Saturday, March 17, 2012


Lean in close to the screen. No, closer. I have a secret to tell you and I don't want anyone else to hear this. I am turning 60 next month.

This may be one of the worst kept secrets of all time. I have been busy telling anyone within earshot, and now eyeshot, that I have a very important day for each of them to calendar. Don't you dare forget, or worse yet, ignore a moment of such transcendent import.

You who have followed my journey over the course of this blog clearly understand that, among all the other burdens I have thrust on the shoulders of my wife, my need to be appreciated by anyone I have ever come in contact with ranks at the top of the list. This mandate is not remotely in my bride's DNA. She is not a blogger, she is not even really a talker on the phone. She is unlike me in so many appropriate ways. She does not crave nor desire public recognition. As you have well learned, that is not an attribute I possess.

So, let's talk about my surprise party. Really, let's have a discussion about whether my obsession with being liked requires a public celebration of everything that is me. If I had my way, my girlfriend from kindergarten would be on the list of invitees. Anyone and everyone who I have even the most remote of connections to, would be called upon to relate a humorous tale that would conclude with a line of how fortunate each has been to be part of my life. It would be the greatest evening I could imagine. Actually, one evening might not be enough. We might have to split this into 2 huge celebrations, A to M the first night, and those unfortunate to be in the back half of the alphabet, having to wait their turn at the end of the line.

This should be much like my version of "This is Your Life". Let me supply you with some terribly cute anecdotes for starters. There should be discussion of my crew cut during my early days, which I waxed to keep the front standing tall. My dear friend Steve should relate his oft-told tale of how I was the best athlete never to play in high school and how I missed an entire soccer season because of a rash under my chin. I could go on forever, but I don't want to spoil your fun in coming up with your own story that will capture the essence of my being.

Is this all too much for you? Tell me honestly. I can take it. Actually, I probably can't take it. So it is better if you leave all those negative thoughts about me that are running through your brain to yourself. And I don't appreciate those who are now thinking about how egocentric I am. Like you're not. OK, OK, I am not trying to make enemies here. Sorry about that negative thought that creeped in. I hope that didn't make any of you like me less.

I can see a problem emerging. What if the guest list for this extravaganza does not include your name? Have I offended you deeply by letting you know to plan for my surprise party, and then your waiting each day in vain for the invitation you so desperately want? The truth is that most of you are secretly hoping that you are somehow not a member of the multitudes. What could be worse than having to interrupt some absolutely beautiful weekend day for THIS? I can tell that some of you are even of a mind to call my wife and tell her that it is not at all necessary to throw a party. Don't you dare.

In fact, don't even let Jo know that you read this. Given how tired she, and most everyone else, is with the interminably long time that I have been  regurgitating each and every thought on the pages of my blog, there is a strong likelihood that she will not ever see the words that you are now absorbing. So, please keep it a secret from her. Let her make up her own mind, and reach her own conclusions, about how much ME she can possibly tolerate.

And thus, as I began this piece, I end it. Mum is the word.  Please give me your solemn pledge that you will tell no one of my story. Promise. Actually, that would be self defeating, as the entire purpose of my writing is for you to tell everyone about me. So that I can be liked. Strike that last thought and promise to tell everyone you know. Advise them and emphasize that if they write to me how much they enjoy my words, they may be invited to a very small and intimate party in the near future.


Anonymous said...

Shhh..... April 18th?

Robert said...

Talk about spoiling a surprise. I could give you details of the time, date and location but I am not really into sharing intimate details of my life.