Semi-sincere Tuesday Questions, It’s My Party edition

So, as it happens I have the same birthday (different year) as Madonna. I used to be a devoted fan of hers, and this fact filled me with preposterous levels of happiness whenever I happened to think of it.

Anyhow, with birthdays on the mind I have a somewhat less stupid question than usual — what’s the best birthday present you ever received?

For me, it’s a tie between two. The first was for my 21st birthday, when a friend looked all over heaven and earth to find me a Snoopy Sno Cone Machine, a toy I had yearned for all through childhood but never got. (Certain adults in my life at the time have since maintained that I never went to the trouble to ask for one, which is plausible [knowing me].) The second was for my 30th, which came on the heels of my moving away from Manhattan to a much less cosmopolitan locale. The Better Half gave me a package of art museum memberships, tickets to see Bonnie Raitt, and dinner at a really fantastic restaurant, which made the move much more palatable.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. I’m going through my databanks and not finding anything… the big problem for me is that ‘bou and I are DINKS and so, pretty much, every day is a birthday.

    I remember little things like being carded at the liquor store on my 25th (or was that 26?) birthday and saying “check the date!” and the lady nodding and smiling and giving me a free corkscrew.

  2. The definition of the best gift being something you you would never buy for yourself or would never think to buy for yourself, it would have to be a GPS. I don’t know how I ever lived without one.

  3. Hey whoa, the 16th is my birthday too! This fact will now fill me with preposterous levels of joy from now on. Unless it’s just your pseudonymous birthday…

  4. I’ve a musical birthday too — Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Julio Iglesias, Bruce Springsteen.

    Among the best birthday presents I’ve got were my Kindle (can’t live without it anymore), a bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1969, and a 2,000-year-old Roman terracotta lamp (with a couple old coins of Vespasian and Titus thrown in). There have been other very good gifts too; I have been blessed by thoughtful and generous family members, friends, and lovers. Thanks for the opportunity to recall all those things.

    Happy birthday to Russell Saunders and KenB.

    • Musically, I get Bo Diddley, Paul Stokey and half of the Monkees, but athletically Tiger Woods and LeBron James.
      I was really upset to find out that I also share with Sean Hannity.

      Being so close to Christmas I never do much special for the day, I did get the Beatles complete box set last year, though.

  5. I’ve got two of the earliest Holy Roman Emperors: Charles the Bald and Charles the Fat. I am very grateful that since the days of my illustrious predecessors we have invented surnames.

  6. Alles gut zum Geburtstag Herr/Doktor/ Saunders! Sie mussen ein grosse Doktor sein. Tschuss.

  7. O/t: thanks for the congrats, Dr.! It’s my second ride on Andy’s coattails — it’s a bit bumpy but the view is great.

    The best birthday gift I’ve ever received, however, might have been for my latest on the 2nd of this month. My ladyfriend presented me with 2 of my favorite pictures of my dogs, fitted and framed to perfection. They now hang proudly on the bedroom wall.

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