Sunday, November 16, 2014

What About Birthdays?

Some people love them and celebrate for days. And some people just want them to go away.  The expectations that people have about their birthdays are often disappointing. There is an expectation of big parties, grand presents, and full time adoration -- at least for the celebratory days.  Yesterday was my birthday. My apprehension about my birthday started when I was 35.  Up until that point the day of my birth was to be tolerated if not loved.  But at 35, my closest friends decided to gift me with a massage, facial and hair appointment.  It was a nice gift.

Unfortunately, I had an allergy to the oil they used for the massage.  When the hives started, I begged the masseuse to stop. And she refused because she said it was impossible for me to be allergic to the product. It was all natural and mild so it must have been something else.  I got up off the table and said that if she even tried to touch me I would have to bitch slap her.  Next was the facial. Yes, I must have had a number of blackheads, but my face looked like a moon crater.  35 and I would have to wear a ski mask for the rest of my life.  In addition, I had to take Benadryl for the hives, so I was falling asleep.

On to the hair salon. You know how it is when you explain to the hairdresser that you absolutely, positively don’t want them to cut your hair. And they say they will only trim it and shape it.  In the end, they have come as close to shaving your tresses as is possible without taking off your ears.

Needless to say, it was the most miserable day I had ever had to that point.  Friends  who always told the truth even insisted that it “wasn’t that bad.” That was no ringing endorsement.  No one said it was “nice” or good or even OK. It wasn’t.   It was awful.  Moving on ......

Yesterday was my birthday. It has never been my favorite day ... until yesterday. Part of it has to do with all the wishes you get on Facebook. I  never had any idea how many people would pop up to wish me well.  There were, unexpectedly,  a great many of them.  Most importantly, Jordan, Clare and my friends were visiting from Nebraska. I adore them and their kids.  We all went out for brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup (it is exactly what it sounds like).  Kim, the mom and a former student of mine, as well as a close political friend, later “ordered in” and had a terrific evening.

There’s nothing wrong with being with surrounded with people you love, and get greetings from people who want to remain part of your life.  So maybe this birthday was a turning point in birthday celebrations.  From now on and forever more I will look forward to my “special day” and I will just hope to always be surrounded with the people I love.  Doesn’t that sound like fun.  We’re just sayin’…. Iris

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