Thursday, October 4, 2012
The young Elisson, circa 1955. Not quite so much water under the bridge at that point in my life.
There’s a traditional birthday greeting - bis hundert-tzvantzik yoor in Yiddish, עד מאה ועשרים (ad meah v’esrim) in Hebrew - may you live to be 120. That would mean I’m now halfway there, in the best of all possible worlds. (I like to modify it and throw in an extra day - ad meah v’esrim v’yom - because if you croak on your birthday, it spoils the party.)
That’s right, Esteemed Readers: When this post goes up, I will have been on this planet long enough to have circled the Sun sixty times. That’s Nerd-Speak (or Elisson-Speak, which is pretty much the same thing) for “It’s my sixtieth frickin’ birthday.”
That means I’m old enough to remember LP records, rotary-dial telephones, black-and-white television sets with rabbit-ear antennas, computers as big as a building, and Instamatic cameras. I knew Miles before he was a block... and now I can get the senior discount at Publix on Wednesdays.
It’s tempting to dismiss it all with one of my pithy graveyard humor one-liners: “Beats being dead.” At least, I think it does... don’t we all?
Given, however, that this is only the sixth time that I have observed a double-digit birthday with the second digit being 0, I suppose I should be more reflective. Introspective. (That is, assuming there’s any introspection left after the Jewish High Holidays, which are kinda like Self-Examination Central.)
I have been the recipient of much good fortune, much of it (probably) undeserved. I was blessed with two wonderful parents in a stable, happy, economically comfortable household, a household I shared with a brother who to this day is a model of warmth, consideration, and kindness... and a conscientious work ethic to boot. I received an excellent public school education - say what you will about New York-area suburbia, but they do schools right - and was privileged to be able to attend a fine university. I had a lengthy career in the petrochemical business (or “bidnis,” as we would say in Texas) and am now exercising my efforts and imagination in other areas more suited to my creative side. I have had the chance to travel, both in the course of business and on my own hook, and see a bit of the world beyond my own back door. And, speaking of back doors, there have been several: beyond the two houses I lived in as a child and young man, the Missus and I have owned seven different homes over the years in four different states.
Ahh, the Missus. She Who Must Be Obeyed, or so I call her on this Online Journal. She has put up with me for over 36 years now, 35 of which have been in the blessèd state of Holy Matrimony - 58% of my life, by coarse reckoning. (With me, any form of reckoning is, necessarily, coarse.) And she has provided me - nay, we have provided each other - two daughters, of which I could not be prouder and with which I could not be happier. The three of them, taken together, constitute the greatest blessings I could ask for... but there’s more.
I have my health. Right now, anyway. Of course, we all know that such things can change at any moment... keyn ayin hora. And I have friends. Good ones. You know who you are.
And I have Adult Beverages. I plan to consume a few wee drams by way of celebration, ya know.
So: Having lived through the Nineteen-Sixties, now I get to try and live through my own Sixties. I’m a Sexy-Genarian now! Hoo-hah!