My birthday is not my favorite day of the year. I don't dread getting older. In fact, I really enjoy getting older because it means I haven't let the grim reaper haul me away.
It's not my favorite day because of the gifts I get and it seems like the longer I live the more my family thinks I need gifts to prove their love for me. Also, the longer I live, the dumber the gifts keep getting. I get ties that I never wear, pajamas that I never wear and gift cards from Starbucks that I never use. If you're on the back side of sixty I'm sure you know the routine.
Well, this year they outdid themselves. While my wife and I went out to a quiet breakfast to fortify ourselves for the afternoon onslaught of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, my sons removed my favorite chair and replaced it with the "latest thing" in personal comfort.
When we returned from breakfast, the entire family was waiting with happy expectant grins wrapped around their faces. A sea of white teeth spewed out the traditional "surprise". Then my daughters blindfolded me and led me to the back of my house and into my personal man cave.
Everyone crowded into the room and the girls removed my blindfold revealing a brand new black recliner made of some kind of material I had never heard of. According to them, it was supposed to do everything but cook my breakfast. I really wasn't surprised. My wife had been nagging me for the last couple of years to get rid of my old eyesore and get something that was more comfortable. However, we both knew it wasn't my comfort that she was thinking about. It was her desire to have furniture that didn't have to hide from our friends.
I was trapped because of my life long lectures to my children on accepting gifts which included a smile and a thank you to the gifter. So, with a smile on my face and a "I hate the damned thing" in my mind, I thanked my family for their thoughtful gift.
When the family left, my wife asked me if I liked it, even though she knew I didn't. However, she knew I was stuck. I had to say yes and thank her and hug her and sit in it and say how comfortable it was.
It wasn't comfortable. Comfort means to relax and let your muscles turn to jelly and your mind go numb and the chair and your wife not say nasty things to you because you spill your coffee or get food stains on it. That was my old chair. It didn't give a damn what I did to it. It was like a faithful dog, always ready to comfort me no matter how many times I left it out in the rain.
Oh well, I'll have to slowly break it in. I'll house train like a new puppy. I'll start by giving it a name. I think I'll call it Lo-Jack and then my wife can send it to fetch me when I'm sneaking a snort from my stash hidden in the wood pile. Maybe it'll get caught in the rain and become a real chair.