There’s something about birthdays. I’ll get back to that. I wrote earlier that I wanted to eat what everyone else ate, wear things everyone else wore.

For First Communion I wore a dress commissioned by the nuns, probably Egyptian cotton with an simple brocade on the bodice; also, my mother’s wedding veil which was a whisp, a headband with a foot of sheer material on top.

Everyone else had a long, polyester Wal-Mart type dress with a long veil and I was jealous. I never knew I was the classiest girl in the Church. We had a rule for orchestra and choir that we wear white shirts for concerts and a navy or black skirt. Mom made me wear a traditional Scottish kilt.

I told Mom I wanted to take lunch at school and eat and dress like all the others. She replied, you’re not like all the others. Because we were living in the country, we had to wear boots way before most students and they made fun of us. We wore balaclavas (hats) hand-knitted by my Aunt and were made fun of for that.

The end is that I wore corduroy jumpsuits that were handmade, gorgeous dresses and kilts. I ate better and more balanced food and learned a bit about how to cook (the EZ Bake Oven was a disaster).

My great-aunt was a milliner (hat maker). As a kid I had a hat I hated to wear. It was a cloche from Dior, $500 back in the day that a customer wore to a party, said it didn’t work out, and sent it back so they couldn’t re-sell it. Red with a wire ponytail. Oh, how I’d love to have it now!

My family did things simply, yet creatively. They always made us different and I am proud to be so now.

As to birthdays we know our dear sweet dog will be 12 years old this week, not from the shelter but from vet reports. I am making her official birthday this week. It may be a few days off.

Mom had a green card with her birthday, also a drivers license, SSN and such. Medicare insisted her birthday was another day despite evidence to the contrary. She had just come home from surgery and was ill and needed her medicine. As I walked out her door, she said “Make sure to tell them their date of birth.”

So, Zoe, you were born on Mom’s forced Medicare birthday. RIP, Mom, eight years now. You never helped me deal with being a unique human being. It takes a while for a child to deal with external and internal consequences of not fitting in. It may be why our family moved to a larger pond. Perhaps that’s why I’m a soc/psy married to a physicist for the past 13 years. Yes, this week.

It does take a village and I had one back then, small, smart and everyone stayed there but us. Luckily, Dad got us out and on other tracks.

Mom pointed out that I was different (never said talented, perfect pitch, smarter that the average bear) and Dad validated it and said I should use my unique talents. I love you, Dad. With birthday and anniversary wishes to us, and cheers always to you. Thanks for reading. Dee


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