Channeling My Inner Bridget Jones: My Birthday part 2

As promised in my last post, I am continuing to channel my inner Bridget Jones, and what follows is (roughly) accurate, give or take a few drinks. Names have been concealed where possible to protect the guilty from further incrimination.

Thursday, October 20. 6:30 A.M: I have to clean my entire house by tomorrow, besides working, continuing to edit my current dissertation chapter, and possibly making yet another attempt at world domination. Somehow, I will accomplish everything, and live to tell the story.

6:45 A.M: Apparently the world will end tomorrow (again), according to Harold Camping. Well, isn’t this convenient. How many people can say Jesus gatecrashed their birthday party? Of course, since my life is nothing if not a continuous reminder that God gave control of the universe over to Murphy’s law eons ago, the world would naturally choose to end during my first attempt in about ten years to celebrate my birthday with people outside my family who legitimately care that I inhabit the planet. I predict the moment of total obliteration at approximately the point at which I’m blowing out my candles and wishing that Mark Darcy would make a spectacular entrance, singing a rendition of “Happy Birthday” in which he actually knows my name.

11:25 A.M: I’m trying to decide whether I should clean my house, or torch the place, collect the insurance, and build a replica of Pemberley…on the beach…complete with stunning grounds, lake, and a live-in Darcy.

2:30 P.M: My house is cleaned. Maybe I’ll just convert this place into a mosque and ask everyone to remove their shoes at the entrance.

11:00 P.M: I should attempt going to bed, but can’t sleep. Have I got enough sauce for the meatballs? Will there be enough food? (Translation: to an Italian, “enough food” means that each guest can partake of at least 3 helpings of each dish, and there will still be left-overs).

1:00 A.M: Can’t sleep. I’m having visions of blue meatballs dancing in my head. This is all going to go horribly wrong. These meatballs are going to be the most incredible shit. Have I got any eggs in the house? If any of the food actually is blue, I might die of humiliation (or laughter). Unfortunately, K is probably the only guest who would spot the humor in the situation; K remains the only one of my local friends who appreciates the hilarity that is Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Friday, October 21. 6:30 A.M: The fact that I’m concentrating on remembering to defrost the meatballs before I’ve started the coffee says something about my fervent desire to avoid culinary disaster.

12:28 P.M: 6 and a half hours till my grown-up birthday party; this is either going to be the bash to end all bashes, or no one will show up, and I’ll wind up sitting alone in my apartment with a crockpot full of meatballs, watching Pride and Prejudice.

3:45 P.M: In a little over three hours, people will be descending upon me; what made me even think I could throw a party? I’m going to crawl into a dark hole with a bottle of wine and stay there until everyone goes away.

6:30 PM: mercifully, everything is done, with half an hour to spare. I’m going to stop compulsively rearranging the bread dish and pass the time constructively by watching an episode of Will and Grace.

7:00 P.M: R arrives, closely followed by K; K bears a birthday cake containing a cryptic message that she will have to read to me, R with “another surprise dessert”. I’m slightly alarmed, and have officially put K on poison control watch.

Several (possibly 2, perhaps 3) mimosas later– I have officially lost track of the hours and am measuring the passage of time in alcohol units: I have officially been crowned the birthday princess—I have the crown to prove it. A.A has decked me out in an “It’s my Birthday” hat and a string of pink beads that, not through any planned color coordination, happen to match the stripes on my shirt. Hurrah for an arbitrary moment of appearing to have a fashion sense.

K ceremoniously unveils what we have been referring to all week as “the cake of epic awesomeness”; it is, in K’s exact words, “totally a Mark Darcy cake”. She has written the following, in blue cookie-icing: “Blue is good, and so are you. Just as you are. Happy Birthday.” The message is bordered by decorative blue squiggles, meant to represent string. K later informs me: I actually went and looked up the scene to make sure I got it right.
Me: Wow! You actually did research for my cake. Now that’s cool.

My friends then proceed to read their birthday cards to me aloud, and K presents me with a gift of a copy of the latest film adaptation of /Jane Eyre/, because “Every girl needs a copy of Jane Eyre”

Later: R: Are you ready to try the other surprise dessert?
Me (hesitating): I don’t know.
R hands me a plate laden with something that, when I dig into it with my fork, feels lumpy and moist, but otherwise unidentifiable; I am instructed to taste and identify the substance.
Me: What’s the surprise? Is it Mark Darcy?
R: Yes, I’ve minced up Mark Darcy, and you’re eating him.
Me: Noooo! (Turning to K): I thought you were on poison control watch!
K: It looks safe. I promise. It doesn’t look anything like human flesh.

I take a fork-full of the as-yet unidentified dessert and, still hesitating, taste it.
Me: Yummy, and it doesn’t taste anything like Mark Darcy.
R: How do you know? How do you know what Mark Darcy tastes like?
Me: Because Mark Darcy doesn’t taste like pumpkin. (It has taken me several bites, but I have now identified the surprise dessert as pumpkin flan, which is perfectly delicious).

Me: This really is very good. Allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire and love your pumpkin flan.

Still later: A.M arrives and is forgiven for his tardiness because he comes bearing cake. Chatter and alcohol continue to flow steadily; topics of conversation range from our respective jobs to the reasons why it might be unsafe to place a blind person behind the wheel of a car. R makes a badly-timed joke while K is midway through swallowing a mouthful of wine, and she only narrowly avoids choking. We envision the headlines in the local paper the following day charging R with having caused K’s demise, and I lament the tragedy of having to write the article about Sherlock Holmes K and I are working on entirely by myself were she to randomly succumb to sudden death.

11:30 P.M: all guests have left the building, with the exception of K; after returning the apartment to relative order, we spend another half-hour or so giggling over an NPR “Fresh Air” interview of Colin Firth, inserting commentary when appropriate.

K (referring to Terry Gross’ description of Mark Darcy’s attire at the beginning of Bridget Jones’ Diary as “a silly sweater with a ridiculous moose head on it”): A silly sweater with a ridiculous moose head on it? Its! A! Reindeer! Jumper!
WE determined that Terry Gross is an abysmally bad interviewer, and Colin Firth is heroically attempting (not altogether with success) to keep an “You can’t see this, listeners, but I’m rolling my eyes” note out of his voice.
K (about CF’s description of the BBC’s humorous attempt to create underwear for the lake scene in Pride and Prejudice that resembled white silk sailor’s pants): God! That’s just screaming for someone to write fan-fiction about Mark Darcy in pirate pants.
Me: Don’t give me any ideas.

12:05 A.M: K has gone. I cannot sleep; I feel enveloped in large, invisible, snuggy-like warmth; I have the most amazing friends, there’s Bridget Jones birthday cake in my fridge, and the world did not in fact end according to the Camping calculation. I am at peace with the world and all its inhabitants.

This post brought to you by the color blue.


  1. Love me some Pride and Prejudice and Jane Erye and Bridget Jones! Glad the party was a success! Happy belated birthday 🙂

  2. […] K. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might recall K’s appearance in the Birthday Chronicles, and those of you who have seen us together will express little surprise at what […]

  3. […] my fear of waxworks, contemplated the inevitability of aging and threw a highly successful, Bridget Jones-style birthday party complete with blue cake. I have been fortunate enough to have received two prestigious blogger […]

  4. […] K. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might recall K’s appearance in the Birthday Chronicles, and those of you who have seen us together will express little surprise at what […]

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