December is the month for new calendars. I get free ones in the mail from a few of the charities I support. They usually come with a return envelope in case I want to make one last contribution before the tax year ends.
I consider calendars an art form. I have a friend who makes her own and sends me one every year. These I prize greatly. They are large enough to write on and have magnets so they can be fixed to my refrigerator. Every morning as I head for the milk, I get a bird’s eye view of the appointments that lie ahead. Its pages are entertaining, too, full of jokes and reminders of memorable dates like National Tie Your Shoe Laces Day… silly things to make me smile.
Calendars can be used as historical documents, as well. I have several of my pocket ones stashed in a drawer. If some investigator from “Law and Order” knocks on my door (please make it Sam Waterston) and asks me if I have an alibi for the afternoon of October 10th, 2005, I can look it up and tell him I was getting an eagle tattooed on my thigh (Just kidding.)
When I get a calendar with pictures, I flip to my birthday month first. Then I backtrack through the rest of the year. Usually, I like the pictures of the other months better than September, when I was born. Maybe the season is uninspiring. September marks the beginning of school, after all. If kids designed calendars, I could understand why the month might seem dull. But adults design calendars. As they are probably parents, September should have a celebratory feel. Little Tommy will be bugging his teachers rather than his parents for the next nine months.
Recently, I got an e-mail from a former student who is organizing the 45-year reunion of her high school class. She asked if I would be a surprise guest. Naturally, I was flattered and accepted at once. I’ve already put the date down on my new calendar. The reunion isn’t until September 2011, a few days after I turn 75. I hope I’m not being optimistic in thinking that after 45 years my former students will recognize me. I hope I’m not being too optimistic in thinking I’ll still be around.