At my age it is a lovely thing when everyone forgets your birthday. Jerry can’t remember his own birthday without either straining to read the fine print on his driver’s license, or by checking with the BMV, so I forgive him for that. His family doesn’t bother to recognize birthdays, likely for two good reasons. His Dad and his Dad’s fourteen other siblings were born at home, deep in the hollers of rural WV, and none of them have birth certificates. The date- and year- listed as his Dad’s birthday on his Dad’s driver’s license is likely not his Dad’s actual birthday, but someone’s best guess. Since his Dad got a social security card and driver’s license long before you had to have a birth certificate to acquire either, his Dad is grandfathered in.
I wonder if he would be able to get a passport? If he were really pressed could he prove he is an American citizen? Our friend Bob is an American citizen but he was born in London (his Dad was American but his Mom is English) and his birth certificate is in London. Bob can’t get a copy of his birth certificate unless he goes to London to get it, but you can’t go to the UK without a passport. Thankfully the Social Security people recognized his honorable discharge from the Marines as proof of citizenship. Bob still can’t get a passport though, because when he tried he was told that one has to have a certified copy of one’s birth certificate. Then again, I highly doubt that Jerry’s Dad would really need a passport for anything, unless they make it mandatory to have a passport to cross the border from WV back to Ohio. The birth certificate requirement to acquire a passport is probably a blessing in disguise to keep old rednecks from traveling abroad and perpetuating the “Ugly American” stereotype. Then again, maybe our foreign friends have never tried getting rid of hemorrhoids by soaking them in kerosene.
When you have so many family members that every day is someone’s birthday or so it seems, it’s a lot harder to remember every one and a lot harder to afford to buy gifts for every one. So, I can see where Jerry gets the idea to simplify his life and just celebrate all his family’s birthdays every day with a 12 pack of Natties and a couple of packs of smokes.
I do find it entertaining how some people remember my birthday sometime in the middle of March and then send sheepy, belated wishes. It’s OK to forget. I don’t really want to be reminded that I’m one day closer to death anyway.
Admittedly not everyone forgot my birthday. The BMV doesn’t forget. I renewed my vehicle registration last week. No way do I want to drive around in the Central Ohio suburb with the largest number of cops per capita with an expired tag. I don’t even remotely want to give law enforcement any reason to approach me for anything. Cops make me nervous. My Facebook friends remembered, because your friends get reminders automatically. I appreciate everyone who wrote on my wall today. My friends from my church group remembered for the same reason- all of our birthdays are on the contact sheet. But my family all forgot, which is funny as hell. Steve-o remembered to call- to remind me he needs money. Jerry acknowledged me coming back after I’d gone in to work this morning with a rousing, “Where’s my breakfast, woman?” So the world remains the same.