At two minutes past 4 o’clock on the morning of Sunday, August 3, 1969, a beautiful thing happened to a certain husband and wife at a hospital on the west side of Chicago, Illinois: They welcomed into their world a bouncing baby boy.
Yeah, that bouncing baby boy was me.
My birthday was a pretty cool time when I was a little kid: A party, presents, party hats, and a round of “Happy Birthday to You” being sung in my honor. The celebrations would become smaller as I got older, which I didn’t mind too much. I would be satisfied with a little cake or perhaps a family dinner out in my honor, or at least a card or two.
But when I reached adulthood, those birthday parties and dinners would go away. For me, August 3 would begin to feel as if it were just another day, and I would become accustomed to and satisfied with a simple card in the mail from my folks and/or a phone call of well wishes. Such simple birthday wishes are now the norm, and the sweeter they are, the nicer they turn out to be. One such moment happened a couple of years ago when I visited my nieces and their mom on a day off a couple of days after my birthday. They made a nice lunch, and my nieces made me a small cake. Was it a big birthday bash? Not really, and I think they were more happier about me visiting them then they were happy about my birthday. It was the thought that counted, and I was very appreciative toward their show of birthday love.
Since my birthday falls during the summer months, it was never really celebrated at school when I was a youngster (school was out, of course). As a matter of fact, the only time anyone other than my relatives threw a birthday bash in my honor came when I turned 20 years old. I was enrolled in a certain learning institution and was working in their unpaid work experience program, assigned to the local office of a certain Fortune 500 company (I won’t say who, though I will say they make pretty good computers). I let it slip to a member of my team that my birthday fell on August 3, in the middle of my six-week stay with them. Said member gave me a friendly advisory to watch out, because they were known to throw a pretty good bash for anyone’s birthday. Sure enough, when I arrived to my assigned team at work on my birthday, space was cleared for a potluck: Small sandwiches, chips, cookies, soda, the whole nine yards. (Yeah, not as nutritious as you were probably hoping.)
While my birthday now feels like just another day for me, there’s still that little kid in me that appreciates the attention. Yes, there’s the cards and calls from my family, but there’s also the greeting applied to my URNotAlone profile the day (and month) of my birthday:
Of course, there is the issue of my age. As you can tell from the above image, I turn 46 years old this year. Yes, I know, I’m old. But I try to take the attitude that age is just another number, even if that age gets higher every year. And with my birthday comes a feeling of wondering what I want or would like to add to my proverbial bucket list before turning 47. Usually, it’s the same thing every year:
- Stay employed. Yep, I’m that, and relieved to be so.
- Stay healthy. Well, I always need to eat better, and to get more exercise.
- Try something new that’s fun to do. Well, I always like walks in the park, so I’d love to do more than that. There’s also the UW Arboretum, which I’ve been to once and would love to go to again (it’s very beautiful and serene, even next to a major highway).
- Meet friends. Yes, that’s something I should always try to do, my shy streak be dammed.
- Get a makeover. And be treated like the lady of royalty I feel sometimes to be? Yeah, that would be so epic. Perhaps I could find a beauty shop that could doll me up around Halloween; I’d definitely go for that.
Then there’s this:
- March in a LGBT pride parade.
Hmmm… You know, I’ve been a spectator at pride parades in the past. But you know what? I’ve never marched in one. Not once. Not even in my everyday male mode. And I’m the type of open-minded (part-time) girl that would fit right in.
But you know what? Next Sunday (8/9), a pride parade and rally is taking place in Downtown Madison. An organizer/participant of the event sent out an open invitation to anyone interested in marching behind their banner. And the opportunity to do so has really piqued my interest.
So, unless something wacky affects my schedule on Sunday, I’m planning to march in the parade. And if the weather won’t do a number on my makeup, I will do so as Allison. It’s quite a daring choice for me, you may say, but I did confirm this with the folks who sent out the invitation; I asked, “I’m a crossdresser; can I march as my female side?” and they said, “sure, wear anything you’d like.”
So, by this time next week, and barring any last-minute monkey wrench, I will be crossing at least one thing off my bucket list: “March in a LGBT pride parade.” And, again, if Mother Nature behaves, I’ll cross off another entry:
- Blow Allison’s closet door wide open.
Please wish me luck! And if you’d like to, wish me happy birthday today as well. 🙂