Friday is my birthday, so is Monday, and truth be known Tuesday is as well. My parents were of the “this-is-just-how-we-talk-to-each-other” school of communication, that is, they fought constantly. When any of their seven children (proof that they got along at least some of the time), complained that there was too much screaming in the house, they would claim “Shutup! this is just how we talk!” That wise bit of philosophical thinking led to a mulitplicity issue sometime around my fifteenth birthday. I was trying to get a working card for permission to become employed before the age of 16, and as in most households of the time with many children, I was missing pieces of my personal history. I needed a social security number and it turned out I hadn’t finished my early childhood vaccinations.
The day I went to city hall to get myself a social security number, I was handed what I thought was a pretty straight-forward form. I filled in my name, address and date of birth. Who knew I could fail the easiest part of the test? The woman behind the desk asked, “Don’t you know your own birthday?” Turns out I didn’t. My birth certificate actually said the day before the date I had written in. I protested, and she proceeded to take out my full records which were written in my mother’s sprawling handwriting-August 17. For the past fifteen years I had been celebrating on the 18th. What to do? What to do? I changed the form and called my mother who worked in the medical records office of the hospital where I was born.
To this day, everyone in my family calls and asks, “So when is your birthday? Is it the 17th or the 18th?” I don’t like going through the hassle of correcting everyone so I ignore the fact that no one remembers the day we checked it out at the hospital and the paperwork said it was the 14th.