According to my parents, I was born on this day in 1970. Richard Nixon was President, the number one song was "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5. Below is an entry I made into my personal journal on November 17, 1999, almost exactly ten years ago:
"My birthday went very well. My mom picked me up at work at 4pm. She took me home to take the dogs out and then we went to Fridays. She said someone was waiting for me. It turned out to be my dad and, of course, my wife, my life. We had a very good dinner. My love gave me an Adam Sandler CD, a Tori Amos videotape, a cake, and a ski mask. My mother gave me the Friendship with God book by Neale Donald Walsch as well as a framed picture of me and my parents when I was a toddler. My father paid for the meal and gave me $100 cash. I spent five of those dollars on "A Country Christmas 1999" at Target. This year's Christmas will be spent at the cusp of our moving into our first house."
Ten years later, I have to chuckle at the consistency of my gift requests. This year, I've again asked for Neale Donald Walsch's latest book and would've asked for Tori Amos' newest one but for the fact that it comes out today.
It's not mentioned in the post, but my father coming was quite notable. You see, he was a Jehovah's Witness and they are strictly forbidden from having anything to do with birthday celebrations, one reason being that a couple big-time parties in ancient times led to some beheadings (for more info on this, go here).
In my mind, that's not enough to throw out the tradition. It'd be like if a woman slit a man's throat after having sex and a law was decreed that in order to avoid this happening again, no one should ever have sex. It's basically throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
The reason my dad decided to come even though he was still technically a Witness was that he had become disillusioned with the faith after the way one of his sons was treated by the elders in the congregation after he (the son) made a slight lapse in judgement (he looked admiringly at himself in the mirror; no, it wasn't that, but it wasn't much worse).
The Witnesses' loss turned out to be my gain and I'm not just talking about the one hundred smackers I received that night.
Addendum: Here is a pic from last night's (11-10-09) celebration: