The Logical Philosopher

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Sublime Birthday

It must have been Opinionistas' birthday too, given her recent post. While she seemed more cynical than I, on our day of celebration, I'm sure our parties were much different. She didn't have a special guest join in.

The Cast:

  • JJ: Brother in law. Loves to play with the kids, probably because he doesn't have any yet, and thus still has the energy. Next time he is in town I'm going to teach all the kids the meaning of dogpile.
  • Older Brother: Title says it all - and thus he thinks he's the wiser one. Yes, the one who, when he saw the FedEx commercial about MBA students, promptly called me up and laughed at me. Well, just so you know I laughed when I saw Clops too.
  • Little Sister: JJ's wife, and my sister. She loves that I have kids, because it means she doesn't have to yet.
  • The Matriarch: Our mom. Although she says she loves us all, when you really get down to it I swear she's in it for the grandkids. At least that was the theory I set out to prove.
With JJ, Older Brother, and me all celebrating our birthdays in September, the Matriarch conspired with Little Sister and cooked up a birthday plan: cake, games and a surprise guest. So the word went out, family party at a local park, complete with guests and party games. As you can imagine, when I got the email, I could not contain my excitement...

After hearing the news I called Older Brother:
"Did you hear about the party?" I asked.
"Yep... got the news yesterday." I couldn't tell his tone - it was either whoo, kids & cake tone, or I'm game if there is Starbucks involved.
I probed a little further into his thoughts. "All I wanted to do on my birthday was go for a bike ride. What about you?"
"Well, I wanted to go for a long drive with the kids, maybe take them to the beach up island."
Hmm, the plot thickens, I though.

The next day I called JJ:
"Hey JJ, how's it going?"
"Pretty good. Pretty good. Hey, did you hear about the party? We're coming into town for it."
"Yep, that's why I called - just wondering what you wanted to do for your birthday."
"Well, I was hoping to go play tennis, or at least have the party at Older Brother's house because he's got the cool games in the basement."
"Hmm, can you put Little Sister on?"
"Yeah, here she is..." he trailed off as he passed the phone over.
"Hey LP! You ready for the party this weekend! We've got a special guest coming!"
"Yeah... just wondering if..." I started before being cut off.
"Ohhh!" she exclaimed. "We've got games planned! I hope you're ready for some three legged races!"

At this point I paused and quickly summed the situation up:
For my birthday all I wanted to do was go for a bike ride.
For JJ's birthday all he wanted to do was go play tennis.
For Older Brother's birthday all he wanted to do was go for a drive with the kids to the beach.
So what did we do instead? We all had cake at a park with the special guest, which turned out to be Bubbles the Clown. Yes, with an aggregate age of 92 between the 3 of us, The Matriarch and Little Sister had a clown come and blow us up balloon animal party hats.

The fact that I had a clown come to my birthday isn't the point - what is important is what I uncovered about my family. The clown got me thinking two important things: First, maybe if Opinionistas had a clown come to her party she won't be so down on getting older. Second, it provides proof that Little Sister and The Matriarch are 100% in it for the grandkids. Now that I have discovered their Modus Operandi, I hold the equivalent of a "get anything I want" card. Based on that, here's my plan: next year I will convince them that the grandkids really want to go on a vacation to Hawaii for my birthday.

So look for it this time next year, blogging from Hawaii. Because it's what the grandkids want, right?