First, it turns out that I share my birthday with Yoko Ono. I have, funny enough, been attending a Yoko Appreciators Group, Air Talk and they instructed all the members to bring in anything they could imagine to decorate a cake with. I bake a tie-dyed chiffon cake with cream cheese icing. The whole thing became way more riduculous than you could ever imagine.
Did my coworker find a picture of me on the internet and glue it into John and Yoko's bed-in? Yes, yes she did! That seems like some kind of love right there.
On my birthday, I went to work. My boss handed me some delicious homemade triple chocolate cookies at lunch, which was way sweet of her. I was feeling very contemplative and tried to imagine what I could say I learned in 31 years. I think most of all, things change in life. You might define who you think you are based on which group of friends you feel a part of, which hobbies you are spending your time pursuing, where you are from, or where you live. There's a million things I could have done or thought about doing. When I say to my boss that I once wanted to become a history professor or a computer animator, she says "It is never too late". And that is true, but in another way naturally in life you close doors as you choose things. Who you are becomes what is possible for you, or what is right in front of you at the moment. For me, weirdly enough, what always feels the most real are things I did when I was a teenager. That must at least partially account for my obsession with all things Beverly Hills, 90210 and Forever 21. But I wasn't just an average kid from Midwestern affluent suburbs - I had plaid Doc Martens and shoes with flames on them. I was voted "Next Picasso", was vegan for a year, and I would spend days tracking down spiked bracelets. I dyed my hair blue with food coloring and pierced my ears with unsterilized safety pins (ah!). When I watched "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999) I was most decidedly the Julia Stiles character. What can we get from that? Well partially since that was a time when the internet held a lesser role in everyone's lives - that the internet is not real life, and just as when you were a teenager you could call someone on the phone and ask them to go to the mall with you, direct communication is still the best. My boss said this week "I always wondered if I would forget what it felt like to be 25, and I never did". I found that interesting. We get cars, houses, careers, yet somehow we are just the previous versions of ourselves added together. In some way, I'm still the 9 year old with a roller skating birthday party at Bonaventure with an awesome black and white polka dotted outfit, the 14 year old with plaid pants meant for an 80 year old man who read books about reggae and made crazy art projects, and the 25 year old with the mattress directly on the floor of my NYC apartment who loved equally documentaries about major historical figures and Britney Spears. In some way, I've left bits of my heart in every place I've spent time (including Williamstown). My goal for my 31st year is to be most authentically me. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but perhaps to feel free to be equal parts slightly goofy, creative, not overly stressed, and my own type of intellectual. I am sure you are wondering what else I did for my birthday.
My husband and I had a completely low key, cozy and delicious birthday dinner at Cafe Cappriccio. We had the beans and greens. I had a mushroom pizza. The server was totally adorable and put a candle in my coconut chocolate gelato. I got some great presents and felt really lucky.
Then for the real celebration! Two of my most beloved friends from Michigan took the train out. Really, people are like works on art in that they are all truly unique and what you like about one person isn't necessarily replicated by anyone else in the entire world. I think this is something most people think about their most favorite friends.
I showed them all around and then we went to the Bears steakhouse with Deanna Fox and my friend Julie and her husband. This place was great all around. It wasn't easy to find (both Google and OnStar were wrong), but that just added to the suspense.
We got the Chateaubriand for three and the prime rib for four, but the seven of us didn't come close to finishing everything.
It was all fabulous, and I couldn't have imagined a better birthday celebration. To top it all off, Deanna baked us a lovely spice cake with cream cheese frosting.