Vicki Briganti – WWJ-TV Writer / Producer / Editor
When people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I say, “My birthday.” They say that isn’t a legitimate holiday, and I say, “Touché!” However, my former employer included birthdays as a company paid holiday, so I quickly point that out.
I have the best summer birthday. It’s July 25th. I call it “Christmas in July,” so it’s easy to remember. For 22 years, I didn’t have to go to school on my birthday. When I started working full-time, employers expected me to work on my birthday, a concept I can’t abide. I’ve gone to work on only a few birthdays. While I was there, I felt I belonged on the beach or at a picnic. After those unsettling experiences, I started taking the day off. Now I just take the whole week. When my nephews are eating ice cream cake with me, they say, “We’re celebrating Aunt Vicki’s birthday week.”
A Leo Not a Twin
I think everyone’s birthday is special because unless you’re a twin or born on a holiday, you generally don’t share the day with another celebration. It’s YOUR day. When my college roommate Miriam and I discovered we have the same birthday, we were giddy with excitement. You’d think two Leos in the Theatre Department would instantly hog the spotlight, but alas, no. I’ve spent several birthdays with her in Manhattan wearing birthday stickers, matching shirts and whistles, proudly declaring to anyone within earshot, “It’s our birthday!” See? We were mature enough to share the attention.
I did have a bummer birthday once. For my 7th birthday, my mom put candles in a watermelon. She claims there was a power outage from a storm, but I think she was too hot from the July heat and didn’t want to turn on the oven to bake me a chocolate cake. She denies that theory to this day and says, “Learn to like what’s free.”
Not everyone feels the way I do about birthdays. (Why not?) Maybe they don’t want the attention. (Inconceivable to a Leo!) I’ve been known to decorate offices, force everyone in the vicinity to sing happy birthday, and organize birthday lunches. I don’t do it because I expect anything in return (except the day off work, of course.) I do it because I only have one birthday, but if I celebrate everyone else’s birthday, too, it multiplies the fun times. Who couldn’t use more fun in their lives?
P.S. Our creative team at work had a birthday lunch at Pizzeria Biga in Southfield. Two co-workers didn’t like their pizza and the waiter took it off the bill. They brought out gelato and sang to us. It was awesome. Two thumbs up!
>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti