Annamaria on Monday
Being of Italian descent, I was on track, as baby girls of my persuasion usually were, to be named after one of my grandmothers. So I would likely have been called Sabina Maria or Concetta after my maternal and paternal grandmoms. But when I debuted on March 17th, my parents chose Patricia for me.*
* (An aside: Annamaria Alfieri is a pen name. More about that next week.)
The only drawback for me has been that some Irish people have considered it a travesty that a Sicilian-Neapolitan-American should have chosen “their” day to be born. They think only people like my friend and fellow St. Patrick’s Day birthday holder Terrence Patrick O’Brien deserve to be born on March 17th. In the Catholic school cultural rivalries of my youth, I had to withstand a great deal of resentment—some of it not so benign. My brother Andy and my friend Danny Gubitosa leapt to my defense in a play-yard altercation one March 17th by claiming that St. Patrick was Italian—an assertion that only further enraged my detractors.
|Coat of Arms, Murcia|
This year's birthday is a significant number for me. Here is a picture from my last such birthday. The women with me are life-long friends. At the party, the friends and family around me added up to 384 years of friendship. My mother always said I was born on a lucky day. Lots of things about my life have borne that out: Long and dear friendships being the most precious of my blessings.