Monday, July 1, 2013

Why Don't Men Like Birthdays?

            This is St. Bob’s birthday month.  And, once again, I have been instructed not to throw a big bash or tell anyone (hence my writing an entire blog about it).  This is like our ongoing dispute over whether it’s okay to give snippets of people food to our dog in the kitchen.  Bob opposes this and occasionally extracts a promise from me not to do it anymore.  Last time I agreed he asked, “Do you really mean it or are you just saying it?”
            I sighed.  “I’m just saying it.”
            I could see I knew it! in his eyes.  Alas, we have each agreed to something the other wants, with no intention of keeping our word.  I promise not to pamper our dog (and why shouldn’t that darling dog have a moment of happiness?) and he promises not to stack papers, tools, and Radio Shack bags on a prominent ledge in our home. But here is the dog and there is the pile of junk.  Both are testaments to the fact that this is not a perfect world, and no matter how many changes you want your spouse to make, you’re just gonna have to give in on a few of them.
            Which brings me back to St. Bob’s birthday.  For the life of me I cannot understand why he—and many other men—are celebration resistant.  They don’t want gifts? Are they insane?  What’s better than presents to unwrap, birthday cake, ice cream, and adoring friends?

            Granted, not every guy wants his wife blowing the budget on a big gathering, but these same men don’t even want a small, thrifty party like you’d throw for a parakeet.  “Just a card is fine,” they say, as if we live in a concentration camp and a card would be all the contraband one could hope for.
            So, like many wives, I ignore requests I can’t understand and I roll out the Birthday Machine every year anyway.  Seriously, don’t you think he must be kidding?  How could he not want to be fawned over and indulged once a year?  Something tells me he will eventually come to like it. 
            One year I will admit I went a teensy bit overboard.  I wrote about it in a whole article on Bob’s TV career, which appeared in Meridian Magazine.  It was called “Bob, Tell ‘Em What They’ve Won” and here’s the link:  if you want to read it.  Basically, I provided Bob with his most uncomfortable show biz moment.  He was hosting “Let’s Make a Deal” for NBC TV, taping at Disney World in Florida.
            I sort of mentioned his birthday to the entire staff, and asked for video clips I could edit together to surprise him.  And I kind of included Dick Clark and Monty Hall as well.  I hinted that I might have mentioned his birthday to some of his pals.

            “Not Dick Clark,” he said.  I blushed.  Bob was mortified.  “Did you ask for a gift?” he whispered.  “Tell me you didn’t ask him to spend anything.”
            “Oh, no,” I assured him.  “Only some of his time.”
            Bob fell over and rolled under the bed we had been leaning against.  “That’s worse,” he groaned. 
            I, of course, found this hilarious and laughed until I cried.
            Then, to make matters worse, the show’s director had Mickey and Minnie come out onto the stage to present a gigantic cake as the entire audience sang “Happy Birthday” to him, nationwide.  Bob wanted to crawl under the flooring.  Yes, we later had a “chat” and I have scaled down considerably.

            But this year I’m certain he has come around to my way of thinking, so I need all readers to leave a Happy Birthday comment to him.  If you’re from another country, leave it in your native language.  He will love knowing that people all around the world are celebrating with him.  How could he not?


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB! Sorry I shouted, I just get excited when someone else gets older.

  2. ha ha-- like when someone speeds by on the freeway and you know they'll get the ticket instead of you. Thanks for the shout out-- I'll forward it to Bob!

  3. Happy Birthday, Bob! You are one amazing man! And don't feel bad...Justin is the same way about birthdays, and I am the same as Joni. I think my birthday should be a national holiday. Doesn't everyone?! :-)

  4. Glad we are two peas in a pod, Mary-- Maybe our husbands can get together and refuse to celebrate!