September 11th - An Infamous Birthday

I was born in the mid-1960’s. Depending upon which demographer you believe, I am either one of the youngest Baby Boomers or one of the oldest of Generation X. I don’t particularly feel that I belong to either. I was born after the JFK assassination, which I think is the real dividing line between the two generations. Do you have any memories of the day he was shot? If not, you are not a Boomer. But I feel older than the people who are GenXers. What happened to my generation? I don't think we have been named yet.

Also, I was born on 9/11, so my entire life has been post 9/11. I just never thought about it that way until 2001. I live just a few miles south of Boston in Quincy, so the whole 9/11 - Boston connection has been particularly poignant. That day and ever since, people sometimes wish me “Happy Birthday Sorry”- all in the same breath.

Whenever I give my birthday, at the doctors or filling out some form, I brace for whatever comment will usually follow. On my birthday in 2001, I was in shock and crying for most of the day like many of us. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I usually have a small birthday dinner celebration with my family and was debating whether or not to celebrate it as usual. It seemed too horrible a day to ever celebrate my birthday again.

But the more I thought about it, the more I did want to be with my family – especially because of what happened. All the people who died would have given anything to see their families just one more time or to celebrate just one more birthday. I figured it would almost be an insult to them not to cherish what I have. So I saw my family that day. We had cake and ice cream, but it was certainly not the most festive of birthdays. We watched the news and talked about how our country would never be the same. And I appreciated being with them even more.

Although my birthday is a national day of mourning, things have started to perk up. Some friends treated me to brunch this past year on my actual birthday and there were several other tables in the restaurant singing “Happy Birthday” as well. I felt like those of us with this now infamous birthday were free to be happy out in the open again.

Has enough time gone by so that the day is normal now? I don’t know about that. The movie “United 93” just opened this week. The thought of seeing it makes me feel sick to my stomach. I don’t feel ready to see it, especially out in public. Maybe I will rent it, so I can sit comfortably at home with a box of tissues. I guess the box office receipts will tell us.

*Updated 8/20/2014* This post was the first. Behind the scenes, this blog is taking its next steps to a new beginning. I don't remember the day that I came up with the tagline: Dishing up tasty servings of life, food + current events. But it was a few years ago and it stuck. It makes sense to me with how the blog has changed over the years.Within a month, things will be different here, but I'm ready to start something new.


alessandra said…
OMG, I feel sorry for you, what else to say :)
Lisa Johnson said…
alessandra - Yay! You're my first comment for this post. It only took 4 years. : )

Since more time has passed since I wrote this, it's not as bad. But I do still get comments when people find out for the first time.

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