Two days are not enough

For part of my life, I celebrated my birthday on February 3.  At some point, I needed to provide a birth certificate to some institution only to find that mine was lost.  When the replacement arrived from New Jersey, it said I was born on February 2.  Mama disagreed, but there was little to do about that given what I like to refer to as “the bureaucratic shuffle.”  My solution has been to celebrate both days.

In the 1950s in Jernigan, if we had more than a small homemade cake – mine was often heart-shaped - with candles at home with family, then we made it a community affair at the old Cottonton schoolhouse. I remember well the sounds echoing off the walls as children ran up and down the hall, hyped up on cake and Kool-Aid. I also remember getting “Repeat Seat” cotton underpants as a gift from Mama, and being embarrassed that all my friends saw me open a gift that was underwear.

The most vivid birthday memory, though, is my 16th birthday, celebrated at Villula Tea Gardens in Seale.  A lady in Phenix City had made my emerald green velvet dress.  It was a copy of an outfit British model Olivia Hussey had worn in a Yardley of London cosmetics ad I’d cut from a magazine.  That was 47 years ago, but I wish I still had that dress.

So now I am 63.  And I must say that this year’s birthday week has been wonderful.  I’ve gotten e-mails and texts and cards and gifts from friends near and far.  I’ve been treated not once, but twice, to lunch at Auburn’s wonderful The Depot restaurant and to a Sunday matinee of the biopic “Jackie,” based on one of the ladies I’ve most admired since I was a little girl.

Rather than limiting myself to a two-day birthday celebration, I am henceforth claiming the whole week.

Marian Carcache welcomes comments