Grady’s Birthday Only Came Once A Year
Twenty million years ago, or so, I knew a great guy.
His name was Grady.
Grady was a customer at the local Texas bar where I worked.
Happily married, pot-bellied, and balding with a comb-over hairstyle, Grady was the epitome of a salesman — the job in which he’d been successful for decades.
The guy was self deprecating and all-around hysterical.
His “go-to” story was that once a year, on his birthday, his wife would talk into the microphone.
There was no cake. There was no celebration, and he was completely cool with that.
But damn, did Grady ever look forward to his birthday!
Equally thoughtful, Grady always gave his wife — whose birthday was only a few weeks before his — birthday presents to remind her that his birthday was soon to “come.”
For instance, one year, he gifted his bride a lovely, plush throw pillow, which was just wide enough for her to kneel upon.
Another year, the man actually gave her knee pads.
Obviously, subtlety wasn’t Grady’s strong point.
When Grady’s day of birth grew near, clear instructions were given:
Get those kids out of the house, and get bobbing for apples.
As he sipped his Coors Light with his elbows resting on the bar, Grady’s face would take on a serious expression, and he’d reiterate to his buddies, as well as new and old customers alike, that his birthday was on the horizon, and he had only one birthday wish.
It was always the same birthday wish.
A donut smile.
He wasn’t crude, and he DIDN’T go into great detail, but he’d look each of them straight in the face and proudly declare that his birthday was next week.
Everyone in that little bar knew exactly what that meant!
The married couple had reached a compromise, at the onset of their marriage, that she’d partake in turtle snorkeling only once a year — on his birthday.
Evidently, Grady had agreed, and the annual Lewinsky tradition was born!
So every year, Grady would proudly announce that his bride was about to demonstrate what she’d learned at clarinet school, as the anticipation would mount.
The bar’s patrons would literally cheer for him and wish him luck.
I wish I could remember when Grady’s birthday was, but it’s a distant memory now.
What is still emblazoned into my memory is the ten-mile-wide smile Grady always had on his face the day AFTER his birthday.
He definitely had a little pep in his step for weeks!
If today is your birthday, I hope the gentle headwinds are blowing in your direction.
And if today isn’t your birthday, and you were lucky enough to have your hardhat spit-shined…
Please don’t tell Grady.
It would crush him.