Tag Archives: birthdays

Two cousins

When I was little, I used to like the book Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott.

Today I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. I think I liked it because I had eight cousins, five from an aunt and uncle on my mother’s side and three from an aunt and uncle on my father’s side. Eight terrific cousins.

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Lesley, the eldest cousin on my father’s side. Today is her birthday.

Lesley is a year and a half younger than I. We spent a lot of time together when we were little, especially around the holidays. Her family moved away when we were six and seven, so we saw less of each other after that. We did end up at the same university, where our attendance overlapped for a while.

Monica and Lesley

As I remembered that her birthday was approaching, I recalled so many little things about our childhood. I was the shy one, fearful of doing anything daring or talking to anyone I didn’t know or getting dirty. Lesley was the opposite. Everyone was Lesley’s new best friend. She loved to express herself in song and expressive dance.

Once, while the kids put on a show for the adults at a holiday party, Lesley took the stage (the hearth in our family room) and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to put on a magic show!” She began her first trick and then said to the audience, “Everyone, close your eyes.”

There are several stories of how Lesley’s curiosity and creativity led her to adventure. Up a ladder onto the roof when she was two. Putting Baker’s chocolate in the toaster in the middle of the night. (Haven’t we all wanted to try that?) This photo shows how Lesley’s front teeth suffered during one of her acts of daring. Oh, to have been like Lesley. Arms stretched out, Here I am, world!

My younger cousin used to look up to me. When I was allowed to wear perfume at age 14 (Love’s Fresh Lemon Body Splash, to be exact), she talked her mother into getting her a bottle of Jean Naté.

Truly, it is I who looks up to her. As grown women, Lesley’s the refined one and I’m the one talks to strangers and visits the ER after a hapless home accident.

Lesley is a gifted writer and a poet, and always has a beaming smile and an infectious laugh. She and her husband are rearing and educating five beautiful children, all of whom have their own expressions of wonder and talent.

Here’s to you, Lesley. Happy Birthday! Now go fix yourself some Baker’s chocolate.

P.S. Great outfit!


Filed under Family and Friends, Holidays, Reading

Marathon man

He has run four marathons in the last five months.

He has run 35 marathons in the last 14 years, plus several 30-milers, many 50-milers and a 60-miler.

He sometimes has trouble getting up and down the stairs, but he manages to run some 50 miles a week.

He is my husband and today he is 62.

Hey, if you were married to me, you’d run too!

Happy birthday to my husband. Have an ultra great day.


Filed under Family and Friends, Holidays, Sports and Recreation

Equal time for the man

Who knew, as we fêted Barbie on her 52nd birthday, that Ken’s 50th was the same day? Poor guy, always in the shadow of the diva.

In 1961, when Mattel decided that Barbie should not be alone and needed a companion, it created Ken.

Ken, you've come a long way, Baby.

I learned that Ken turned 50 when I opened Sunday’s Parade magazine, which arrives at my house on Saturday. So watch for it tomorrow and open it to Page 5, where you’ll see half a dozen Ken hair styles from the early sixties, when his hair was painted on, to the modern metrosexual do of 2010. For a sneak preview, visit Parade for a click down Memory Lane.

It should come as no surprise that, just as Barbie has eluded the texture of middle age, so has her younger man. While his coif and togs have changed with the times, he’s still as smooth as ever. Would that we all be composed of soft vinyl rather than mottled human flesh. In 50 years, Ken sprouted nary a hair from the neck down and remains as hairless as ever, even on his back and the insides of his ears and nose.

The end of the brief article asks, “Who knows what the next 50 years will bring?”


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Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Marketing/Advertising/PR

Wishing well

I have a little peeve I hope you don’t mind my airing. Actually, it’s something I’d love your help in eradicating if you’re game. Maybe if we all do it by example, we can put a decent dent in a common misuse.

I hesitate to pick at this one because I do not wish to criticize those who wish others well. But here goes.

“Happy Belated Birthday.” This is wrong. The birthday is not belated; it comes on the same day each year. It is the wish that is belated, which makes the correct greeting “Belated Happy Birthday.”

I blame card merchants in part for the confusion. Those cardboard markers installed in the stores’ greeting card racks point out Anniversary, Get Well, Birthday and Belated Birthday. What they mean is “belated birthday wishes” but the phrase has become interpreted, annoyingly, as “Happy Belated Birthday.” Even the card designers and manufacturers have slipped into the sloppiness.

If one really wanted to nitpick, “Happy Belated Birthday” purports to take the snoozer off the hook. “My greeting isn’t belated; your birthday is.” That, of course, is silly.

Can we all pledge to stop wishing people a Happy Belated Mother’s Day, Happy Belated Anniversary and Happy Belated Birthday and instead express our wishes belatedly yet correctly?

Of course, remembering on time is nice too.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Family and Friends, Holidays