It's my birthday tomorrow, and as I've mentioned in this space before, I'm always a little shocked when other people don't know it's a national holiday. You'd think I'd grow out of this inconvenient world view by my advanced age, but it hasn't happened. For instance, Jarrah's school is having a fundraiser tomorrow where you're supposed to shop at a particular grocery store and the school will make a percentage of the sales. And I'm all like, "Great idea, guys, but the date? I mean, isn't that a little unglamorous for the occasion? Will they be handing out slices of cake?"
And yet there has been some amusing evidence that the public is starting to catch on. The other night I was giving instructions to our babysitter and she interjected "It's your birthday on Thursday, right? Happy Birthday." I stared at her. "How do you know that?" "It's the password for the Tivo. I've known it forever." (That was not my doing, by the way. Point the finger at my dear husband.) Yesterday when I dropped Jarrah at school, a friend's husband (whom I've barely exchanged ten words with previously) said "Hey, have a great birthday on Thursday." "Um, thanks!" I said, totally taken aback. Then I remembered that it's his son's sixth birthday the same day. (When I told this story to a friend, she said "Um, I still find it totally bizarre that he knew.")
Today I'm prepared for everyone to start wishing me many happy returns. Supermarket checkers, cleverly noting my personal stats as they scan my frequent-shopper card. The guy collecting signatures in front of Target. It's going to pop up in the gas pump window instead of "Want a car wash?" I'll be ready, and unsurprised. But I'll still be thrilled.
The birthday has already begun very promisingly. Yesterday my friend Synthia (whom I met in 1984!) took me out for a fancy-shmancey "ladies who lunch." Well, first we had a long walk at Spanish Landing down by the harbor, so the ladies were lunching in workout clothes, but never mind. She chose a place I've never been called Avenue 5, and I'm not sure which was more delectable: the food or getting to spend nearly two hours catching up with my dear friend. By the time we were dipping our spoons into the salted butterscotch pot de creme (oooohh mmmmm) and sipping extra-foamy cappuccino with flower-shaped butter cookies on the side, I was feeling hugged from the inside out. (Don't think too hard about that.)
When I perk up and pay attention, I'm ridiculously blessed with some of the sweetest loved ones in the world. And you know how I know? Not one of them scowls or sighs or rolls their eyes when evidence of my unhealthy birthday fixation emerges. On the contrary: they treat me like the fragile newborn lamb I am, bleating that the world is cold and I need to be fluffed and wrapped in a blanket until I toughen up and stop wobbling.
If the newborn lamb had a tiara, that is. Queen Lamb. That's me.