First, on the subject of birthdays: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!! You’re awesome, and I love you very much. I am always glad to have you as both my mother and my friend.
Anyway. Now all about me!
My birthday is coming up and, coincidentally, one of my friends from high school is getting married that weekend, in Portland, OR. I’m going to fly out for the wedding, have a fun time, spend birthday there, then fly home, with a short detour on the way.
I’m getting into Portland mid-morning on the 15th, going to the wedding during the day on the 16th, and flying out early in the morning on the 18th. The 17th is my birthday– note there is no travel scheduled for that day.
When I was a teenager, I spent my 18th birthday on an airplane. I had flown to Berkeley to visit my aunt and uncle and cousin (who is a year younger than me). I was supposed to go a week earlier, but my cousin managed to catch chicken pox while he was in Australia, and his trip home was delayed due to quarantine. I was going out to visit them before heading off to Hampshire College (I only know this because I remember the movie that was on the airplane and could look it up on IMDB.com). A year later, I would fly out again, this time with 5 bags and a registration slip for Cabrillo College, transferring out of Hampshire and into sanity.
I flew home on my birthday. I must say, flying on one’s birthday is pretty suck-tastic. They don’t even give you a cupcake. But also, and perhaps more importantly, there was a lot of turbulence, and I was absolutely convinced I was going to die.
The trope of dying on my birthday has been with me my whole life. I wouldn’t call it a fear– it is more like a certainty, and throughout my life, I’ve always noticed when people died on their birthdays. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
When I’m 95, if I haven’t “checked out” yet, I’ll make sure my suicide-by-cop plan is initiated on my birthday.
In any case: Portland. Birthday. Not going to die.
For my Portland friends, I hope you’ll all be around that afternoon. I’m thinking a nice little celebration at a coffee shop would be in order. I’d love to see everyone, and getting together into one room so I don’t have to run all over town trying to make it to six different meetups… well, that would be the best birthday present ever.
Anyone else feeling compelled to purchase a gift is invited to give a Gift of Hope. Otherwise, your good thoughts and wishes will be more than welcome (and pack easily!)