Talking Birthdays


When it comes to holidays, I am an idealist and an optimist.  Holidays should be special.  Celebrations should be joyful.  (I'd say perfect, but after 55 years on this planet, I've finally realized that it's not going to happen.)

In my mind, birthdays are our own personal holiday.  It is the day to celebrate YOU.  It is a day when you should be selfish.  It's all about you.  The world (or at least YOUR world) should take the time to wish you a happy birthday.  It is YOUR day.

In order to make birthdays special, I used to decorate around the house for my husband and my son.  Turns out they HATE that.  It took me years to understand.  I didn't get how some people don't want to yell from the highest mountain that it is their birthday.  As hard as it is for me to wrap my brain around it; my husband does NOT see his birthday as a special day and he doesn't want a fuss.  I don't get it, but after 25 years I'm finally (trying) to honor that.

As for me, I like a big fanfare for my birthday.  I want to gloriously bask in the glow of MY day.  I may be in my 50s but I still want the cake, balloons and presents.  Maybe that makes me a selfish bitch, but hey, I try to only be a selfish bitch one day a year.  (Or at least I'd like to delude myself into thinking so.)

I've had several memorable birthdays.  However, not all those memories are great.  I'm thinking this year's birthday ranks #3 on the bad memory list.  It moves the previous #3 (drinking margarita alone on my 21st birthday while my family attends the high school music banquet) down to #4, while the birthday the year my brother died stays at #1 (the actual day wasn't horrible, but it WAS a horrible week) and the year I had chicken pox (because there was no vaccine when I was a get your kids vaccinated so they don't have a miserable birthday) stays at #2.  (It may have been decades ago, but being in 6th grade and having to be out of school for 2 weeks while itching like crazy is NOT forgettable.)

So what made this year's birthday #3 on the list?  A number of things...

  • It was incredibly hot
  • The vegan bakery that I love (Sweet Avenue Bake Shop; they are amazing and if you are talking custom service THIS place gets it and always goes above and beyond) is closed on Sundays and Mondays and I didn't want to pick up a cake on a Saturday for a Monday, so I made my own cake.  Baking without egg can be a challenge.  I am NOT a baker!  (See photo at top)
  • My son has been amazingly good this year in school, but he really dropped the ball on a major project in May that just got graded the other day.  It was not a good scene when my son got home.
  • Because of the above noted drama; we ended up getting fast food for dinner.  It wasn't fast and the order was wrong.

But the real reason why this ranks #3 is what happened on my morning walk.

 Now I have been a consistent early morning walker for nearly 10 years (before that I was a walker, but not dedicated).  I've tripped and fallen.  I've been hissed at by geese (and dodged their droppings).  I've barely avoided skunks.  I've been followed by a fox (     I've see deer fly ( But yesterday was a first...I was bitten (no broken skin) by one of two large dogs.

 Here's what happened (as reported to the police): "I was walking on L Road (very near U road) heading towards the Reservation.  I could hear dogs barking from a house on the west side of the street (uphill side)   I kept walking in the road.  I heard dogs running down outdoor steps towards me.  (I’m guessing stone steps) I kept moving and was close to the middle of the street.  Two dogs came out into the street; they were large (I am 5 feet and they came up approximately to my waist).  I tried to keep going, but they acted aggressively and one nipped me on the behind (near my right hip).  I had hand weights, which I waved to try and keep them away, but did not hit them.  I did yell “Hey” several times to try and get them to move off.  I did keep moving south.  They followed me, barking, but eventually turned back to whatever house they came from. 

 "I do not know what house they reside.  I just wanted to keep moving.  I would say it was around the 120-140 section.  There was no one else around and no one looking after the dogs. One was black and the other (which was the one that bit me) was tan/brownish.  (I’d say they were mastiffs, but I don’t know dogs that well).  It was light out at this time and I have walked this route previously.  (The most recent being Saturday, but later in the morning). 

 "I am bruised, but all right. I was able to continue my walk up to the Reservation, but made sure to return to my home via a different and not going back the same was I came."

 So for my 55th birthday I got bit in the butt. (No photos of the bruise. Trust me it's there and it's big, but it doesn't really hurt)

 I do want to say that despite ranking #3 on the crappy birthday list, I DID get so many wonderful messages from friends that warmed my heart. (Not that it needed much warming on the 90+ degree day.)  Say what you will about social media, when it comes to birthdays it's pretty darned good.  (As are text messages.)  To be totally honest, the bottles of wine I got from friends were pretty darned good too!  (Thank you!  You know who you are.)

 Now my "special" day is behind me (get it?), I'm hoping that my next birthday is a little better.  I've got 364 days to plan.  (And so do you...hint...hint...)


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