My group, the Lovely, Lively Ladies of Lunch (population eight), is celebrating one member’s December birthday this April. It’s not because we forgot. She just didn’t have time.
Some would say this is a convenient way to ignore the aging process, but I beg to differ. She really did not have time, or so she says.
Because of the lapse, I’ll have to search hard to find a suitable card. All of the belated birthday ones I’ve seen thus far have apologetic rhymes similar to the following:
“Sorry I missed it, but as of late, I can’t keep track of a single date.”
Or, “I don’t know where my mind has gone, but it seems as from life, it has withdrawn.”
Or, “Oops, I’ve no one else to blame, I forgot your birthday, I feel such shame.”
The trouble is that I didn’t forget. Plus my mind is just dandy, thank you very much.
It has taken me this long, however, to finally realize that suitable belated birthday cards don’t exist for this occasion, and that I’ll have to rely on a nice blank one. Perhaps I can find one with champagne flutes on its face. Inside I’ll write, “To you my dear, our glasses we raise, though your birthday has passed by 90-plus days.”
Or possibly I’ll find one with a snoozing canine on the cover and inside I’ll jot the following “Forgive me friend if this sounds mean, but in doggy years you’re past seventeen.”
Most likely I’ll find a blank card with a picture of a cake and candles on the front. Inside I’ll scribble, “Who gives a darn if your birthday’s fake; we’ll celebrate anything, just to eat cake!”
Now that I think about it, though, I’m completely annoyed. Who makes us wait for a gathering like this, one of the few times in our daily lives where we get compliments on our hair, clothing and grandchildren’s pictures? One in which we can talk about our respective adult children’s sometimes thoughtless behavior and be consoled? And one where we can compare medical conditions and decide who comes out winner of the pack? Who indeed! Uh-oh, I feel my un-birthday card to her taking on an even more aggressive tone!
To achieve that, I’m going to have to search far and wide for some specific blank cards. Maybe I can find one with an illustration of melting snow, robins and budding flowers. On its inner page I’ll write, “Winter came and winter went, but you were too busy for your own event.”
Perhaps I’ll locate one with a big sun shining on it. Inside I’ll say, “A vacation in Florida was your big excuse? In all of our minds, that’s friendship abuse.”
Or conceivably, I can find one with a sepia photo of two little girls in pinafores and pigtails holding hands and running through a meadow. Inside I’ll say nary a word about her having no time for her own birthday. Instead I’ll write, “I’ve loved you forever and our friendship is tight, but I know a secret: Your hair’s really white!”
• Judi Veoukas is a regular contributor for the Lake County Journal. She and her husband, Stan, are residents of Lake Villa and have six children and 18 grandchildren. Contact Veoukas at firstname.lastname@example.org.