First of all, apologies for the second post in a row that’s basically a listicle.
But the form is just right for what I want to do today, which is to share with all of you the best things about this day.
I decided a few months ago I wasn’t gonna celebrate this birthday the way I celebrate most of them. Forty six was the last birthday my dad ever had. My heart just kept talking to me about that whenever I thought about this birthday. I’ll celebrate 47 in the usual way – including my helpful emails to friends reminding them IT’S COMING! – but this one has been special in a totally different, much more quiet way. Having low expectations often works in our favor and today just proves that. So, I’ll tell you about my day in a form best exemplified by the inimitable John Waters in one of my favorite essays of all time, “Puff Piece (101 Things I Love)”. I don’t know if I could link to it even if I wanted to, but I don’t want to because I want you instead to buy his book Crackpot.
I slept late (1) – really late – and woke up to find a table already set with a breakfast that included strawberries (2) and sausage (3) and a hot cup of coffee (4). My sweet little girl (5) prepared this unexpected feast for me because she knows I love a good breakfast (6).
Alongside my treats were a couple of beautifully wrapped presents (7). The only thing better than a good breakfast is a good breakfast WITH PRESENTS so I opened them right up! Lucy gave me a little packet of blueberry face wipes – they’re called “Age Refresh” and I don’t even care – along with eucalyptus scented votive candles (8), sparkly votive holders (9) and some lovely chocolate spoons from Alon’s (10). Great start to the day.
Once Hannah (11) got up, she presented me with her gift, which was handcrafted, fancy-schmancy dark chocolate sticks. These chocolate gifts sort of crack me up. Because I don’t even really care that much about chocolate. But I guess in pop culture (12), moms go bananas for chocolate and this is where my kids got the idea to get me expensive candy. No complaints.
For weeks I’ve been wanting to pressure wash my front porch (13) and when the girls asked me what I wanted to do today, I told them I wanted their help with pressure washing. Their confused faces (14) told me this wasn’t what they expected but they couldn’t say no (15)! We pressure washed the damn thing so thoroughly that I even took off some paint, but I don’t care because it’s all fresh and clean (16) and pretty now. Lucy rode her bike to pick up lunch from the coffee shop and we experienced the singular joy of eating outdoors (added after, too lazy to reorder all the numbers).
We finished our chore around 2 o’clock and I decided to take a mid-day shower (17). Just like day drinking, a daytime shower is basically a declaration that you are a BOSS (18) and can do what you want (19) when you want to (20). I took my time lotioning up at a leisurely pace (21) and used my favorite hair product (22), Moroccan Oil Curl Control. That scent (23)!
My fingernails were looking a little ragged after the hours spent on the front porch so I decided to treat myself to a cheap mani (24). I went to a local (25) chop shop and got one of my all-time favorite colors, Essie’s “Ballet Slippers” (26). I left the salon too early, so of course one nail is already jacked but who cares? I came home to find that my Lucy had DVRed “I Love Lucy” (27) so together we watched the episode titled “The New Neighbors” in which Lucy thinks the new tenants are murderers. Naturally, hijinks (28) ensue. By the way, Nicki Minaj, you owe the estate of Lucille Ball Arnaz a check because every face you make was on “I Love Lucy” way before you were born.
That show is special to me for so many reasons. When I was in the first grade, I used to walk home to my granny (29) and grandaddy’s (30) house after school. Granny and I would watch Lucy and eat ice cream (31) or Queen Anne cherries (32) and laugh our heads off (33). It was during one of those afternoon TV times that she told me not to tell anyone but that I would always be her favorite (34). SUCK IT, COUSINS. Many years later, halfway through my third day of trying to induce the birth of my second child, my then-husband turned the hospital room TV to an “I Love Lucy” marathon, which I vowed to watch until that damn kid got here. And I did. And she did. And her name is Lucy.
After a few minutes checking my birthday wishes (35) on Facebook (36) – nice job this year, guys – I decided to call my mom (37). Her birthday is just a few days after mine. Every year I think about what it must have been like to be 18 years old and holding your newborn as you turn 19. Crazy. A little bit of serendipity brought my gift to her to her door while we were talking. I got her the Humans of New York (38) book and I know she’ll love it.
It’s now a bit after 6 and I’m enjoying a glass of wine (39). I plan to spend the rest of this birthday enjoying the incredible beauty of a fall (40) evening (41) in Atlanta (42). I will spend a few minutes or more thinking about my dad’s (43) last birthday and how lucky I am to have a loving and inspiring extended family (44) and truly amazing friends (45).