Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in Lithia, Florida, on Monday, February 28, 2022. It is a warm Florida winter day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 74˚F (24˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 80% and the wind blowing from the west at 3 MPH (5 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 72˚F (22˚C). Today’s forecast calls for scattered rain showers and a high of 81˚F (27˚C). Tonight, we can expect light rain. The low will be 60˚F (16˚C).
Well, today is the last day of February, and at midnight tonight, a new month begins. Tomorrow is March 1, which of course means a plethora of things:
- On Wednesday, March 2, Disney+ subscribers can finally watch Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story if they – like me – didn’t see it in theaters
- On Thursday, March 4, I will get my Deluxe Edition of Deutsche Grammophon’s John Williams: The Berlin Concert
- On Friday, March 5, I will be 59 years old, marking my last year as a 50-something
- On Thursday, March 10, my bete noir and older half-sister Victoria will be 72. Knowing her as well as I do, I think she far unhappier than I am about getting older
- On Tuesday, March 15, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon will ship the three different editions of West Side Story that I pre-ordered on 4K UHD Blu-ray sets; one will be the steelbook, the second will be the “art” packaging set, and the third will be the “regular” Collector’s Edition. Overkill, perhaps, but West Side Story is a musical that I hold dear for many reasons. I’ve bought “multiples” of Star Wars, so that precedent is also there
Aside from the admittedly material side of things, I am ambivalent – as I’m sure that many people in their late 50s are – about my birthday this year. It is my second birthday as an ex-boyfriend, and since my living arrangements and finances – compounded by the ever-lovin’ COVID-19 pandemic – are not conductive to dating, I am not even looking for any sort of relationship. Prior to that (as recently as March of 2020), I was in a relationship, and I went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Star Wars-themed Galaxy’s Edge attraction for my 57th birthday.
This year – just like last year – there will be no out-of-town sojourns, not even one back to Miami to see old friends from high school, at least not for me. It’s also unlikely that The Caregiver is going to take me to a restaurant – be it Outback Steakhouse or Cali Viejo – for my birthday. She needs to trim my beard, which is getting long, scraggly, and makes me look like a Civil War general in 21st Century clothes. She used to be good at being, well, a caregiver until she decided to trade me in for a slightly younger guy that she has known since her childhood years and, because he has led a less-than-upstanding life, is far more maintenance intensive than I am. So now I’m at the bottom of The Caregiver’s list of priorities and look like a wayward extra from Fiddler on the Roof.
So no. Unless I get a beard trim before Friday, there will be no birthday outing for Your Humble Correspondent this year. The best I can hope for is a mylar balloon with Happy Birthday tied to the back of my chair in the kitchenette and a couple of randomly chosen gifts purchased at the last minute. It’s better than nothing, sure, but it’s a long way down from going to Disney or a local date night outing to a favorite restaurant. A long way down.
On the positive side of the whole 59th birthday thing, my friend Juan Carlos and his wife Adria sent me a West Side Story T-shirt, which I received on Saturday via the United States Postal Service. That was a nice surprise.
Also on the positive side: I don’t have to see my half-sister Vicky at one of our “combined birthdays” celebrations in Miami. I don’t recall when that tradition started, but I do remember that Vicky, who is almost (by five days’ difference) 13 years older than I, was upset that I would get a birthday party on (or close to) my birthday no matter what, and she – because of her work schedule as a nurse – did not. So she cajoled my mom into blending our birthdays and holding a “celebration” on a day between her birthday and mine.
As in all things Vicky-related, I was of two minds about it. On the one hand, yes, it sucked that sometimes Vicky had to work at the hospital on March 10 and couldn’t have her birthday party on The Day. But at the same, part of me resented the fact that everything had to be put on hold for two or three days – every year, too – to placate my older half-sister, especially since by then we did not really like each other much.
Not only do I not have to postpone my birthday celebration for the sake of someone I neither like or respect, but I don’t have to see my half-sister again.
Well, that’s all the personal news that I have to share today, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.