Today is my birthday. I am thirty-four years old, two years younger than my mother was when she had me (although if you ask her, she will tell you I am thirty-three today. Somewhere, she has lost an entire year.)
There are certain rituals I can always count on when it comes to my birthday. My sister will inevitably call to tell me that I was born during Here's Lucy, the episode guest-starring Donny and Marie. The story is that my mother went into labor, my father dropped her off at the hospital and then drove home. When he walked into the apartment, my sister told him to go back, I was here. I don't know if he drove home to be with my brother and sister (they were 12 and 13, respectively and very capable of looking out for themselves), or if that was the thing to do back then, just drop her off and head home. Maybe he thought it was going to take a while. I'll have to double check with my source.
As you can see from the photo, I like to do it up on my birthday. This year's no different. I went out with some friends for an early celebration. Yes, I got dressed up. Yes, I had a lovely time. And yes, I got drunk. Some people have no interest in marking their birthdays. I use June 19 as the one opportunity a year to celebrate and maybe be a bit selfish. My parents always made a big deal out of my birthday, maybe because I was the baby, maybe because I was born in America, maybe because they needed a reason to throw a big picnic to kick off the summer. No matter, they always made me feel special. Lots of people, food, booze and presents. Fifteen is, of course, the BIG birthday for a Cuban girl. More on that some other time, for that birthday memory deserves its own entry.
The only thing that will be missing today is the phone call from my Dad. He'd call and sing Happy Birthday to me in English, which sounded like "Hoppee Berrday tooo zhooou." Cracked me up every time.
According to one website, my birth "tree" is: "Fig Tree, the Sensibility: Very strong, a bit self-willed, independent, does not allow contradiction or arguments, loves life, its family, children and animals, a bit of a butterfly, good sense of humor, likes idleness and laziness, of practical talent and intelligence." I had no idea I had a birth tree. Birth stone, yes. Birth tree? I think overall, it's accurate, even the idleness and laziness part. I like to spend the occasional Saturday or Sunday on the couch reading magazines.
This website also breaks down my age in dog years, which is always good to know. Good news! At just over four yearsold, I'm still chasing cats.