I had my birthday in late March and enjoyed it thoroughly. In the morning, I opened the package from my parents and found a lovely and surprising assortment of items, including the original plastic hospital bracelets that my mother and I wore when we first met. At work, there were daffodils on my desk, which I had bought in support of the cancer society, there was sunshine, there was a view of the harbour from my window. At lunch, I took myself to Cora’s and had a Rosemary Sunday: scrambled eggs, blueberry pancakes, bacon, hash browns, and tea. I managed to solve several pesky tasks with flair for my boss, which pleased me immensely, and after work I walked home and opened another package, this one from a friend in Vancouver, which contained funky silver earrings. I then put on a skirt and a long silk jacket in elegant stripes and went out to dinner at Lot 30 with my lover. I had the haddock with lemon buerre blanc and tender, succulent green vegetables, delicately julienned. It was delicious. Later, at his apartment, I had lemon meringue pie from MacAuley’s bakery for dessert and more tea. There was a cascade of gifts, including Lynda Barry’s astonishing What it Is. Much laughter, surprise, and love between us. A phone call from my brother (whose package is delayed by Canada Post – I am eagerly awaiting its arrival with curiosity) and one from my parents. Sleepily, I made my way home to snuggle into a warm bed. There was an email from a friend I hadn’t heard from in three years, there were good wishes from my ex-husband, there was a phone message from a friend I rarely see, and an e-card from a dear friend on the island. How blessed I felt and still feel.
And yet, this was my “low-key” birthday. I decided this year not to tell people about it or indirectly remind them. Last year I had a mandala drawing/colouring party, which I enjoyed a great deal, but which also entailed work on my part and organization. This year I thought — no stress, no preparations, no bruhaha. And I discovered something interesting: most of my friends don’t keep track of my birthday. Perhaps they are used to being reminded by me, perhaps they don’t keep agendas, perhaps they remembered and then forgot. It was an illuminating thing to learn: I feel just as loved by each and every one of my friends whether they marked my birthday in some way or not. Feels like I’m growing up. Wow. Happy Spring everyone.