Column: Not much ado over my birthday

• Originally published in Kane County Chronicle on July 28, 2010

The older I get, the less attention my birthdays receive.

I turned 29 on Sunday, and it wasn’t much different from a typical summer Sunday. I did laundry for most of the day, played a few video games and went into the city to watch the Cubs play. My wife and I then left the game early to get home in time so that I could sleep and wouldn’t have to zombie my way through work the next day.

It was a nice day, though, and my wife got us some wonderful Cubs tickets. I was in the same section as actor Vince Vaughn and mere seats away from Elburn-native Eric Ferguson from the Eric & Kathy Morning Show and Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.

I’m sure there’s a “three men walked into a bar” joke there somewhere.

It was fun, but it certainly wasn’t the “everybody needs to celebrate my existence” type of day that childhood birthdays lead us to expect.

My mother, on the other hand, celebrated her 50th birthday a few weeks ago with a huge shebang in southern Indiana where she lives. My brother flew up from Orlando; I drove down from here. And we had a huge party in the backyard with at least 50 of her closest friends and family. We had contests, a huge cake and much merriment.

It felt like a birthday.

It’s not like I didn’t have a chance to birthday it up, though. My wife tried her best to make my birthday feel like one.

She asked me if I wanted a party. Nope.

She asked me if I wanted a cake. Nope.

She asked me if I wanted a birthday dinner. Nope.

(I’m actually starting to depress myself here. Maybe I should have said yes to one of those requests. I feel like a curmudgeon now.)

And I also believe it’s the first time that nobody sang “Happy Birthday” to me on my birthday.


Next year, I’ll celebrate 30 years on this planet. Perhaps I should follow my mother’s lead and throw a big party for myself with contests, cake and – of course – much merriment.

It certainly beats the alternative – doing laundry. And if I’m lucky, maybe Vince, Eric and Tom will show up there, too. Before walking into a bar, of course.

• • •

Speaking of cake’s best friend – ice cream – sports reporter Kevin Druley brought up an interesting point the other day in the office.

His point involved Dippin’ Dots – the frozen ice cream balls they’ve been selling at theme parks since at least the early 1990s that are advertised as the ice cream of the future.

Shouldn’t they be the ice cream of the present, by now? They’ve been the ice cream of the future for about 20 years. How much longer do we have to wait for this future to happen?

• • •

OK, enough about birthday cakes and ice cream of the future. It looks like the Geneva library has picked out where it would like its new digs to be located. You can read Brenda Schory’s story inside for more details.

Now, we’ll just have to wait and see when the library thinks it can get a referendum passed to actually make it all come together. This fall should be a telling election when it comes to library referendums, and you better believe that Geneva will keep a close eye on how the St. Charles library referendum does.

This election essentially could be a Groundhog Day test for Geneva. If the St. Charles library referendum passes or does well, spring could be right around the corner. However, if it flops, well, it might be a very long winter of waiting.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at


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