Another birthday

by Gary Torres
I have to confess that I just had a birthday and was a little disappointed at the turnout to the party that my too kind and loving wife didn’t have for me. But, I did experience a first this year: people wished me happy birthday on FaceBook. 
And for those of you who forgot, don’t worry. I am still accepting cookies, almond M&Ms, and Pepsi in lieu of a present and the party I didn’t have.
My sisters-in-law think they can get away by just sending me a text, so I have to publically put a little pressure on them to cough up some goodies.
One of them even knows how to cook; the other one doesn’t know she has a stove in kitchen. The third only vaguely knows she has a brother-in-law and that he has a birthday.
One thing for sure, birthdays aren’t as exciting as when you are a kid and you have a party and friends bring you presents.  The upside is that I just go buy myself whatever I want and have my too kind and loving wife wrap it.
This year, for fun, the missus took me on an “art walk” in the evening and then we had a late candle-light dinner and then she hurriedly drove us home. I was quite anxious and we got home just before 9 p.m. and then promptly fell asleep watching the news. 
I don’t know what magazine she read that said all a man wants for his birthday is a romantic art-walk and Fox News at Nine, but it isn’t the same one that I usually look at the pictures in; I mean, read for the substantive, well-written articles.
There are some changes as you get older. Odd signs occur, such as random hair growth.  I wake up and there is a hair in my ear that wasn’t there when I went to bed. Bam! 
At night, I go to bed fairly well groomed, and in the morning I look like one of the dwarfs in the Hobbit, with eyebrows I could braid.
And I still don’t know what compels me to share this intimate detail with my too kind and loving wife, just so she can verify that the hair is actually attached to me and is really mine.
For some men, there is gradual loss of hair in places it used to be.  This is what makes men comb their hair from one side of their head to the other so as to look younger, hipper, cooler, more sauvé.   
I don’t know why this happens; that is, the uncontrollable urge to flop-your-mop like no one is going to notice.  But nothing says “styling” like combing your hair with a washcloth, strapping on the cell phone holster and pulling up your pants a little too high.
There are plenty of other things that happen when you are getting older.  Sometimes I just turn my left turn signal on and leave it on while I drive around town. 
This bothers no end of people here in Farmington; they are not nearly as patient and kind as the people in Monticello. 
I one time followed Ned Jensen around for a year and he never did turn his blinker off. But no one seemed to mind, as everyone knew he was going to the store, home or the post office.
When I leave my blinker on for days, my too kind and loving wife usually says something in her kind voice that she has mastered by teaching kids all day. 
“Is there a reason you have your turn signal on?” 
Cheerily I respond, “Well yes there is.  Yes indeed! ”
She waits.  She is a master of waiting.  “Well?” 
The silence is loud. 
“You do have a reason for having your blinker on for the last five miles, don’t you?” 
I respond confidently, “I think I was going to turn sometime.  But I am not sure where or when or why…so I decided that I should leave it alone because I am sure it will come to me soon.”
There are other disturbing first experiences as I get older.  Things have a tendency to get misplaced at a greater frequency. 
I have actually found my keys in my pocket and my glasses on my head, both really quite surprising as I had just looked there at least ten times and didn’t find them there. 
I dunno!

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Monticello, UT 84535

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