Yes...today is my birthday. Actually, it is the 16th anniversary of my 35th birthday since I am perpetually 35. My husband's theory is that you're only as old as the best time of your life. Well his is 18 and mine is 35. Sooooo - if a man hits his sexual peak in his late teens and a woman hits hers in her mid thirties...um...you do the math. There's a reason we're still married after all these years people and trust me...it ain't my cooking.
Anyway, I've been thinking about my birthday a lot because...well...that's what I do. It's the only day of the year that belongs solely to me and I milk it for all it's worth. In fact, I don't have a birthDAY, I have a birthday week. During that week, whenever I don't want to do something or I do want to do something I say, "Aw come on! It's my birthday week." Works like a charm.
This all started because when I was a kid, your birthday was the only day you didn't have to do any chores. You got whatever you wanted for dinner (within reason of course) and you didn't even have to do the dishes! In a house where my mom expected the kids to do ALL of the housework from a very early age, this was a huge hairy deal.
When I got older it usually meant a party (my friends surprised me for my 29th...not my 30th...genius!), or a wonderful dinner out somewhere really special. I always had too much to drink but I remember the thoughtfulness and how everyone loved on me on my special day.
The hubs took me to Williamsburg, VA on my 30th and we stayed in the gorgeous Williamsburg Inn and had dinner in their formal dining room. I mean people...there was a harpist that played dinner music! We drank Crystal champagne and ate a scrumptious dinner. I don't remember much after that since I'm sure we went to the bar later and I got drunk. But what I do remember was fabulous!
After the kids came along and we had to curtail the lavish spending, I always used my birthday as an excuse to buy better wine and drink more of it. My birthday wine was usually a bottle of Dom Perignon or Far Niente Chardonnay. I only got one bottle of birthday wine since it was so expensive but don't worry - I bought several other cheap bottles to keep the expensive one company. And besides, after you've downed the first bottle, the cheap stuff is just fine.
I also never took my birthday off from work. I always took the day AFTER my birthday off. I knew I would be hung over and so I decided on a preemptive strike. It made sense at the time because I really celebrate my birthday. In fact, the one and only time I ever called in sick to work because of a hangover was the year I asked for martini glasses for my birthday and I bought a bottle of Stoli and a jar of olives. I thought my head was going to explode the next morning.
Let's be clear here. That was not when I was in my twenties...it was when I was in my 40's! Yeah...it wasn't pretty...not pretty at all...
But sobriety hasn't stopped the celebration - it's only changed it...for the better if you ask me. I mean at least now I can remember my birthday.
For instance, last year I turned 50. I knew no one was going to throw me a party so I decided to throw one for myself. It was a blast! I invited all my friends and told them to bring me presents and they did! We had great food, a beautiful cake, wine and beer for everyone else and sodas for me and the kids. I loved it. And best of all, no hangover and I remember every beautiful moment and every single birthday wish.
This year is a little more low key. Lunch with the office crew in a new restaurant in our city. Wonderful wishes from my friends via FaceBook or text. A conversation with my best friend in MD who I miss dearly. Some very beautiful words from my daughter (who makes me cry every year...but in a good way). And then just a quiet dinner at home with my family. A little American Idol and Criminal Minds and then off to bed.
I did buy myself a fierce new purse (it's orange!) and some new clothes and the twins sent the hubs and I to see Trace Adkins last week as an early gift. One of my BFF's gave me a tart burner that I wanted and we're likely going to get new tattoos together on Saturday. All in all a great day and I still have 3 more days of my week to go!
Thank you keeping me sober so that I can REALLY enjoy this day. You rock!
The Birthday Girl