The Best Birthday Ever
Let's face it; a birthday is a day that I want to feel special just like I did when I was ten. I want to get butterflies in my stomach the minute I wake up just thinking about all of the attention and gifts I am going to recieve and all the chores I can forego because it is MY special day. I want to walk around with a smile on my face every minute just waiting for the next person to wish me well because, of course, EVERYONE in the WORLD knows that it is MY day. I want to eat as much cake and ice cream as I want right after an enthusiastic rendition of "Happy Birthday" in Chuck-e-Cheese's, the best place for a birthday party EVER. Most of all I want to feel truly cherished by those around me.
But I am not ten anymore. The butterflies in my stomach are caused by the dread that someone SOMEWHERE might have an inkling that I am older today. The well-wishing is a catch-22, as compliments are nice but the questions that may follow are not. The chores that I so happily gave up to my siblings have since quadrupled are now looming large on my to-do list from last week. Cake and attention no longer symbolize love but gluttony and embarrassment, and my worst fear is that someone will publicly humiliate me by singing the dreaded tune followed by the usually surpressed but always implied question, "How old are you today?"
As it turned out, I never gave Bre a solid answer about what I wanted to do for my birthday. Not having a plan is usually a major disaster for me as I am the queen of indecision and will often get bogged down in trying to decide what outfit best expresses my (imagined) wise-yet-youthful, practical-yet-quirky artist/educator/businesswoman/seductress/girl-next-door persona.
Despite that, I did manage to have one of the best birthdays I have ever had. Bre and I had a luxuriously leasure morning at the Globe, where we ran into some new friends and spent several hours talking about art and life. We attended a biodiesel conference and met some hilarious extreme sports dudes who have converted a Japanese firetruck into an extreme-sports biodiesel camper van that sleeps 8 and who are planning to drive and kayak from here to Chile. We went to interview Pablos and 3ric, who were building a one-pound robot for a Seattle Botbattle 4 competition and had a good laugh when they wrecked Bre's cellphone. We went to a fantastic blacklight puppet show called "The Secret Life of Bugs" that was put on by Spyglass Theater (and who also happen to be friends of ours) at the Northwest Puppet Center. We stopped at Cupcake Royale for the best cupcakes ever sans the birthday song. We also went out for some elegant drinks at the Hideout and had a great conversation with its owner, Greg Lundgren (and we even ended up buying a painting off the wall).
The birthdays of yesteryear are long gone, but they are not forgotten. Part of me wishes that I still possessed the naivete and blissful ignorance that I experienced in my youth (oh for guiltless ice cream seconds), but another part of me enjoys the more subtle aspects of life that were missed completely by the younger me. My ten-year-old self is still in there somewhere, and I am glad that she is making friends with the birthday girl of today.