It's one of my best friend's birthdays today, which I knew in theory but not in practice. As usual, Mark Zuckerberg reminded me. This is not only evidence that I need to keep Facebook in my life, even though it is listening in to my conversations and trying to sell me things that make me feel bad about myself, but that I, like Zuckerberg, am only human.
I have only ever known three birthdays off by heart, which are my own, my sister's, and my mum's, which I learned by counting forwards from the US Independence Day by one day. For anyone interested, who also grew up in the shadow of Will Smith or who at least now has access to Google, you can also know my mum's birthday using this handy, yet mentally laborious trick. My step-mum's is just after mine, and my dad's is after that. I can't remember the exact date but I do know that he is a Scorpio, while I am a Libra, and that no one has any money left when his birthday comes round, which is perhaps one of the reasons his presents have changed from chocolate and socks, to music and books, to 'nothing'. Which is both a downgrade and an upgrade, depending on your perspective. So far, I understand his ageing process as basically a transition to asceticism, plus type 2 diabetes.
This friend of mine is a Taurus, which someone told me means a love of ceremony. I don't really see that in him, but then I don't really see him that much anymore, and when I do we rarely have the time to 'do nothing', to share space for no other reason than that we both like to be quiet and watch people on TV who are loud. Maybe he secretly loves ceremony now, but I guess I remember it as ritual. I think he's like me. He likes things that are calming, life-affirming or both. Like Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Dianne Keaton singing 'You Don't Own Me' at the end of The First Wives Club. I want to give him that.