The Big 2-5

It’s my birthday.

I’m having a little trouble here, because I was going to write all about how old I feel, and how a quarter of my life is over, and how I’m going to have wrinkles and grey hairs and even some whiskers that require special tweezer action…and while all that is true, I don’t feel like writing about it. I am, astonishingly, not all that sad about it.

I’m having a good birthday.

When I was little, the way we celebrated birthdays in my family was you got to eat whatever you wanted for dinner, Mom made you whatever cake you requested (complete with whatever ice cream you chose) and you didn’t have to do any chores. At some point in the day, Grama would call and before you even said hello, she would have her whole house singing Happy Birthday at you over the phone. You would just smile and blush, and remind yourself to thank her for the cards she sent (always a day early, always homemade, and with increasing amounts of cash in them). You never really got presents from your friends; they would sometimes buy you lunch, or an ice cream from the Dairy Barn, but you never expected anything from them.

The way I celebrate my birthday now hasn’t really changed from back then: Mom still makes the special dinner (salmon and macaroni and cheese, and I so can not wait), makes the cake (white cake with strawberry cream layers and lemon frosting) and ice cream (sherbet—lactose intolerance is not your friend). Most of my family members have all committed to my birthday party this weekend, and seem generally happy I’m alive. I even got some gifts, which I absolutely did not expect.

Birthday presents are always a surprise to me—it’s not like Christmas, when you know there’ll be presents. It feels weird to get free stuff just because you were born. I think getting born was enough free stuff all on its own; I never really needed a giant stuffed dog on top of it. I don’t remember many birthday parties from when I was a kid; I usually had more family than I did friends. Which isn’t sad, before you get all weepy on me. I had—and still have, I guess—the freedom to choose friends carefully, since I was born into an immense throng of people who loved me already. I got to pick people I actually wanted to spend time with, in those five damn minutes I was actually alone. It made my friends more special.

And it is because of these awesome friends that I cannot write a tetchy, whining entry today. Here’s what they have done for me thus far:

1. Got up for work and found birthday card from my Aunt Sue in the bathroom next to my makeup. [Every birthday card I have gotten so far has prominently featured coffee; I think my friends are trying to tell me I have a problem. They love me!] The card was not only funny, but had a JC Penney gift card enclosed with it, that I may buy new clothes. All this before I even brushed my teeth.

2. Scored a free latte at Starbucks, and everyone there wished me a happy birthday.

3. Got to work, where CD and Jackie both wished me a happy birthday as soon as they saw me. They have better memories than I do.

4. Jackie made brownies (and she makes way better brownies than I do, too).

5. My oldest sister gave me a shout-out on her blog, in particular, calling me pretty and not old (See? I told you I read it).

6. Reserved the very last lanes at the bowling alley for enormous birthday bash. Also, got discounted price on the deposit for a birthday present (you rock, Colonial).

7. The sister I work with bought me a sandwich for lunch. [Somehow, when I woke up this morning, I got the feeling I wouldn’t need to pack food today… a premonition come true. Now I have massive full tummy, like happy cat.]

8. Had three more people RSVP for the aforementioned BADDEST PARTY EVER this weekend. (“Black Velvet,” Jackie! WOO!)

9. Another co-worker made me this cake.

It’s a Coffee Cake.

It’s a pun! It’s a tasty dessert item! It’s a pun AND a tasty dessert item!

So, how in the world can I be sad? Also, do I need a twelve-stepper for this caffeine addiction, or is it still “quirky” at this level? I’m beginning to wonder.


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