Bob the Artifact

To me, age has always been a number. People used to freak about turning 30 and to me the ones who bellyached about it usually had nothing show for that first decade of adulthood.

I said for years that the only number that might give me pause was 50 given its half-century significance. In the last few years I stopped saying that since I didn’t feel old. Being 50 wasn’t significant any more since it’s maybe the beginning of middle age or something like that. After all, I’m likely to be working another two decades before retiring and nearly that long to qualify for social security.

Robbie, though, has been looking forward to this milestone for quit e some time now since it would qualify both his parents to be artifacts.

Today, I am an artifact.

I don’t feel like one. In fact, I feel pretty good. My doctor is pleased with my general health and the stress from the last six months has made me tired but that’s about it. Of course, with Robbie’s condition, I haven’t given my birthday and its cultural significance a s lot of thought,

Others, though, have. Robbie’s plan all along had been to buy those 50 year old gag gifts and hide them in my luggage so I’d have a laugh while in San Diego. Instead, he was hospitalized and I never left the east coast. His gift is now letting us leave early tomorrow – together – for dinner and The Dark Knight..

He’s also been telling people at the hospital so various members of the staff have wished me well and given me some hugs since their schedules have them missing the actual day.

My old DC boss, Terri Cunningham, generously planned a surprise birthday breakfast for me at San Diego but those plans also had to be scuttled but the thought was certainly appreciated.

E-mails have been arriving for a few days once it cropped up on various social networking sites. A few cards have arrived from friends and family. All of this pleased me, but the celebration is a muted one given the gravity of the situation.

The cliché has it you’re as young as you feel. I certainly don’t feel like the stereotypical 50 year old. Can’t quite put an age to it, but I don’t feel old and barely think of myself as middle aged. (And yet, my brother, thinking it funny, sent me the application to the AARP.)

Thanks to all for the wishes, may there be fifty more opportunities.

21 comments

  • Kathleen David

    Happy Birthday Bob!

    From me, Ariel and Caroline.

    Enjoy Dark Knight just know that it is a dark film and I ain’t talking subject material *grin*

  • Kathleen David

    Happy Birthday Bob!

    From Me, Ariel and Caroline.

    Enjoy Dark Knight just know that it is a dark film and I ain’t talking subject material *grin*

  • As we said in email, happy birthday.

  • Tim Lynch

    Happy Birthday!

  • Nomi

    Happy birthday, Bob!

  • Happy birthday from Mike and Liz, Bob. Welcome to the club!

  • Bobby A

    Bob…

    The protocol is ” ol’ codger” then “ol’coot” , and finally “dirty ol’ man”…

    Welcome to “ol’ codger”- dom
    May you have a happy one…

    Bob Ahrens

  • Michael Schuster

    Happy birthday, Bob!

  • Tom Galloway

    Happy birthday from San Diego…um, can I have those pancakes you’re not eating? : -)

  • Melissa Singer

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    (I’m a little more than a year behind you, you old coot. One of my other friends was moaning yesterday about turning 46 and I got to tease her as a “youngster”.)

  • Susan O

    Happy Birthday, Bob! May I have even half your energy when I near that number, which is still a long way off. (Really. Stop laughing!) 😉

  • Marina O.

    Happy Birthday Bob!!! From me and Mom.

  • Tony

    Happy Birthday, first off! 🙂

    Totally random question; and you may not be the person to help me with this. But here goes:
    I know your name because I’m a lifelong comic book fan & reader (I’m 36 and have been reading every week, literally, since I was about 12), and of course, saw The Dark Knight at a midnight showing Thurs. night (opening night, technically). While I was on line (I was not dressed up or anything, in the least), a Random House editor or marketing person singled me out and invited me to take a Batman trivia challenge/game. She was with a podcast that was connected to Random House, to promote your book, The Definitive Batman Encyclopedia. I won the contest and won your book! 🙂 (It’s terrific! Great job!) She had me fill out a form with my name and address, but she did not get my email address, and she specificied that she would contact me to send me the link to the podcast so I could see it. (in the hubbub of the crowd, I believe I had only written my mailing address, not email) Then we were called to go into the theater for the screening. Can you see who at Del Rey/Random House was doing this podcast/trivia thing, so I can see the podcast with me playing this Batman trivia game? Sorry for the random question, as I said, but there it is. If you can forward this message to people at Random House/Del Rey, I would very much appreciate it. Cheers, and congrats on the Iron Man novels as well! (read about them here on your blog) Best, Tony Wolf

  • Tony

    Also, I don’t think I’m too daft with internet stuff, but I couldn’t find anywhere on this blog where your actual email address is located, so thus, I wrote the long comment. best, Tony Wolf

  • Hey Bob! I *knew* I forgot to say something in my texting to you today. 😀

    Megahugs to all, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  • Jeff Strell

    Happy birthday from me, Deb, and my mom. Yeah, 50’s just a number. It’s a pretty big number though! In any event I’m right behind you. I’ve got your back.

  • Paul Balze

    Happy 50th, Bob.

    I’ll be there myself in a little over five years. Geez.

  • Kerry Ward

    I like that ‘old codger’. Happy birthday Bob!!! 🙂 Kerry x x

  • Happy birthday! Coming right up behind you in five months. As a happy birthday present from me, give Deb a hug if you would and tell her she’s made me a Red Socks fan.

  • Tim Lynch

    “The protocol is ” ol’ codger” then “ol’coot” , and finally “dirty ol’ man”…”

    Then where does “geezer” come in?

    TWL

  • Belated Happy Birthday from this side of the ocean…
    best