Actually, I'm jumping the gun because today is officially Donna's Birthday Eve rather than the day itself, but I like to warm up with the self-congratulations and arbitrary indulgent commands to everyone in shouting distance. Birthdays are big at our house. In fact, they start the day before and continue on through the weekend. Naturally most of the celebration involves meals and other sensual treats. Tonight we're having a homemade pizza bash with friends--dessert is my friend Jennifer's famous homemade cheesecake which is luscious and light and my vote for the Best in the World (although admittedly of limited production). Tomorrow begins with a Japanese breakfast at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. I'm not sure what other selfish whims will come to mind. There will be a nice wine in the evening and some costume drama chick-film I'll force on my men. We'll spend a quiet evening at home away from the drunk drivers, stay up until midnight, and stumble into bed.
What's it like to have a birthday on the last day of the year, you may ask? Even if you don't ask, I'm going to tell you. It's not the day I'd choose. I'd prefer another time of the year, one that isn't already saturated in specialness and self-indulgence. I mean, seriously, at this time of the year we're all sick of gifts and special foods. I'd rather have a birthday on October 9 or June 12 or some day that could be mine alone. Plus, I think I still haven't recovered from my birthday party in first grade, when I invited all the girls in my class. My friend Pam did that for her birthday in October and everyone came. But for my party, five out of twelve showed up because the rest of them were visiting grandma or otherwise engaged.
I was really bummed and I've been sort of spooked about throwing parties ever since.
Over the years, however, I've come to see some advantages to a December 31 fete. First of all, it's really easy to figure out my age at any given point of the year. Secondly, my dad was really happy about the tax deduction. And last but not least, the whole world is in a festive mood right along with me--and I can get great deals on champagne!
So, world, tomorrow night, raise a champagne flute to all you've learned in the old year, the new year of hope and fresh beginnings, and of course, yours truly who is one year older and a wee bit wiser (but still hasn't thrown a birthday party for herself except for one ersatz Kennywood Park party in May in fifth grade which was mildly dissatisfying because everyone gave me May birthstone jewelry....)
And yes, the photo is me--like my frilly dress?
Happy New Year to you all!