The Curious Autodidact

November 29, 2009

December Birthdays: a Poem by Betty Marion

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 7:30 am

Birthday Bouquet


If I had my druthers there would be serious steps taken to ban procreation during the month of March, or at least during the last two weeks.

Practically any crop, animal or vegetable is planted to bear in a favorable season.

But babies are planted willy nilly, to pop out any old time of the year, with no forethought about whether they will enjoy their birth dates.

Most begetting is haphazard at best, but with the incredible persuasiveness of today’s mass media, I am sure a discreet, intensive campaign every March stressing a little sober caution could substantially reduce the number of December birthdays.

Oh the whole business of birthdays could stand a lot of looking into by conscientious parents-to-be.

Those whose offspring are apt to be large and precocious would be well advised to have them born within the month before the local school entrance deadline.

The sporting could shoot for birthdays that coincide with others in the family since this both assists the memory and provides conversational highlights.

But these are thoughtful refinements. The main thing is that practically any day in any other month of the year has it all over any day in December except Christmas for a birthday.

Christmas has the obvious drawbacks of encouraging combination gift and discouraging real birthday parties. But it sticks in the memory!

I was born on December 20, 1917 and have always been pleased when anyone even remembered to ask. “Your birthday’s somewhere around Christmas, isn’t it?”

As often as not in the holiday preparations I forget the darn thing myself.

When it seemed really important, a role of discreet, underplayed martyrdom brought me a few lovely surprise parties and the privilege, of opening one Christmas package each day, between the 20th and the 25th on the proven assumption that most of my gifts would bear the legend, “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.”

Don’t try to tell me that trading birthdays with some generous soul like Robert Louis Stevenson will make everything jake.

The remembering…the explaining…and I would still have to use my tired old date for the red tape that binds us to this era.

An uncommon lot of my best friends are December born, and I used to fancy that perhaps Sagittarians had a mystic bond.

Now I believe that we are always seeking to live more in the lives of others because we have a little less of our own selves to bask in, and in this endless seeking we are bound to encounter and cling to each other.

-Betty Marion

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