Monday, August 26, 2019

Middle Child's Day Post Mortem

An anecdotal analysis. 

     I’m back from my mandatory apr├Ęs Middle Child’s Day break, freshly cynical, brimming with uncertainty, and ready to resume my irregularly scheduled posts. I must admit I was a little disappointed when on August 10 -- two full days before Middle Child’s Day -- I began seeing “Happy Middle Child’s Day” tweets popping up.

     I'd like to think these people were so excited to celebrate, they just couldn’t wait. But I know better. After all my hard work, they still had no idea when Middle Child’s Day was! I suppose I could blame it on a Russian disinformation campaign designed to confuse the public about the actual date of Middle Child’s Day. Sure, it’s disheartening. But at least they were close. That’s progress, I guess. And as I detailed in my previous post, we kinda almost sorta had a parade. That was a misstep in the right direction, right?
     Still, I wasn’t sure what to expect when the big day arrived. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover #MiddleChildDay being tagged on tweets all day long.

     Even Hallmark tweeted!

     And while it’s not a Middle Child’s Day greeting card -- yet -- at least I know we’re on their calendar. Word of my crusade has even reached all the way to Alaska, as reported by Liz Raines at KTVA in Anchorage.

     I don’t have any hard numbers, but I can tell you after years of meticulously monitoring Middle Child’s Day mentions on social media, there has been a significant increase since I started my crusade to raise awareness back in 2012. I don’t want to take all the credit, but what else could explain it? And since nobody else is going to take responsibility, I might as well.
     Of course, there were the mandatory tweets the day after from people professing to have forgotten Middle Child’s Day...


    ...but I'm not falling for it. I’m pretty sure they actually knew it was Middle Child’s Day and were just waiting all day for it to be over so they could say they forgot it the next day. Hardee har har. That’s pretty twisted. And not exactly original. My friend Terri Stacy at WIBC in Indianapolis likes to do that every year.
     Then there are those who genuinely forgot. Like my sister. Yes, the younger sibling of the founder of the International Middle Child Union. The person who is almost singlehandedly (with a big assist from my parents) responsible for me being a Middle Child in the first place. Yes, her.

     It’s the algorithm's fault? Is that the social media equivalent of the dog eating your homework!? Pretty weak. Still, it’s better than my older brother, who did not acknowledge the day at all.
     A more troubling issue is all the Middle Children who were unaware it was Middle Child’s Day, like my nephew.

          At least he found out in time. But still, if we’re not going to remember our own holiday, well, then -- I give up!! But no.
     I will never give up.
     I’m like the Don Quixote of birth order. This is my quest. My impossible dream.
     Am I just tilting at windmills? For sure. But these challenges only strengthen my resolve. The struggle continues. I’m dogged, determined, and eager to embrace another year of being overlooked and underappreciated.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

The Middle Child's Day Parade That Almost Was

     Pittsburgh was a pipe dream... I should’ve known nothing would come of it when a writer from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette contacted me about my effort to find a host city for a Middle Child’s Day parade. “I figure we could have the parade on Centre Avenue, which goes through the Middle Hill,” wrote columnist Brian O’Neill. Middle Hill? Centre Avenue? It sounded too good to be true -- which of course it was. So I moved on. Like water under one of the 446 bridges over the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers. I refuse to dwell on it. I’ll keep my expectations in check.
     And then the phone rings...
     “Hey, it’s Jen & Frank from WXLO Worcester/Boston,” says the made for morning radio baritone on the other end of the line. “We want to talk to you about a possible host city for your parade.” Surrrre you do. I’m no sucker! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice -- I should probably call them back. So I do.

     Wow, they really sound like they mean it. This is huge! I mean, this station is in a Nielsen Top 10 rated radio market. They’ve got musical intros and a logo and everything. Alright, just calm down. This is probably all some kind of Morning Show prank. They didn’t really call the Mayor of the second biggest city in New England, right?
     Holy crap, they did!
     And, what what -- the Mayor is a Middle Child? Are you friggin’ kidding me!? I don’t want to get my hopes up, but it’s getting real hard not to. And then I get this text:

      Wait, are they checking my availability? Is this really happening? Should I be Googling directions to Worcester? And do they actually think I have someplace better to be on Middle Child’s Day?? Okay, okay -- I gotta play it cool. Make them think there might be other contenders. Ya know, like they’re not the only game in town. Play a little hard to get. So I text them back:

     And then... crickets. Radio silence. The Worcester Middle Child’s Day Parade is over before it even started.
     I don’t blame Jen & Frank. They gave it their best shot, but what more could I expect from two non-Middles? (Actually, Frank is a Middle Child, and didn’t even know it. He told me he was a first born, but I later found out he has an older sister and younger siblings! “I’m the first born male,” he explained. Just another classic case of M.C.D.D. -- Middle Child Denial Disorder.) I also don’t blame the Mayor, although it remains to be seen how his Middle Child base will react to this news.
     It was probably Russian meddling. Putin loves messing with Mid Kids. Or maybe it was all the fake news on social media.
     We got close.
     Real close.
     Still, like too many Middle Children have experienced too many times before -- there was no cigar.
     But it was definitely progress. A step in the right direction. And after all, isn’t that all a parade really is -- a series of steps in the right direction? With a few balloons thrown in. And a crowd.
     So I prefer to think our parade has been -- postponed. Yeah, postponed. Sure, probably indefinitely. But it’s definitely not over.


NEW Middle Child's Day Greeting Cards

     I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you're not the first born or the last born, you're in the middle. Still, I am constantly amazed at the number of people who have no idea that they're a Middle Child. I wrote about this in a previous post, “outed” Sarah Jessica Parker as a Mid Kid, and have even given this condition a name: Middle Child Denial Disorder. Since M.C.D.D. has apparently reached epidemic proportions, this year I've created a special Middle Child's Day greeting card, for those poor souls who don't even know they're a Middle Child.

Also NEW for 2019:

to see the entire collection of Middle Child's Day Greeting cards.


Being a Middle Child is No Game

     But if it was, it might be one of these:

Three players or more required.

This is not your brother's board game. Oh wait, it probably is!

Where the cards are always stacked against you.

When it comes to being overlooked, we're not playing around!


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Middle Child's Day Playlist

Celebrate the big day with the very best of “Middle” music.

       August 12 is Middle Child's Day -- less than a week away! It's the one day of the year when millions of Middle Children get to be center stage and soak up the spotlight. All that attention -- it's music to a Mid Kid's ears.
     If only it were so.
     Sadly, that sorely needed attention won't happen for most Middle Children. Our namesake day will, quite ironically, go by unnoticed. But they can't take away our music!
     Get your Middle Child's Day playlist started with these memorable Middle melodies:

1. “Stuck in the Middle With You” (Stealers Wheel)

2. “The Middle” (Zed, Marren Morris, Grey)

3. “Smack Dab in the Middle” (Janice McClain)

4. “The Middle Child Anthem” (Parody & Son)

5. “Middle Child” (Jack Maynard)

6. “Middle Child” (J.Cole)

7. “Middle Child Parody” (Parody & Son)

8. “The Middle” (Jimmy Eat World)

9. “Smack Dab in the Middle” (Ray Charles)

10. “Happy Birthday Middle Child” (Palmyra Delran)

11. “Boss of Me/Malcolm in the Middle Theme” (They Might Be Giants)