Some November 8’s

November 8, 2007 at 7:02 PM (Acting) (, , )

It’s November 8th 1961.

Two early twenty somethings head to the hospital about three months early…the child was born prematurely and dropped from 3 lbs 2 oz to 2 lbs 11 oz, before she decided to stick around.

Objectively, without the *huge* amount of baggage I carry around about them, I honestly feel sorry for those young people.  My father was a jock who used to carry me on his forearm, my head cushioned in his palm and show me off to the fraternity brothers…

My mother was this super math brain who was going places, and then at 20, suddenly had to use her weekends to travel to and from the campus to the hospital where I was for two months, before I could come home, through blizzards etc etc.

And, study.

And get amazing grades.

And put up with my father’s partying, which I imagine he had begun to overdo even then, before the real hard drinking set in.

How did they do it?  I don’t know what I would have done.

I didn’t show signs of “disability” after the incubator except for my lazy eye for a good while, so I was a regular baby…

it was just when I didn’t start walking, much later that they got nervous.

I wish they were alive  (or in my mom’s case, more normally communicative, as illness means she hasn’t really spoken to me face to face since 2004.), so I could ask them how they did it.  Finished school, went to grad and law school and raised me to a five year old while doing it, and got hit with the disability diagnosis when I was four….

Or  maybe it’s  November 8th 1979…

I’m student directing a non-musical version of “Sweeney Todd…”  (Why they make these rather lame, non-musical versions of musicals is beyond me, but I was so happy to be involved, I didn’t give a ****.)

A frenemy, the guy I would eventually go to prom with did a nice thing and asked me to go to dinner on my birthday.  (With the panicked “You *know* this isn’t an actual *date* right?,” look that all my able guy friends gave me ] and some *still* give me, heh,] when they ask me to get together for dinner, or drinks, or a film.  I knew.  I Knew.  Jesus, did I know… I felt like I had “Funny, Smart, great Friend, but Never Bother Dating!” tattooed on my forhead..)

But I digress.

So, the frenemy has asked me out to The Mad Greek, my favorite place in Cleveland Heights for Greek food, and after the evening’s rehearsal we were heading over there…

Except that I think we had to go to Houlihan’s instead…I’m not sure…

We get there…and it’s not a table for two at all, and I was a bit bummed…there were all these people…

…that I knew!  My best friends *and* much of my cast…jumpped up and yelled “Surprise!”

And, the shock of it made me laugh and fall down…directly…

Thanks Pete,Mel,Tammy,Loren, Debi,the others that I forgot, and even the frenemy Alec….

Thanks to all.

Or, maybe it’s  November 7th 1981, when I had just finished my run as an actress that I’ve blogged about before…we were all required to do the physical work of striking the set, and we could not leave until it was done…I begged for an exemption about two hours into it, because I was exhausted, but moreso because my grandparents had flown in from South Carolina (!) to see me, and the rest of both sides of my family came out in force to see me kick some theatrical ass…and I wanted to thank them…

So the tech director let me go and I fled back to where they were all waiting, all those people…I hugged and cried and said thank you far too quickly…but the fact that they had come meant so much that my throat closed up and I cried…

I went *back* finished some striking, and *then* we were all invited to the directors house for wine and pizza….

And after midnight, when it was officially November 8th, somebody remembered, and everybody sang at me while I was veering toward a slight wine buzz…

Thanks to Marian, Don, Susan, Neil, Barbara, Jim, Paula David, (family)  and the others I forget

Bob, Tom, Julie, Mark,Kim,Jim,Andi,Nancy,the guy who played my kid,  Chuck, and anyone else who was there.

Yeah, those were some of my best birthdays…

Today is quieter…the real celebration will be this weekend…

Chinese food, a bit of writing, sending thankyou emails…

Yep, I am surely a November child…windy and cloudy and full of transition…

That’s me.



  1. Dawn said,

    Many happy returns. My birthday’s this week, and your post got me to quit feeling sorry for myself, enjoy the day and put together my own gratitude list. Thanks.

  2. bridgett said,

    I’ve been thinking of you all day. Happy Birthday.

  3. bint alshamsa said,

    What beautiful memories! Happy birthday, Love!

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