It was my birthday last week. The first birthday of my whole life without my dad. As the day approached, I felt more and more dread about it, and honestly I just didn’t even want it to happen. People had started to ask me about what I would like to do this year, and my responses ranged from “whateverIdon’tknowIjust…[trailing off]” to “NOT FEELING IT DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT” to “nothing. I guess? I don’t know. Something?” It was a lovely soup of confusing messages. Luckily, I have people in my life who know how to cut through the baloney talk (I am currently fluent in baloney talk) and know that it really doesn’t matter what the venue- a party, a quiet evening, a home-cooked meal- what I really needed was a reminder that I am loved. Nordic Boy and the gang proceeded to ignore my weird mumblings and be bossy about the whole thing and orchestrated several birthday activities for me. Thank goodness. Here are some of the things that got cooked up.
A small group of my favorite Seattle pals gathered up for a fancy meal in a fancy restaurant. We got a private room in the back (sitting in the back rooms of restaurants feels like the mafia, only without the impending threat of violence), and ate up. The restaurant could not have been more tasty and the people running that restaurant were de-fricking-lightful. They gave us free bottles of Prosecco all around and the best, most warm service. Afterwards we went back to my house and we had cupcakes and there were presents and everyone sang to me and is there anything more awkward than having the birthday song being sung to you, but I loved it because what are friends for if not to embarrass you with their love for you.
My friends Alli and Map, in their lifelong tradition of showing up at my door whenever I need them no matter what, both flew to Seattle for a long weekend which was so, so lovely of them. I love those girls so much, I can’t even tell you. I boohoo-ed a little bit with Alli the first day that she arrived, just talking about all my FEEEEEEEELINGS, but then Friday and Saturday I did not get teary once, you guys. The thing is that I have gotten weepy at least once a day, every day, for the past 5 months. A non-crying day is kind of a big deal these days, and those girls made it happen. How? Example: there was a point in the weekend where one of them yelled out in confusion “What the FUCK is a pudenda and do I have one?” and how can you be sad when that is being yelled at you? You cannot.
Nordic Boy took me out to dinner one night and to a ballet show afterward. The show was three pieces by Twyla Tharp and one of them is a classic of hers that is set to a series of Frank Sinatra songs. Those songs are so common to our ears because Sinatra is so iconic and they are everywhere- in movies, in ads, whatever– it’s almost like I don’t really hear the songs anymore. The show made me really listen to a lot of it in a way I hadn’t for a while, and hey, news flash, they are pretty much great songs. I am just only now discovering this, because I am super ahead of the times. I was watching the ballet, and the song “Strangers in the Night” came on, and is there a song that seems more corny than that song? But dudes. It is not corny, is what I sat there and realized. Maybe it was the song, maybe it was the dance, maybe it was the night, maybe it is the mood I have been in. It made me think about how well I am loved. I looked over at Nordic Boy. He was already looking at me.
(If you want to give it a listen).