“If your Birthday is on Christmas day and you’re not Jesus, you should start telling people your birthday is on June 9 or something. Just read up on the traits of a Gemini. Suddenly you’re a multitasker who loves the color yellow.”
I was born on June 9th, 1949 at Samaritan Hospital, Troy, NY. No big deal. However, dear old Samaritan Hospital forgot to register my birth. I didn’t think I was born during the dark ages when births were not recorded, but there is the truth. My mother told me that when she and Dad went to register me for school, they did not have my birth certificate. They went to the Hall of Records and they did not have one either. The obstetrician who delivered me had died, so the chart was requisitioned from the hospital and there was a hearing similar to a small claims court. Two nurses whose names appeared in the chart were summoned to testify that I was indeed born on the day in question. On the top of the birth certificate that was issued, there is the date of September 17th, 1954. Down on the right hand corner is the date of birth.
I sometimes used the 9/17/54 birthdate to lie about my age. I could flash the record quickly in front of friends and became five years younger. I was told that I might have trouble getting a police ID when I turned 18 so I could go to bars, but it didn’t happen. I also had no problem applying for Social Security. When I was older, in my fifties, I would sometimes add 5 years on to my age. It was wonderful when people exclaimed how young I looked. I just had to forget that I had lied about my age.
I once went to an eye doctor and he asked my how old I was. I hesitated before answering which made him ask “don’t you know how old you are?” I told him that I lie about it so much I had to think about my true age—I didn’t want to lie to him.
Then there is my August 28th birthday. It started out to be an embarrassment but it turned out to be one of the best, but was only celebrated once. I was working as a nursing assistant at Samaritan Hospital during the summers I was attending Russell Sage College to become a nurse. Because I was a nursing student, I was often sent to the more specialized wards such as the ICU, ER and Recovery Room.
There were Samaritan nursing students working in the Recovery Room. A friendly rivalry developed between them and me, probably due to the fact that I was from a different school. I knew most of the answers that were posed to them by the head nurse and their instructor. They would criticize how I made up a stretcher and would have me run their errands. It was all in good fun. I wasn’t known for the tightness of the sheets on the beds I made. You could not bounce a quarter off them and it was my job to run errands. During the second week of this, I suddenly blurted out that they better be nice to me on Friday. I don’t know why I said that. After a day or so they asked me why they needed to be nice to me on Friday. Lacking a better answer, I told them it was my birthday. At the time, I thought it was pretty silly of them not to think I was born in June. I was supposed to be assigned to the Recovery Room on that Friday, but got pulled down to the ER. At about noon time, the day supervisor came and told me to go to the Recovery Room around 1 PM. I said okay, but why? The Recovery Room was usually not busy on Friday afternoons because all the surgeons wanted to go home early for the week-end. I was told to just go up there and not to question why. When I got there, the room was decorated for a birthday party, there was cake, ice cream and a small present. The Samaritan students were supposed to have a test that afternoon, but convinced their instructor to postpone it. They got the Operating Room Head Nurse to let one of the technicians go to a nearby Stewarts to get peanut butter ice cream which was the current new flavor and they gave me a present from the gift shop. I still have the blue glass whale they got me and it was a wonderful party with no kidding. The entire Operating Room and Recovery Room staff and the Samaritan nursing instructor were in attendance.
When I got home, I told my mother all about it. She asked if I told them the truth about my real date of birth. I told her that I did not and would never tell them. I hope none of them happens to read this. Dad thought this was hysterical.
As a Gemini, I think I am entitled to more than one birthday. However, I am not much of a multitasker anymore and my favorite color is and always has been blue.