My Father, the Pharmacist

Since 1988, it seems that November 13, my father’s birthday, has been quite neglected as a day of celebration. I suppose that’s due to my arrival, but a day later, on November 14.

Today, he turns the very ripe age of 55.

Sometimes, we go months without talking — not out of rage, or anything, but because we’re both workaholics, and finding the time to chat about nothing just to say we’ve communicated recently can be difficult. I talk to my mom multiple times daily, but our relationship is different, and our conversations are much shorter.

My dad is a pharmacist, and so I tend to call him more frequently with questions about ibuprofen dosage or allergy medicine more than anything else. Especially when my brother the med student isn’t available to answer my calls. The other day though, my dad and I had a conversation about business and it was a moment in which I felt truly validated as an adult, despite being the baby in the family.

Our conversations these days may revolve more around me trying to explain that social media management doesn’t mean sitting on Facebook/Twitter all day, but if it means we can talk for 10 minutes or more without peripheral interference, then our father-daughter relationship grows that much stronger.

So dad, happy birthday. I love you (and your fascination with The Purple Gang, antiques and pawn shop-related television), and wish you a birthday filled of health and happiness.

Banner Happy

A while back, my nearest and dearest friend took part in a design contest that involved designing a Michigan-centric postcard. While supporting her work, I stumbled upon the work of another Michigan-born, now California-based designer, Angela Duncan. I loved everything about Angela’s designs, so much so that I sent her work to a family friend who owns a rental property in her home town of Beulah, MI.

At a certain point, I decided to invest a bit more in my blog, which meant giving its banner a facelift. Angela took my weak direction and came up with designs that articulated what I couldn’t — an aesthetic that was part kitsch, part Kirsch.

Courtesy of Angela Duncan

She included the above design proofs on her site here, and if you like her work at all, you should consider hiring her, too. She was beyond easy to work with, her work is creative and clean, and I could not be happier with the end result.

Natural Born Schmoozer

Since moving to New York, I’ve had several “Streisand moments” — by this, I make playful reference to the SNL skit “Coffee Talk” with Mike Myers as Linda Richman, who lived a life according to Streisand. When his character finally met Streisand, she proclaimed that the moment was, “Just like butter.” And after meeting and spending the day with Henry Winkler while helping promote his new book I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River, I can happily report that it, too, was like butter.

He was even [unsurprisingly] kind enough to sign a book for my dad!

Protocol

The Kirsch family is all about order, protocol, and numbers. My dad’s parents have three sons and ten grandchildren. Because the sons and daughters-in-law don’t typically get along (something that they still, after years of drama, find ways to rhetorically gloss over), most family celebrations are separate. As a result, the real thing that seems to make occasions special for my Kirsch grandparents is the protocol phone call.

Last Tuesday was my Bubby Zita’s 78th birthday. Before I could squeeze in my birthday greeting (minutes from being belated), my grandmother informed me, in her predictable nature, that I was the final of her ten grandchildren to call and wish her a happy birthday.

For some, this treatment would breed resentment. For me, however, I delight in their predictable, competitive nature. I’ve stopped caring what order I call in, because either way, I know they’ll use it (the fact that they heard from all of their grandkids) to brag to their friends, and I’ll go on, guilt-free, until their anniversary in February, or my grandfather’s birthday in March.