How Many Ways can you Say Happy Birthday? (part 1)

Wednesday, October 19, 6:15 A.M: was awakened not by my alarm clock, but by a text-message alert, which I assumed to be from my mother—the only person who can text me at that hour and live to tell about it. The message turned out to be from R, inquiring whether I’d read a book about something-or-other to do with Christianity. Not quite the birthday greeting I was looking for, but given my semi-awake state, he might as well have asked me if my chewing gum loses its flavor on the bed-post overnight, or: on a scale of 1 to 10, rate your feelings about cheese.

6:30 A.M: coffee. Where’s coffee.

6:45 A.M: coffee has been obtained, and I’m comfortably settled in front of my computer, sifting through the first batch of birthday messages via Facebook. I’ll never cease to be amused at the illusion of popularity Facebook creates on such occasions; nothing says Happy Birthday like a wall post from the guy who spent your entire acquaintance from first to eighth grade sticking gum in your hair and shouting “Watch out for that tree!” every time you took a step just to laugh when you flinched. (I realize that it really would have been unfair not to expect my classmates to take full advantage of the opportunity of free entertainment offered by going to school with a blind girl. At a distance of over twenty years, I’ve come to terms with it, even if their amusement came at my expense).

7:00 A.M: ring ring, phone. Me: grumbling something that sounds nothing like, but never the less is probably hello.
R: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear crazy lady. Happy Birthday to you.
Me: you really shouldn’t sing to me before the coffee has kicked in. That was…painful.
R: I gave you fair warning. I texted you before to see if you’d be awake. (Aha, therein lies the explanation for the previous text about the literary merits of C.S. Lewes).
R: so how does it feel to be 29?
Me: I don’t know, I’ll tell you next year. (If it weren’t for the fact that I never hang up on my friends, I would have been well within my rights to do so; adding to a woman’s age, even in jest, is a criminal offense punishable by death).
Me: I don’t want to go to work.
R: Is this how your mornings start every day?
Me: Yes, actually, with minor variations.
R: what minor variations?
Me: (pausing to think)…I wear different pajamas.

10:00 A.M: My dissertation has officially sucked all of the excitement out of my day; it’s looking about as exciting as an episode of The Whale Wars.

2:00 P.M: Class; given that my students have no idea it’s my birthday, I really shouldn’t expect them to behave any differently. Apparently wishing they’d follow directions is like asking Santa Clause for world peace.

4:00 P.M: getting off the bus, my phone rings; it’s dad, and rather than telling him I’ll call him back, I decide, like the moron I am, to take the call. Talking on a cellphone while working a guidedog is the blind equivalent of texting while driving.

4:15 P.M: phone again. Me: Hello?
R: Hi.
Me: Are you at my house?
R: Yeah.
Me: Um, OK. Hang on.
R: Where are you?
Me: I don’t know.
There follows an explanation of how I managed to get lost in my own neighborhood and a subsequent one-man search party consisting of R, who is quite experienced at locating me when I manage to misplace myself.

4:30 P.M: I have been found, and R and I are off to obtain supplies for my epically awesome, first-ever, grownup birthday party, about which I’m behaving like a 5 year-old on Christmas morning. R has spent the entire evening announcing to everyone we encounter that “It’s her birthday. She’s not 29.”

The day has largely been a series of nothing intermingled with occasional entertainment brought to me by my friends, in honor of whom I proudly present the top 3 Birthday wishes I received, courtesy of Facebook:
From A: “May Colin Firth, covered in chocolate, appear before you and grant you three wishes.”

This led another friend to inquire what I would wish for. My answer: a driver’s license, a silver Bentley, and world peace…just to prove that I’m not entirely selfish.

From T: “May the day be full of Firth and grading free!”

From K: “I tried to get you Colin for your birthday, but he’s busy being hot with Benedict Cumberbatch.” I think I might have spotted a trend in the above messages.

And so ends the first day of this trip around the sun. Up next: part 2: the adult birthday bash of epic awesomeness. Watch this space!

1 Comment »

  1. nice story..

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