Some Things Do Change With Age

Before 1986 there were two things in life I was certain about.  Things I never got wrong on a pop quiz.  Things that I could recite in my sleep.

First my name.  Elyse Ellen E….

When I got married I didn’t have to change my name.  That was until the woman I worked for at the time announced that I absolutely could not change my name.  So naturally the decision was made and I changed it.

Besides, nobody ever pronounced my maiden name correctly;  it drove me crazy.  Nobody pronounces my married name right either, but it’s John’s name not mine, so I don’t care.  Butcher away, folks.

The second thing I always got right was my birthday.  January 18, 1957.  Simple.  Easy.  I had a document from the State of Connecticut with a raised seal to prove that I was born on that date around 3 a.m. in the morning (sorry Mom and Dad).  But I didn’t know that I would end up changing my birthday when I got married too.

Actually, I can blame this one on the same boss.  It was Anna’s fault.  Yup.

The summer before we got married, I was working as a high level lobbyist and John was a lowly government employee.  OK, actually, I was a lowly lobbying flunky and John was pretty high up in the U.S. government.  But still.

One afternoon when I was supposed to meet John for some wedding prep stuff, something earth-shatteringly important happened involving my job.  It was so vitally important to the rest of the history of the world that I can’t at this moment quite put my finger on just exactly what it was.

Anyway, we were supposed to go to the DC City Office and get our marriage license.  Now stop it, readers.  This event was nothing like you see in those old movies, with movie stars in great hats.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Really, there was nothing romantic about it at all.  I don’t think.  Not so I’ve heard, anyway.

So anyway, John got our marriage license, and we got married a month or so later in a lovely church service in the church where John’s parents had been married 40 years earlier.  Family and friends were in attendance.

All was good until my birthday rolled around, when John made a major confession.

“Ummm, Lease,” he said quietly.  “When I got the marriage license, I mistakenly put down January 17th  not 18th as your birthday.”

“You what?”

“Yeah.  Oops.  I guess that means that either your birthday is January 17th or we’re not married.”

“No, I’m pretty sure it just means that I married an idiot.”

We would have happily left it at that if it hadn’t been for my family.  They betrayed me.  Each and every one of them called me on the 17th to wish me a Happy Birthday that year — thinking my new husband would be taking me out to dinner on my actual birthday January 18th.

I have a large family.  Even distant cousins nine times removed called on the 17th.

“See,” John said proudly, “I was right.  Your birthday is obviously on the 17th because everybody is calling to wish you a happy birthday!”

This scene has been replayed every blippin’ year for 25 years.  This year it will be an even 26 birthdays.  And never a call on the 18th.

To make matters worse, though, I put the final nail in my own coffin myself last year.  You see, I wanted to let all my bloggin’ buddies know it was my birthday.  Plus I needed to address the glaring issue of my stupid blog name.  And so I wrote this post:  People My Age.

And because I didn’t know how to schedule posts in those days, and because a lot of my readers were from Europe and Asia, well, I posted it on January bloody 17th.

So this year I’ve given up.  My birthday is January 17th from now on.  Or the 18th.  Whenever.  Gifts will be gracefully received all month long, however.


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Humor, Stupidity

96 responses to “Some Things Do Change With Age

  1. Pingback: The Spotlight’s on You! Vol 1:3 | Crumbsnatcher Tales

  2. Some people would kill to have a redo the day after. Happy Belated Birthdays to you!


  3. In keeping with my long-standing tradition of missing birthdays (whenever they are), happy belated birthday! 😉 I loved the line about your birthday either being the 17th or you not being married and you said, “No, I married an idiot!” Perfect! 🙂


    • Well, he’s only an idiot occasionally! Thanks for the birthday wishes. I have officially stopped celebrating after 5 days. It was a great weekend!


  4. GOF

    Happy birthdays Elyse. Great story.


  5. Running from Hell with El

    Hahahaha!! You tell the best stories Elyse! This is right up there with the beer-drinking dog!


    • You had me really confused with this comment, El. I first read it on my iPhone and was trying to figure out what was funny about my gun control story. Now I get it.

      My funniest stories often involve males — my dogs, my husband. You know, the beasts in my life!


  6. Since I didn’t see this until January 18th, I’ll wish you a Happy Birthday today!


  7. Since. You. Are. Living. At. Half. The. Speed. We. Are, I. Am. Typing. This. Slowly. So. It. Doesn’t. Run. Too. Fast. When. You. Read. It.
    Happy. Birthday, Elyse. !. :p 😀


  8. Since I’m a day late getting here,
    And many more.


  9. I refuse to give in…..

    Happy real birthday. Happy personal new year. Happy days. Happy whatever you want it to be.

    If I were there today, I would take you out to wherever you wanted to go and celebrate however in the whole world you wanted to celebrate. Happy happy happy birthday.

    You and I are of an age. I think we should celebrate with Jimi:


    • Thanks Val! Whenever we (finally) get together we will have a party. Thanks for the Jimi clip; I had forgotten. Now it is off to my birthday dinner!


  10. You always make me laugh. Loved this story. and Happy Birthday!! (did I get it on the right day? what the hell day is it anyway??)


    • You got the right day, Darla. At least according to my birth certificate, if not according to my husband. But heck, living in sin sounds so much better than boring old marriage, doesn’t it?


  11. Happy birthday, Elyse!!!!


  12. I would have declared a 48 hour birthday with presents and adoration expected on both days 🙂

    Regardless of what day it is you celebrate, have a happy birthday and a great year!


  13. The 17th or 18th all the same when you’re over 50. Hell you could change your birthday to January 7th or February 7th and you will still be 56. 🙂 Have a wonderful Birthday whenever you celebrate. And many more.


  14. Brilliant story, there’s nothing wrong with the 17th, it was my birthday then too! I’m counting the January birthdays now as about 8 people I follow had theirs this month, there must be something in that. Have a great few days!


  15. Happy, happy birthay!

    Sounds like John built in a birthday fail-safe for himself … if he forgets your ‘official’ birthday on the 17th, he still has a day’s notice to rustle up gifts and a dinner reservation for the ‘real’ one on the 18th … smart guy!


  16. Happy birthday. It’s still the 17th here but probably the 18th where you are, so you can decide which day I said it on. That’s my present to you. You’re welcome.


  17. Happy birthday!! John should buy you gifts and celebratory dinners on both the 17th AND the 18th.


  18. Happy Birthday Elyse!
    My mom had a similar story. She was the sixth child and was born on the at home on a dairy farm in Virginia. Her family celebrated her birthday on April 26th. When she got married she obtained her birth certificate she discovered that her birthday was listed as the 24th. Over the years she would quiz her older siblings trying to figure out which day was correct – was she born on Friday or on Sunday – school day or church day. Her siblings had differing answers. She went with the legal document and we celebrated on the 24th and she assumed that they just made a mistake when her parents forgot the real date.


  19. cooper

    Nice still from Arsenic & Old Lace
    Happy Birthday – party on! I’m only two months older than you….


  20. I’ve always felt that age is just a meaningless number — so, if you suddenly decide you want to start celebrating it in June, that’s quite ok with me.

    Happy Anniversary of Your Birth!


    • I’ve actually tried to swing the celebration to my half birthday because January isn’t a happy month for me. Nobody would go along with celebrating my half birthday, though.

      Thanks for the wishes!


  21. Happy 48 hours of solid birthday celebration, Elyse!


  22. A Table in the Sun

    What a fun story. Real life makes the best tales.


  23. Alright … you’ve given me a reason to have a wine toast tonight and one tomorrow … and I can thank the idiot for that one. Happy Birthday each day! Off to get my wine.


  24. Now I have 3 favorite people who share the 17th as a birthday. You, Michelle Obama and my girl Betty White! John should really be commended for this act of genius.
    Best Wishes for a Happy Double Birthday and for a joyful year ahead!


  25. What the heck – take ’em both for your birthday. Double presents, too. I’m feeling generous today!
    Oh, and one of those moments when life takes a lemon meringue pie with “YOU’RE OLD” written on it and slams you in the face with it? NBC News tells me Michelle Obama turned 49 today. Forty-friggin’-nine. First Ladies are supposed to be OLDER than I am! Didn’t they read the dang contract?!? 😀


    • Talk about the contract! The Golden Globes just gave a “lifetime” achievement award to someone young enough to be my kid. Just barely my kid, but still!!


    • What ‘cha’ gonna gimme, John?

      I’m waiting!

      I remember thinking how odd it must be for my dad to have a president born in the same year as he was — it was Kennedy. The President is now younger than me (as is his wife). I am old, John. Old. And I worry about having two birthdays in one year or I will be aging too damn fast. And I am doing that already!


  26. Thanks for the and the LOL. And happy birthday or birthdays!


    • Thanks Susan. I think I will go for multiples. Unless of course that means I age twice for each calendar year. That might get a little bit gruesome after a while.


  27. I think the universe is trying to tell you something. Happy birthday!


  28. Happy birthday! Either way you can’t lose!


  29. I’m sorry to hear you don’t rightly know your birthday. You’re a smart woman working for the government and don’t know your own birthday? Hmmmm….

    Happy Birthday to you. Plenty more of where those came from. 🙂


    • Apparently I was not smart enough to show up to fill in the correct boxes myself. It would have been much wiser in the long run!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, Totsy.


  30. Happy, Happy Birthday!! No matter what day you celebrate it!! This is one of the easier things to deal with…that change as we get older! Ha!!


  31. Moe

    And a very very happy one to you Elyse. And by the way, I’m impressed that John got your birthday almost-right in the first place. A fine omen.


  32. bigsheepcommunications

    You just need to celebrate both days and John needs to buy you double presents (retroactively, for every year since he messed up). Happy birthday 😀


  33. Happy birthday (tomorrow)!


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