It was 43 years ago today that The Gay Groom was born.
To be precise, I was born 43 years ago today at EXACTLY 11:40am – which makes sense since I’m not one to miss lunch.
I am told that at 8 pounds 11 ounces I was considered simply enormous in those days. Today it’s normal to have nine or ten pound babies – or even seven or eight babies that add up to nine or ten pounds. But that’s unpleasant to think about so let’s change the subject, yes?
I was also born on Tết.
Tết is the Vietnam lunar New Year and that really shouldn’t mean anything to anyone (not counting the Vietnamese, of course) except that in the early hours of January 30, 1968 the Tet Offensive erupted, in which North Vietnamese forces and their Viet Cong allies attacked major cities in South Vietnam.
The Tet Offensive proved to be the turning point of the war, delivering a fatal blow to political support for the war in the United States.
It’s no coincidence that the main character in my first novel was also born on the first day of the Tet Offensive.
In 1970 I celebrated my second birthday in Hamilton, Ontario. 1970 must have been a year for very high hair (though Hamilton was usually a number of years behind the curve on fashion so my mother might be wearing 1964 hair for all I know).
The rest of us look rather uninterested with the whole birthday business. And we shan’t even discuss my white turtleneck.
My mother must have made the guest list since, except for my brother, I know nobody at my birthday party.
In 1972 it was considered the height of class to have your birthday at McDonald’s. Well at least it was in my hometown! The most exciting part was getting to wear a McDonald’s paper hat.
I’m not sure if children still go to McDonald’s for their birthday or not. Are they too sophisticated these days for a burger, Coke and a piece of cake.
My fourth birthday was also infamous as being “Bloody Sunday”.
What was Bloody Sunday?
On January 30, 1972, British soldiers opened fire on a march in the town of Derry, killing 13 Irishmen and injuring many others. Many people consider this the event that started over a quarter century of violence between the IRA and the British.
The events depicted in Bloody Sunday were also immortalized in the 80s U2 song “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and continue to have political reverberations even to this day.
Of course I didn’t know all this was happening in Ireland as I ate my McDonald’s cake. I probably didn’t even know what Ireland was.
Now let’s skip ahead a few years or we’ll never finish! And the Gay Groom is getting tired (he’s 43 after all!).
For anyone who wasn’t there, yes, the 80s were just as much fun as people say. Granted our music was crap (or at least terribly derivative) and our clothes were shiny and odd looking (and don’t get me started on the mullet).
But we did have a lot of fun in the 80s.
This is your humble blogger in 1986. The The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred just two days before this photo was taken.
And one more photo from my 21st birthday in 1989. I think I looked pretty snazzy in my John Cougar Mellencamp concert shirt (his fantastic Lonesome Jubilee tour). I think my birthday wish that year was that I would finally lose the bloody mullet!
So here I am, turning 43.
And does it bother me to find myself yet another year older? Nah.
Your humble blogger likes to look at each birthday as yet another year that the world has been blessed with him…
And so I’ll continue blogging about the life of a 43 year old gay married man until I have nothing left to say – and that hasn’t happened yet.
Coming soon: When am I officially a ‘daddy’?
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom