Thursday, February 28, 2008

TWENTY-SIX CANDLES

A few days ago, it occurred to me that I’m coming up on my Golden Birthday—I’ll be 26 on the 26th. Let’s be clear here: I’m already wallowing in the muck of depression regarding this further progression into old age and greater proximity to death.

This isn’t a new feeling for me.

Perhaps you’ll experience schaddenfreud in the following description of the day I arrived on 25 . . . I took the day off work. I got up late. The Husband was gone to work. I ate some Cheerios and vanilla soymilk. I made a birthday ice cream cake. (Because although I wasn’t going to eat it, I thought that others might enjoy birthday cake on someone’s birthday.) I got dressed. I drove to Nordstrom Rack and wandered around toting the gift card he had given me the night before. I left the store with nothing interesting. I came home. I drew the blinds. I sulked. All afternoon. I surfed the Internet. I watched some old episodes of the West Wing. I went to yoga. I came home. I found that my spouse, his brother, and my sister had all gone to my favorite Mexican restaurant. There was a soggy salad for me in the refrigerator. I told them that there was cake in the freezer. I went to bed.


I know it. I know that you’re thinking that The Husband is a bad man: no breakfast in bed for the birthday wife, no birthday cake for her, no lunch out, no dinner out, nothing special about the day aside from an increase in the birthday wife’s shopping budget (a thing that's entirely fluid anyhow). But, because I haven’t given you the whole story, you’re wrong—he’s not a bad man.

See, I forbade him from doing anything for me on my 25th birthday. I thought it only right to spend the day mourning the departure from my Early 20s.

This year is going to be different. Although I’m moving onto my late 20s (and truly, typing that shoots arrows up my arms and straight to my heart—it hurts), I am going to do my best to transfer with grace. So I told The Husband to make me a birthday cake.

You. Want. Me. To. Make. You. FOOD?

His incredulity was so visible it went to the closet and started trying on my dresses. But it was reasonable. He has specific instructions: Do not ever make me food. Ever. What if he used butter when it wasn’t a butter day? What if he made an ice cream cake with full-fat ice cream? What if he left the yolks in the eggs? What if he used meat? I have a whole lot of rules and preferences (that fluctuate like Reno's weather) that only I should have to take responsibility for, so rather than end up turning up my little nose at his culinary creations and hurt those fragile feelings, I have decreed that I, and only I, will make my own food.

But I want a birthday cake.

Maybe I’ll go to my parents’ house for my birthday, I told him, My mom will make me a cake.

He snorted, Yeah, and you’ll eat it and feel guilty the entire eight-hour drive home.

He knows me too well.

But I want a birthday cake.

4 comments:

Jaime Stephens said...

You are oh so funny! And thanks a lot for reminding me that I too will be 26 soon.. Ahhh oh and we have been graduated for almost 8 years wow ok sorry that didn't make you feel good either.. Go mark with the birthday cake I love your instructions you are funny

m. & m. said...

Yeah, Jaime, thanks for that eight year reminder. Great.

Suep said...

I'm getting the cake pans out right now.

Whit Ing said...

Ethan can make you a cake. He made me one on my birthday that said, "I Don't Bake. Happy Birthday". Best confetti cake I ever had.