Happy birthday to me!
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Happy birthday to me!

I have a confession. I used to read my horoscope. Religiously. I would check my horoscope in the Bergen Record every day. I am a Scorpio. It was always more or less the same message. “You will get angry with someone close to you. You will find love in the most unexpected of places. Forgiveness will not come easily unless you let it.” Ahh, words to live by.

When I started dating Husband #1 and confessed this guilty pleasure to him, he was dumbfounded. “You can’t read your horoscope! That is like idol worship.”

And since I was so smitten with this adorable bald guy with no teeth and glasses of course I stopped reading it. Because Jews are not superstitious people. We don’t believe in things like horoscopes.

Yet we have our mezuzahs checked and then, sometimes, the person checking the mezuzahs says, “Oh, look at this — the reason why this and this happened is because of this blah blah blah.” And then you end up spending hundreds of dollars on the “very, very best” mezuzah. Yes, we aren’t a superstitious people.

It’s like when people post pictures and posts on social media about how perfect and in love they are — and then a week later, they are getting divorced. You never want anyone to give you an ayin hara, the evil eye. This is why I always write, “poo, poo, poo” after a post, because my grandmother taught me that it keeps the evil eye away.

Laugh all you want, we all need to believe in something.

Anyway, after my birthday this past week, I posted something about how grateful I am and how simple and wonderful my birthday was. Now, last year, after my big 50th birthday celebration, I needed root canal, fell out of bed, and had my first kidney stone. Good times. The day after my birthday this year, because I need to celebrate all week, my hockey mom friends came over for pizza and laughter. We were having a wonderful time, and then Husband #1 came home.

He asked if I had made his dinner yet (he is so demanding). My friends were getting ready to leave, so I went into the kitchen to make Husband #1 his gourmet turkey sandwich. Do you see where this is going? Sharp knife meets finger. It wasn’t pretty. (Don’t worry. Somehow he figured out how to slice the rest of the roll and make his stupid sandwich.) One of my friends is a doctor. She had just left the house, only to be summoned back to check out the crime scene. “Yup, you are going to need stitches.”

I was not happy as I have never had stitches before, so I decided to go to my neighbor/friend for a second opinion. “Yup, you are going to need stitches,” he said. And then he washed off the boo-boo while I was bleeding into his kitchen sink and his lovely wife and son watched as I had a temper tantrum and screamed in pain.

Yup, more good times. And off to urgent care we went.

I had never been to this particular urgent care, the other one I went to ultimately gave me my money back because they diagnosed me with cellulitis when I really had tendonitis (are there Yelp reviews for urgent care facilities?) so I was a little hesitant. Anyway, we walked into the place and I had to write why I was there on an iPad screen. Wanting to be seen sooner rather than later (I am 51 after all and need my sleep) I wrote, “Cut my finger off.” Suddenly, three guys from the back ran out to see the finger in question. “Where is it?” they asked excitedly? “Um, it is still attached to my hand. I just wanted to be seen quicker.” Well, that was an experiment gone terribly awry. Three hours later, I had four stitches. Happy birthday to me.

I share this story because I am bringing it back to the whole superstition thing. Did someone read my Facebook post about my uneventful and lovely birthday and say, “Man, I hope something bad happens to her!” Do I believe that? Does anyone actually have that power? See, those are the hard-hitting questions that make me the journalist that I am.

In conclusion, may good fortune follow you wherever you go, and the next time your spouse/partner/significant other asks you to make a sandwich for him/her/them, just say no.

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck still maintains that she had a wonderful 51st birthday and hopes that the stitches is the absolute worst thing that happens to her all year. Amen.

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