A Journal of the COVID 19 year. One of the realities of the pandemic is the cancellation of all of the spring and summer events to which we usually look forward. Recognizing this reality of cancellation I have decided to cancel my May 4th birthday. I mean the birthday itself. Not any party. I could easily proceed with a party of all my friends and family and not have numbers that would cause provincial health chief Bonnie Henry any concern. And I could manage appropriate social distancing and still hold the party in a broom closet. My decision to cancel my birthday is not for distance compliance but out of solidarity with all of the other cancelled events. My next birthday will be delayed for five years, out of principle. As a result I will not hit 65 until May 4, 2025 rather than next week. I recognize this is a sacrifice, but this pandemic calls for sacrifice.
The five year delay in celebrating my birthday is in fact very little sacrifice for me. Why should I celebrate my birthday? What accomplishment is attaining 65. It’s not like I found a cure for cancer or a new vaccine for Covid 19. All I had to do was breath for 65 years, and I almost messed that up. So, in summary, I will not be having a birthday next week, no matter what the Facebook birthday reminder says. And yes, I continue to post on Facebook while avoiding marking my final exams.
As my birthday is about to descend upon me tomorrow, yesterday I attended at motor vehicle licensing to renew my drivers licence. I had to turn in my drivers licence with it’s five year old photo which five years ago I thought was a very poor photo but which now I feel is quite flattering. A new photo was taken. I can handle looking old and unattractive but the photo made me look simple. I asked for a retake. The second photo made me look a little less simple. I know that in five years I will think my new photo is a good one but at this point I am lamenting the ravages of aging. There is nothing like looking at your new driver’s licence photo to make you realize that you should be very nice to your spouse, since you have no options.
As a result I have changed my profile to the photograph that the Village of Harrison Hot Springs had taken five months ago when I was elected to council. This photo is one of the most flattering that I have had for some time. It has been touched up. I have less wrinkles, less gray and more hair. I have decided that it will be my obituary photo. Even though I am saving it for that purpose and don’t want to overuse it at this point I thought that it would help me get over my new drivers licence photo.
Now I understand why older people drive so slowly. They are petrified of being pulled over for speeding and having to produce their driver’s licence photo.
Photo by Pamela Palmer
GERALD EDWARD PALMER, LLB
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