Born on the Fourth of July.

Yep, that’s the day those renters from the Colonies finally told their landlords from the United Kingdom to go drink tea off the White Cliffs of Dover, because that house officially belonged to them.

It is also the birthday of yours truly. There are neither fireworks nor huge

celebrations for me anymore, however, and that’s the way I now prefer it.

While celebrating one’s country is never a burden for most people, celebrating one’s birthday can be. When that birthday falls on the same day, it becomes a tiresome chore bordering on a week’s vacation to the psych ward.

I am going to vent about that for a little bit. Do not confuse this for not loving this country. This is wishing I were born on May 5 or August 9, or any other day.

When I go to a grocery store to pick up alcohol or cigarettes, and I show my driver’s license to the clerk, I tremble when she sees the birthdate. The thought always runs through my mind, “please don’t say it, please don’t say it.”

Someone always does. “You’re an Independence Baby!” Nicely, I reply, “it’s just another day on the calendar,” but I walk away thinking things that really would get me a week’s vacation in a psych ward.

It can always get worse. There are the people who say, “you came into this world with a bang, didn’t you?”

No, I came into this world with a whimper, like all babies do. What did you expect, fireworks shooting out of my mom before I came into the world?

The only “bang” my parents heard was the thunder from the early-morning storm that blew through the area. Mom and Dad told me it poured rain that Friday, and they were expecting a girl, so the other “bang” might have been their heads exploding in shock.

Only someone who shares July 4 as a birthday knows how annoying it can get as you get older. When I was a kid (here we go with that nonsense again), I loved having Independence Day as my birthday. Who else gets to have his own cookout, his own birthday cake, along with the all the fireworks and pageantry that corresponds with America’s birthday?

Then, I grew up. Something changed. Each passing birthday meant less and less to me. Other people wanted to celebrate it, but I no longer had any interest. Maybe it was coming back from military service, or other issues previously discussed.

Instead of celebrating something special, it became the survival of another year.

When I was home a few weeks ago for my great-aunt’s funeral, my family asked me what my plans were for this year. I told them with COVID-19 all over the place, I’d probably stay home alone with a couple cases of beer and download some Kung-Fu movies.

I was joking, but that doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Traveling back home to South Carolina, or my adopted home state of Florida, is the mother and grandmother of all heck-to-the-no’s at this point due to the fact both have become novel coronavirus “hot spots,” and I don’t feel like being quarantined for the rest of the month once I get back to Missouri.

I hold these truths to be self-evident. Not all birthdays are created equal, and are endowed by their creators with their own sets of rights.

Alive? Thankfully!

Free? Definitely!

Happiness? Still pursuing – and the pursuit continues…