My friend Miranda “Mandy” is a legal wizard with a unique perspective on love, life, and the law. I enjoy reading her articles and I hope you do as well. You can see more of her articles at Gavel Babble.
The Birthday Curse, Reversed
For the past 8 years, something has gone wrong on my birthday! At the 5 year point of bad birthdays, I decided to give up on the hope that “this year” will be better. My birthdays secretly became an angry and bitter time for me—something that I regretted and avoided like the plague. However, I made a pronouncement to myself that 2011 would be the end of bad and disappointing birthdays.
My husband planned a surprise trip to an unknown location for my birthday! I was kept in the dark about the secret location until we arrived at the airport. Excitement filled the air and the countdown to [un]happy birthdays began. Much to my dismay, the CURSE struck again! My husband came down with the flu 3 days before our secret birthday get-away was to begin. Even though he felt horrible, my beloved husband plunged forward, packed our bags and drove half dead to the airport. When the ticketing counter attendant asked us where we were going… I turned on a dime to hear the magic words, “New Orleans”!
The words “sexy, mysterious, jazz, electrifying…” danced in my head as we boarded the flight. The Birthday Curse was broken! Or was it? On day 2, my husband took a turn for the worse and ended up being taken via ambulance from our hotel room to Tulane Medical Center. The verdict had come in and he was out for the count. As we spent most of the day in the ER, I just had to laugh about the irony of the situation! The list of unexplainable mini disasters continued with the finale being our return flight getting canceled and us having to stay an extra night in New Orleans – at the airport hotel. A few years ago, this situation would have sent me into an emotional tailspin but now, not a chance!!
After returning from the hospital, I took out my pen and paper and started writing down the words “simple acts of kindness.” What if instead of sulking and feeling sorry for myself with ongoing “why me?” dialogue running through my head, I decided to focus and recognize the small gestures of kindness that go unnoticed on a daily basis? Throughout the remainder of trip, I was on a mission to discover as many acts of benevolence and thoughtfulness possible.
First there was a very, sweet nurse named “Tiffany” that called us a cab. As we exited the ER, she came running out with a small piece of paper with the name and numbers of other cab companies—just in case this one took too long. When I got back to our hotel room, there were balloons (and then a beautiful bottle of wine) sent by “Katherine” from guest services at the Royal Sonesta Hotel wishing me a “Happy Birthday” despite our troubles. There was the sales clerk at Sashay’s Boutique that made a simple error but felt compelled to “make up” for the error with giving me the most beautiful, fragrant soaps. There was the supervisor at the American Airlines ticketing counter that did not charge us for the extra 5 pounds in our bag to make up for the extra day inconvenience. And lastly, was “Frank”, the manager at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kenner where we stayed while we waited for our out-going flight. After hearing of our crazy story, he discounted our food and bought my husband a drink at the bar.
So after the jury has deliberated and the verdict comes back, the overwhelming evidence reveals that the birthday curse has in fact been broken. I got to experience firsthand the simple acts of kindness by complete strangers that I may never see again but will stay with me for more than one, special day a year.
The best portion of a good man’s life – his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. ~William Wordsworth
Be good to each other,