Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Birthday Abroad

As I drifted to sleep on Saturday, April 6, my efforts were interrupted by intense stomach pain. “Crap,” I sighed and curled into the fetal position. That’s what I get for drinking a champagne bottle’s worth of mimosas and watching The Good Wife for 12 hours.

I was sure that the stomach pains were a logical consequence of my day-of-me, and dragged myself to school on Sunday, blaming a bad tuna sandwich and, let’s face it, way too much champagne. Monday, I still scolded myself but admitted that God’s punishment had gone a little too far. By Tuesday, I could barely stand-up (or keep food and water down), so I called in sick and wallowed in bed for three days.

Fever dreams are the worst. In normal dreams, you are most often yourself, with some oddities, but regular strengths and weaknesses. Bad things happen, but you fight back. In fever dreams, you are just there, as weak and sick as you feel in real life, and terrible events transpire around you. Terribly weird events, that you can’t control, react to, or run from. Vacations with parents get cancelled when your Dad falls off of a boat into the icy (icy?) Strait of Gibraltar and gets dragged to his death by a giant spider crab (seriously?) and all you can do is sit by the railing and exclaim, weakly, “I think I see a dolphin.” Weird. Shit.

So, I awoke on Thursday, determined to get out of my funk and celebrate my goddamn birthday. I emailed everyone letting them know the party was still on, albeit limited by my lack of ability to eat or drink, and wandered around the apartment for an hour before remembering that I needed to get dressed.

I love birthdays, because it’s a time of year when I get to step back and watch people I love enjoy themselves, and I get to feel kind of responsible for that. We had teppanyaki and sushi for dinner before heading to my place to play Wii and partake in some adultish beverages. I was able to eat, play Wii some, and drink water, so I considered the evening a success.

No birthday will ever top 1990 (memorialized in the above video), when my 2-year-old brother could not stop singing Happy Birthday to me and I celebrated at three parties with friends, parents, an adorable little brother, a great grandparent, and all of my grandparents (including those no longer with us). But every year I am humbled and amazed that people, these people, family and friends, not only put up with me for 365 days, but actually commemorate my existence on one of them.

And I feel lucky, and blessed, and all those other gooey feelings people get on birthdays.

Teppanyaki at "Fusion," the local Asian restaurant.
Justine & Beth playing Mario Kart, or, as Justine calls it, "Race-Car."
My banana cake (courtesy of Eric & Zainab). With the ice-cream cake, banana and candle all served separately.
Just Dance! 
Second favorite picture of the night. Joe, Adam, Justine & Beth.
FAVORITE picture of the night. Adam felt he didn't have enough room for his sweet dance moves.

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