I don’t expect much for my birthday. It’s been overshadowed by Valentine’s Day since grade school. As soon as we’d cut the heart-shaped cookie cake with my name on it, we’d change focus and pass out classroom valentines. I really only think the one birthday I was so excited about was my 21st. It fell on a Saturday and I couldn’t wait to legally hit the bars with all of my friends who had turned 21 before me. It ended up being me and Mike that night because everyone else had dinner reservations for V-Day. We had a good time. I remember having dinner at Molly’s and then walking across the street to Flanagan’s to have a cocktail with a friend that worked there at the time.
But after that birthday, I gave up. No reason to be excited about something as lame as turning another year older. Hell, I get excited about cake even when there’s no birthday involved… so let’s just eat cake and call it what it is: a day.
The last couple years Mike and I have stayed in, rented movies, ordered pizza and threw bedding on the floor of our living room to cuddle up and enjoy birthday movie night. It’s perfect: low key but still celebratory without disappointment. I figured this year would be the same. Apparently other people didn’t think so.
On Friday, we headed up to a little older-than-dirt bar to spend time with my amigas – Little Skipper’s birthday was only a week before so we decided to hang out over a bottle of beer and cheese fries.
I expected there to be eight of us. There were 20.
More girlfriends from high school, some friends from college, all there to share the love in the bed of onion rings. To spend the evening with more folks than I had expect to was great. I mean, greasy burgers AND 20 hugs? Come on, it’s this girl’s dream come true. It was perfect: low key and still celebratory without disappointment.
I had made plans weeks ago with ladies from work to have dinner on Saturday night. Since time keeps marching on, not all of us are in the office, some have moved on to bigger and better opportunities, but they are swell and spending time with them always wins an A+. And with 3 of us having birthdays back-to-back-to-back (8th-10th-12th) and another in early March, we decided to call it a birthday dinner. We met at the front door of a newish, local joint called the Silver Dollar (note: not the Sand Dollar) and while waiting for our table, we were already passing around iPhones with baby pictures.
I expected there to be five of us. There were 20.
My fabulous co-workers, past and present, their better halves and that husband of mine were gathered at a table waiting for us. With three of five turning 30, we put on birthday crowns and settled in to some bourbon cocktails, Falls City, short ribs and chicken with waffles. I have to admit I was completely shocked. The fact that 1) this many people (that I speak to on a daily basis) were able to keep quiet about it, 2) the hubs (who I also regularly speak to) was able to keep quiet about it, 3) that I really thought I was just having a nice dinner with five ladies and 4) that these co-workers-turned-friends… well, I was speechless that they were all there. And, of course, it was perfect: low key but still celebratory with absolutely no disappointments.
I didn’t expect much for my birthday. I thought I’d turn 30 silently like I have for birthdays past.
But I was wrong. And I’m pretty glad I was.