|The day after my parents found me under a cabbage leaf. Or so my sister said.|
I woke up this morning and checked my phone like I always do. I do it mostly in case Chloe has sent some overnight angst-o-gram, a wish goodnight or photos of a mysterious rash she wants me to diagnose using my super special mom powers. Instead, I was overwhelmed by a number of Facebook text messages from friends wishing me a happy birthday.
While MathMan burrowed deeper under the covers and gave me a good morning grope, I read the messages and wondered how I could be so lucky. In a year that has had its ups and downs, the human connections have been the highlight. There's no question about it.
MathMan and the kids presented me with cards before racing off to school, leaving me to thank the cats for not spelling out Happy Barfday in hairballs this year and to contemplate what to do with my day. Write? Read? Work out? Accept that invitation from the Queen to come for tea? Don my tiara reserved for special occasions and strip the bed linens for laundry?
I'll probably do all of those things. Except the Tea with the Queen thing. She's so needy. It's my day, you know? I don't want to talk about her favorite Corgi's "nasty habit" or how one can't find a proper set of gloves at WalMart these days.
I looked for my tiara, but couldn't find it. Instead, I put on Sophie's headband with the devil horns, some matching red lipstick and got busy vacuuming. One of the nicest things someone like me can do for herself is fix it so that she doesn't think "Dear lord, why do I bother vacuuming on a Friday?" every time she strolls through the living room on her way to fill her coffee cup. Self-care can too be practical. It doesn't have to be all spa and chocolate, yo.
The doorbell rang and I went to answer it. The UPS guy stood there smiling.
"Sign here." He glanced at the top of my head.
"Okay." I'd forgotten the horns.
He cleared his throat. "So Halloween's coming early at your house?"
I blinked at him, then my hand shot up to my head. My fingertips rested on the satiny horns with feathers. I had a choice here, didn't I?
"Actually, it's my birthday," I said, bringing my hand down and resting it on his chest. "And I couldn't find my tiara."
He looked down at my red nails drumming on his brown shirt and shifted the electronic signing thingy under his arm. "Well, happy birthday." he smiled and swallowed hard. I could see his Adam's Apple play up and down.
I patted his chest and then removed my hand. "I suspect this package is the rest of the costume." I held up the small package and smiled my sweetest Blanche Dubois smile.
"Are you going to try it on now?" he asked, suddenly eager. So I hadn't lost my touch.
I weighed the package in my hands. I knew that it was really the book I'd ordered as my birthday gift. "Well," I drawled. "Maybe later. Right now I have some vacuuming to do. Unless, you'd like to come in and vacuum while I change...."
I shut off the vacuum and went to the door. A package rested against the porch railing. I looked up and waved to the UPS driver who was swinging up into his seat. He gave me a wave and put the van in gear to drive away. I reached up and patted the satin horns.
Live honestly, eat slowly, lie about your age.
I try to live honestly, but there's always room for improvement in that department. I will dedicate myself to slower eating and savor the flavors of the birthday cake MathMan will pick up on his way home. And as for that last one, remember how I said I was half way to ninety? A lie.
Thanks to all who've wished me a happy birthday already today. It's a great day to turn 29!
Party games are over here at Black Magpie Theory. No gifts, please.