Growing up, I always put a lot of pressure on myself when it came time to give gifts. Even when I was young enough that none was expected, I still put in a lot of thought and always came up with something to give my loved ones, usually wrapping up an item that was already in use by my parents or siblings. My brother once received a Dick Clark Gold album that we listened to all the time. My dad got his stapler from his desk. My mom was gifted her own slippers one Christmas.
More than just an item for unwrap, I liked (I still like) for the gifts I give to demonstrate some measure of thought. That’s a lot of heat for a kid, though, so I always appreciated when my target logged a thematic obsession of sorts. My mom, for example, was obsessed with Michael Bolton. A lot of moms can boast that, I’m sure. For about two years, for every occasion, I knew that I could get my mom a Michael Bolton album and she would love it. I was fortunate that very soon after I had exhausted all of those options, including his first ever album released under his given name Michael Bolotin (yeah, that’s true), our home made the switch to CDs. Here they come again, momma! J
Having grown up in that environment, I came to fancy Bolton, as well. By the way, some of his early stuff has a much harder rock edge that you would recognize from his softer, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?” days.
Anyway, I am not ashamed to admit that I own multiple Bolton tracks, including one of his most recent (Warning: the audio is clean, but if you can read lips, you might see something you don’t like):
Happy birthday, Michael. How can you not love this guy?