’s not my style or pocketbook.

She started the day with a wake-up call from Mary Grace and her three, who took turns singing “Happy Birthday” off key to mimic Regina’s serenading of them when they begin a new birth year.

After that, Lynn and her two called and everybody sang again.

They all, of course, wanted to know what she got for her birthday, meaning, of course, “What did Daddy give you?’’

“He’s taking me out to dinner,” she replied.

“Where?” both girls demanded to know.

“Where I want to go,” she replied, knowing they would turn up their noses at her choice.

My problem started when I asked her a week in advance if her birthday wasn’t coming up the next Saturday. She grinned slyly and acknowledged that it was, leaving no clue that she was pleased that I remembered, or displeased that I was calling attention to her age.

All week, I hummed “Happy Birthday” and referred to her as Birthday Girl because about 10 years ago I remembered her birthday while on the way back from Montgomery with a class of Leadership Decatur.

That, of course, was one of those times when I should have remembered.

‘You know,” she said at dinner the other night, “I really wished you had forgotten again.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I got a lot of mileage out of your guilt that time you went off to Montgomery with the Chamber of Commerce.”

Tom Wright is executive editor.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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