Column: Birthdays are unpredictable

So I’m sitting at dinner with my parents Friday night when my father asked me what I was going to do for my birthday. Ah, what to do for my birthday … well, I could have taken up the whole dinner explaining all the things I would do for my birthday if I, uh, if I only had more than 24 hours to fill.

Then it struck me, why can’t I have more than 24 hours to fill? So, instead of just having Saturday to celebrate the day of my birth, why not the whole weekend?

On Saturday, I’ll do what I did last year (which ranks as the best birthday so far). I’ll wake up and play golf with my brother and father and I’ll have a big lunch and then watch a movie – and of course, end the evening with a few close friends down in the Mecca of alcoholic consumption, Ybor City.

And on Sunday I will have a barbeque with some more friends and take a dip in the pool and enjoy the day.

So when I told my dad I wanted to play golf with him, he said he and my brother were tired from their road trip (and the disappointments started rolling in).

Then he asked if I was going to join him for the Devil Rays game (I’m sorry, my idea of a nice birthday is not seeing “my” Devil Rays get beaten by the Yankees). Thus, I respectfully declined.

So after going to sleep at 2 a.m. and realizing I wasn’t golfing in the morning, I gave myself one of the best birthday gifts of all and slept till 2 p.m.

Then, on a rainy day (ah, rain on the birthday, just what I always wanted) with nothing else to do, I went to M.O.S.I. with a couple friends. But I did finally get to head for Ybor after that.

Doing nothing I originally planned to do was a little disappointing, especially since I’m not the type of guy who would go to M.O.S.I. on any other day to begin with – certainly not on “my day.” And then on Sunday it rained (again) and we had to cancel the barbeque.


So my birthday didn’t consist of golf, a big lunch with the family or a barbeque this year.

And since I’m whining, when I think about last year – no one called me to wish me a happy birthday. And last year I did everything I wanted to do, but didn’t hang out with my closest friends. Because I was unchanging in my plans, I alienated the people who meant the most to me throughout the year. But this year, my cell phone was ringing off the hook. Everybody called me and sang “Happy Birthday” or simply wished me a great day.

And this year, eight of my favorite people showed up for dinner in Ybor and every one of them picked up my tab and let me win at pool. After that we all watched one of my favorite films, The Big Lebowski.

I used to think that my birthday was “my day,” the day where I do what I want. I don’t work and I don’t take orders.

But I realized your birthday is what you make of it. There are no rules. There are no obligations. If you want to sleep in, then sleep in.

Besides, I can always play golf some other time.