Last night I received the surprise of a lifetime. After working on a final paper all day I put in some time at the PCL to scan a catalog and pick up more books. Then I had a marathon dinner with a friend, drove into my carport, and after opening my front door had around twenty people scream: surprise!
This surprise, I should note, is related to my birthday. I’ve always been weird about my birthday as I probably didn’t explain too well in an earlier blog post. But even I don’t understand the roots of my discomfort. Simply, for as long as I can remember, I become very anxious as mid-April approaches. It’s overwhelming to have so many people wish you well.
But I think I’ve found a way around that. Actually, a couple. First, my marathon class day—where I have class from 11 to 6—happens to coincide with my birthday. And in the midst of Portuguese, the Harlem Renaissance, and calendar systems in Ancient Mesoamerica I can hide out from the well-wishers. Secondly, by celebrating my birthday on a weekend night before the actual event it simply felt like a party. One that I arrived to unknowingly and remained pretty shocked for an hour, but a party nonetheless.
All kidding aside, now that I’m in my “lucky” decade—three is my favorite number—I feel as though I’ve entered a new phase of birthday celebration. The fact that someone would go through so much trouble to plan a party and that so many people would want to attend and wish me well was very moving. And perhaps at this stage of the game it’s okay to let go and accept their good cheer.