13 December 2007
am now officially
37 (as of a couple of days ago, that is). I wish I could say that it was a magic-filled day but it was sort of... not. more like a series of small fiascos, many of which I am already laughing about. not so funny as the day was unfolding, but then I have always had such unrealistic expectations when it comes to birthdays.
unpleasantness to avoid next year (if at all possible):
1. multiple temper tantrums thrown by ezra (or anyone, for that matter).
2. coffee houses where wireless internet cannot be counted on to work properly.
3. entire mornings spent driving all over the place in the car.
4. thrifting while angry. one should never thrift while angry. because I'll tell you, no one wins. you won't find one single thing worth buying and then you will have spent this huge chunk of time there and you will feel like you've got to come away with something to show for it and when you can't find anything, not even ONE THING, the shop (and its entire contents) will begin to look monumentally depressing. you will feel overwhelmed by the amount of crap in the world and how driven we are as a culture to consume. this will make you feel sad. and then you will begin to feel sluggish. this is so not how you want to feel while thrifting. most importantly, not how you want to feel on your birthday.
5. ruined batches of frosting. that's right, I screwed up the frosting for the red velvet cake I bake each year. and I never do that, never never never. my cake is a little bit of perfection each year, no lie. but I was talking on the phone and I wasn't paying full attention and added two sticks of butter to the bowl instead of one and all the time I was mixing it, I was thinking, why does this taste so salty? and then when I finished icing the cake, I wondered why there was so much frosting left. which is when it occurred to me that maybe I'd messed it up somewhere along the way. which is exactly what happened. but the frosting was already on the cake and we were set to leave for dinner in a matter of minutes. what could I do? making the frosting is sort of a big ordeal that requires carefully cooking milk and flour together at just the right temperature and allowing just the right amount of time for it to cool before adding it to the creamed butter/sugar/vanilla mixture. later on that evening as we were eating the cake, ava told me that the frosting 'sort of kind of made her feel achy inside'. well, okay then. enough to make me want to scrape that icing right off the cake and start all over again. because I only make this stinking cake once a year and I sure don't want it to make anyone feel all 'achy inside'.
6. mail that contains bad news.
7. children that cry all the way through the singing of the happy birthday song, the blowing out of the candles, and the eating of the cake. actually, ezra started in with the crying and whining shortly after dinner when he realized it was not, in fact, his birthday and that there would be no robot cake. even though we'd been telling him this all day long. he cried big fat sloppy tears and begged us to please bring out the robot cake and let me tell you, it is a difficult thing to blow out the candles and make any sort of wish when your child is crying like that. it was then that I decided to call it a night, to put the day out of its misery. I said goodnight and got into bed and that was that. asleep by ten o'clock. which is really a big deal for me since I am rarely in bed before midnight. I don't even remember putting pajamas on. I just wanted the day to be over.
well, okay. I know, nothing really along the lines of major disaster. just a string of unpleasantness that made for a less than desirable birthday. that said, I do realize how fortunate I am, I do. I am somewhere beyond thankful for the life that I have and would not trade it for anything, ever. this must be said, lest I be mistaken for someone who is not in love with her life. and even though the day did not play out as I'd imagined, there were many moments of shinyhappy. now that I think about it, now that I've really had time to think about it-- I think maybe the good outweighs the bad. and I'm feeling a little silly about how much I've yammered on about the bad.
pleasantness to be duplicated (in some way, shape or form) for next year:
1. donuts with chocolate icing and sprinkles for breakfast.
2. coffee houses that play james brown in the morning.
3. handmade cards from the kids.
4. the buying of presents for yourself (in this case, vintage ribbon that will be sewn onto a camera strap) with money sent to you by your mom and dad (thank you). and the dreaming of what books you might buy with that certain gift card (thank you, you know who you are).
5. phone calls from family and friends. and brothers who call while they're walking on the street so that you can hear the sound of city in the background, the sound of cars and horns and sirens, the sounds of new york. brothers who attempt to cheer you up with free-style raps that last for two whole blocks of walking. which is the kind of thing that makes you want to smother your cel phone with gratitude.
6. handmade gifts from friends.
7. hand-drawn certificates from your better half.
8. dinner with the mister at places like lovely hula hands. tiny candlelit tables by windows that overlook the street below, lemony sugary drinks like the lovely hula hoop, foccacia bread that melts in your mouth, polenta to die for and uninterrupted conversation. and friends that babysit your kids. even when it's a school night and they have two kids of their own to take care of (amy and craig, thank you so much).
9. paperwhites that wait until your birthday to bloom. each day I've been watching, eagerly anticipating the first bloom and then the little guy went and opened up on my birthday.
10. red velvet cake, even when it's ruined.
okay, so yes. the good far outweighed the bad, I can see that now. thank you to all who have gone to any trouble to make my birthday a little bit magic and who put up with my whining. you know that I love you for it.
oh yes, and the list. the old list has been reviewed and the new list is coming. I am beginning to warm up to 37, I really am.