Today is The Doc’s Birthday. He is a relatively quiet man who isn’t really big on celebrations. But like everyone else, he likes to be remembered.
When I met The Doc, he was a manager at the Data Centre of the company where I worked. The Doc taught me how to use the computer terminal, which was a console with a green screen and amber text. My job was to write a play by play of the sales contest results I was administering as part of the Marketing Department. Our resident Sales Guru had enlisted my talents and introduced me to The Doc. That was back in the days when Data Centres were often independent buildings and computers had large rooms of their own with locked doors and air conditioning. These days, our smart phones have more computing power but can still be sidetracked by the heat if we are not careful.
It was my first introduction to computers and I found it magical in a way. The same way I found the CMYK printing process magical, although both these things had required a lot of research and work to develop. It occasionally makes me sad now days that we take all this technology for granted without any thoughts of the many men and women who spent years making these amazing things happen. There is no more magic. But back then, when The Doc first showed me how to use the terminal, the average person had no idea what computers could do; and, to me, the concept was electrifying, comparable to an orgasm. The Doc changed my life.
It was also back in the days when I lived in a basement apartment with a small stove and a bar fridge. When we started dating, The Doc would show up with all kinds of ingredients to produce an excellent steak and Caesar salad. I still don’t know how he did it given the limited resources in my kitchen. Again, in his quiet way, The Doc changed my life. We moved in together in August 1986
Almost thirty-five years later, here we are. Me a little bitchier and him a little grumpier. We sometimes take each other for granted and sometimes forget the finer aspects of our personalities that made us a couple to begin with but then something will happen to remind us and we get back on track. We actually faired very well this crazy year that everyone found so difficult given the fact that 2019 had been a bumpy one for us. Water under the bridge so-to-speak. This 2020 season, we enjoyed our quiet Christmas with our turkey for two, leftovers for two, turkey pot pie for two and frozen turkey pot pie for two sometime in the future. We really did.
For his birthday, I usually take The Doc out to a nice restaurant. We have discovered that during that relaxed period between Christmas and New Years, both the service and the food at our local restaurants are at their best. December, is not only for Christmas in our house. It is the month of all three of our birthdays, starting with mine on the fifteenth and ending with JT’s on the thirty-first. In the past, there was always a lot of cooking involved to celebrate our December days so going out to a restaurant in the middle for The Doc’s day was a bit of a reprieve.
This year as I see all my Facebook memories of The Doc’s past birthday meals, I have to admit that this introvert is really missing our dinner out. The Doc and I have been known to create some delicious meals in our time, but by December 28 of any given year my focus is shot and the chance of me fucking up a meal is high. So today As I pop the spinach and leek manicotti in the oven and consider making a salad, I do it with my fingers crossed. Whatever happens, it is still a special birthday. And there is some leftover pot pie in the fridge if everything else goes bust. In the meantime Happy Birthday Doug. You really did change my life.
Thank you for reading.
Photo: Jenn Stone