Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Hooray for Birthdays!

It has always been my belief that birthdays are meant to be celebrated regardless of the age of the celebrant. It is the one day of the year that belongs to you and you alone regardless of how many other people you share it with because no matter what comes after that day, your birthday is the most important day of your life. It only stops being that when the day of your death takes over and chances are pretty good you won't be around to celebrate that - at least not on this earthly plane!. Without your birthday there would be no other red-letter days to celebrate - no graduations, no wedding anniversaries, no births of your own children, no first cars, no first mortgages - zip, zero, zilch, nada!

We all know that children love birthdays because it's the one day out of the year that as my friend Andrew
likes to say - "it's all about me!" You can be expectant on your birthday, you can be a bit demanding on your birthday, and you can want a little extra attention on your birthday and I see nothing wrong with that. What's wrong with having one day for you - one day set aside for celebrating the life that you have lived and the remainder that lies before you?

Today is the birthday of one of my fellow dispatchers - Erik - who we affect
ionately refer to as Boukie (don't ask me, he had the nickname before I got there!). Boukie had mentioned last week his birthday was coming up but I can't remember my own name half the time without the help of my name tag so I didn't remember the special occasion was today until he said that his girlfriend was going to take him to see "World Trade Center" tonight - which he had mentioned wanting to go see on his birthday. Well, of course we all had to wish him a happy day but he just slunk down into his chair and grumbled in his best Scrooge impression - "bah, it's just another day". To heck with that I say! It's NOT just another day - it's BOUKIE'S day and it should at least be acknowledged if not downright celebrated (full-blown celebrations in the dispatch center are hard to pull off in between 911 calls!)

In lieu of a cake, party streamers, and alcoholic beverages, I sent an alpha-mate pa
ge out to all of the crews on the road to be sure to let them know that it was Erik's special day. This, as planned, resulted in a flurry of well wishes that caused Bouk to slink even further down into his chair while still grumbling that it was "just another day". Good grief, where's Tiny Tim when you need him?!? (The Dickens character, not the falsetto singer of the 70's!). Obviously the guy needs a lesson in how to celebrate!

A little later in the day our second-in-command at American came into dispatch to extend his well wishes of the day and also to announce on the radio for everyone to wish Erik a happy birthday! and that really got our poor old Boukie flustered. Obviously the guy is not used to having any attention at all on his date of birth and that's just sad to me. He said that birthday celebrations should be reserved for children but I ask you why? Why should only kids get the joy of having their own special day? Who wrote the rule that says birthdays are not to be celebrated by anyone over the age of 16?? We should celebrate every single day of our lives that we wake up on this side of the dirt but, barring that, we should at least celebrate the important ones!

I'm hoping that Boukie was just being shy and demur (not traits you normally associate with a guy but who I am to question if he's in touch with his feminine side or not?!) and that he was simply playing the role of the hard-as-nails, nothing-fazes-me, I-have-no-real-feelings-inside dispatcher that all of us in this profession seem to want to portray ourselves as. I'm hoping that inside he was secretly enjoying the attention that he was getting despite his protestations to the co
ntrary. And I'm hoping that he goes out with his girlfriend tonight and they have a great time celebrating his birthday complete with dinner out and a cake brought to him by a bunch of people he doesn't know singing some ridiculous "happy, happy birthday" song to him while he squirms uncomfortably in his seat!

Happy Birthday once again, Boukie, and
don't be such an Eeyore - that's my job next month!


  1. Anonymous7:56 AM EDT

    Ha Ha! Happy Birthday Bouk!!!!

    Oh and remember September 6th... I, on the other hand, love attention!!

  2. Hey, what's wrong with Eeyore? My wife happens to LOVE that donkey! She should, since 1/2 my salary over the last 7 yrs went toward the purchases of various Eeyore-related items! Seriously, a belated Happy B-day to you, Bouk! Hope your day was a good one (in and out of work!) As for you, Linda, and Jen - stand by for Septemeber! Hee hee hee...I DO read the birthday postings in the American Pulse!

  3. Now, Jen, the problem with YOUR birthday is that you're going to be home with that new baby of yours so it's going to be hard to do anything other than perhaps send you a card. I suppose that we could consume a cake in your honor up in dispatch and I'm certainly more than willing to go out and have a drink in your honor - after all, we Virgos need to stick together!

    And Eric, don't get me wrong with Eeyore - I happen to quite like the little fella - hence the tattoo on my right leg, the collection of watches and other jewelry, and all of the other Eeyore items I have around the house! Melissa and I obviously have something in common!

  4. Anonymous12:54 PM EDT

    I inherited my mom's affinity for Eeyore. I have a couple Eeyore shirts (including a nightshirt) a watch or two, and an Eeyore statute that says " I need a hug".

    I think i should end my post before my mom finds anything else wrong with it xD.

  5. Anonymous1:28 PM EDT


    I am due the 8th, I could very well still be in dispatch on my birthday!!!

  6. Anonymous8:20 AM EDT

    Great Linda, make me blush at work and now Seriously, I did enjoy all the well-wishes from everyone, but I'm not much for extra attention(be it shyness, or what have you). I've never felt comfortable accepting extra attention on my birthday or any day for that matter, although I'm not going to complain about the presents while I was a child. However, I never liked family and friends staring at me while opening them, compared to X-mas where everyone can open gifts at the same time and not feel so guilty.. So, I'll take your words into memory and next time I'll try not to say "Oh, Pooooooh"... lol Bouk

  7. Melissa has company in the Eeyore afficionados of CT...heeheehee! Heck, I was only kidding, Linda! As for you, Bouk...I don't know if its the name or what, but I feel EXACTLY the way you do, and everything you wrote was as if I said/felt it myself. Well put, my "fellow" Eric!


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