As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a birthday last week. Apparently it has made me not just older but actually a doddering idiot.
I received a number of birthday cards. Given the uncertainty of the mails, the senders had posted them at varying times in an attempt to reach me on The Day. One client who was going out of town sent his a week early. Others were received the day before, the day after, or even later. All were appreciated, but the one I received today resulted in some consternation.
It was from my brother in Cincinnati, mailed the day before my birthday. It was, as usual, funny (he always finds the funniest cards—must have a secret source). It made humorous reference to the forgetfulness of old age, and I was about to email him to say that apparently he was so forgetful that he had forgotten he’d already sent me a card, received the day before my birthday.
But when I went to get that card, I discovered that it was not from my brother at all but from someone entirely different!
I am entirely unable to account for my thinking it was from my brother. The return address is clearly Mobile, not Cincinnati, and the handwriting is entirely different from his. Moreover, unlike his usual cards, this one was not funny, a fact which I noted with some surprise. Apparently that surprise so threw me that I didn’t even read the signature on the card.
I find this whole experience unfathomable. It would have some deep psychological implications about the power of expectations to cloud one’s objectivity if there had been any reason for me to expect that this card was from that particular brother as opposed to one of the others, or from anyone else in the world, but there was no reason to expect that. So the only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that I am becoming senile. Stay tuned for further deterioration!