Much like St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve always thought birthdays were nothing more than a lame excuse to drink too much. I appreciate it when other people acknowledge the ritual, but similar to New Year’s I try to keep my expectations realistic and by realistic I mean low. And even with all the special treats and cards, it feels a lot like Valentine’s Day when the dust settles and you go to bed the same person you were when the day began.

Pessimism aside, I’ve never had a bad birthday. And yesterday started out badly. The details aren’t important, but let’s just say I was questioning practically every decision I’ve made in the last six months. One dumb meeting at work and I decided to take myself for a stroll. That’s when I ran into Dennis.

Dennis lives on top of the hill that looms above the office. Abbey, his old Golden Retriever sleeps on the sidewalk out in front of his place. Dennis is retired and happy. He has time to chat and I like that. The timing was perfect. His message to me regarding my bad morning was, basically, it’ll pass. Get over it. He was right.

My encounter with Dennis was followed by a birthday lunch invitation. Which was followed by a whiskey drink. Which was followed by an ice cream birthday cake from my co-workers. Which was followed by more drinks and food with a small group of good people. By the time midnight rolled around, I was having trouble remembering what it was about my morning that went wrong. I was also drunk, but that’s not the point.

I think I’ll remember this birthday, much like a birthday should be remembered.


Abbey the dog.


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