“Jenny! You are right! My dad is a dragon,” my cousin yelled from across the table.

“That means he can’t be turning 70. He is 72!” I beamed like an idiot.

I have a special talent for broadcasting other people’s frivolous blunders at the most inopportune moments. We had just sat down at my uncle’s 70th birthday party banquet.

My sister and I flew down to Los Angles last weekend to celebrate the tail end of Chinese New Year with our parents, and our cousin flew from New York to host her father’s 70th birthday party that same weekend. It was an awesome affair to see all our extended family that concentrated in Southern California.

My mind wandered off from the festivity and went on to do simple math instead. My uncle is one of the three dragons in our family. Since this is dragon year, he can not be 70. There are twelve signs, so your sign comes around every twelve years. His age has to be in multiple of 12 during his own Chinese zodiac sign.

I have spent many afternoons this past few years helping my children with grade school math. I have become extremely good at simple math. He has to be turning 72 at his 70th birthday banquet.

My cousin’s grand gesture as a good daughter frazzled…her party is tardy by two years.

Luckily, we are a family of good humored people. We laughed, and ordered our elders Tsingtao Beer.

It was a fine banquet. My usually stern faced uncle looked visibility happy. He said that he had never celebrated his birthdays before. He was just happy to have a party. Candles that displayed the wrong numbers did not tamper with his high spirits.

70th Birthday Banquet

That night, my sister and I crawled into bed well after midnight. We usually share a bed when we visit our parents together, just like when we were little. I was very sleepy, but we fell into a deep philosophical conversation about age and birthdays.

“Our uncle said that he never celebrated his birthdays before. Could this really be true?” me.

“Probably. Maybe he can’t remember. Because all the cool birthdays happen early in life.” sister.

“Like our kids’ birthdays?”me.

“No. I mean, you look forward to turning 16. Because you can get your student driver license.” sister.

“True.” me.

“Then 18. Because you get to be an adult.” Sister.

“But then you realize that 18 is not quite it. What you really need is to be 21.” sister.

“Yeah! 21!” me, alert briefly.

“But then, they won’t rent you a car until you are 25. So, you WANT to be 25.” sister.

“After 25, there is no more good age to look forward to.” sister.

“You are such a downer.” me…..“You are forgetting senior discounts.”

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Category: Humor, Parents
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