Yes. My birthday is September 11th. Abbreviated in all my high school notes as 9/11. Which was perfectly unremarkable until the events of September 11, 2001. You all know the details, I refuse to delve into a recounting of the facts of the day, or an opinion piece about the ensuing military actions by the United States, or airport security, or Koran-burning, or whatever.
Of course, the classic first item in a time capsule is a copy of the newspaper of the day you begin. And sure enough we find pictures of the rubble on a whole section front. Granted it’s now Section D of the paper instead of the cover, but still. Anyways, there it is. The top header reads “Are growing ethnic enclaves a threat?” I shall read it in 30 years and it’ll be interesting to see how we’re still talking about this event and all its surrounding issues in 30 years.
9/11 is my birthday. For the last nine years, when I’ve told people my birthdate, I’ve almost invariably gotten “Oh, that sucks” as a response. Really? Am I supposed to not be joyous and celebratory just because other people are remembering a tragic and painful event? (And by people, I am referring to the friends and families of those who actually lost somebody that day). You think nobody died on YOUR birthday? I absolutely guarantee that while you’re out and about partying it up for your big day, you will have an interaction with somebody who is marking an anniversary of a death (likely of a cause far more common but deemed less front-page-worthy by the press than terrorist attacks… heart disease, traffic accident, lung cancer…), or a painful breakup, or the loss of a beloved pet. My birthday doesn’t suck, thank you. Not any more than anybody else’s.
I want to thank my mom who on *that* particular birthday (which began with an early morning phone call from an ex telling me to turn on my TV) insisted that we go out for lunch at a restaurant without any big-screen newscasts and, at least for an hour focus on celebrating the joy that my existence has brought into her life, before getting back to the collective eye-to-screen glueing that occupied most of us in this part of the world that day.
And I also want to thank my wonderful friends for starting off my 30th birthday with a surprise cake and tequila shots and dancing. And for a lovely feast and chill session with new friends and old later in the evening.