Saturday, July 01, 2006

Birthday Re-cap


Forgive any bad writing/spelling/etc. I'm going to whip through this post fast.

Surprisingly, I had a wonderful birthday. Things started on Thursday -- the day
before the big day -- and haven't completely finished. I don't think I'm going to win any awards for having the most exciting birthday, but I do know I've had one of the most touching and close-to-my-family days ever.

First off, let me say that I had a little bit of an interesting start to my week. I won't go into details, but I'll say that there was an unpleasant "incident." (A friend called me up when he heard & teased the hell out of me: "Girl... You went all Stella and then dumped your 'groove' and now he wanting to whoop yo ass!!!" That mess was funny & still cracks me up.) After that, I expected to have a lousy week, but, instead, things got much better. Sometimes, there's nowhere for shit to go but uphill.

I had put in a while back to take Friday off work. The older I get, the less I dig the silliness some people spring on a birthday celebrant. For years, I'd take a Valium, slap a phony smile on my face, and march in to the office to deal with all the joke gifts and cards that were going to be decorating my desk. As a supervisor, I had a crew of employees who considered it their mission in life to outdo each other in the gag-the-supe category. (This was probably passive-aggressive payback for anything I'd done on their reviews or pay-raises...) The hi-jinks got so out of hand one year that I remember a girlfriend having to take me out IMMEDIATELY after work for drinks to stave off the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

How different it is to be working for and with family. Not just my blood relatives, but with people who feel more connected than your average group of employees. Of course, my taking Friday didn't deter these folks. They just upped the love by one day. No sneaky/questionable gag gifts this time. Just a lot of thoughtful, sweet and loving offerings to celebrate my special day.

Of course, it's not a birthday at work without decorating the birthday girl's office. I walked in to see a huge bouquet of balloons and streamers. My gifts were stacked on the desk (covering the work that was already piling up!) and the hugs that morning were a little tighter and longer than usual. There were genuine wishes of "Happy Birthday," lots of God-bless-you's, and one whispered sentiment ("I'm so glad God brought you here to Arizona & into our lives") that almost made me bawl like a mother of the bride. Hugging your brother/boss feels different when his eyes get a little bit damp & he has to play it off by joking that, as his baby sis, I must now lie about my age so that he doesn't feel too old! Then, of course, I have to flirt with all the agents who dig my new outfit (gift from my big sis who knows to throw in the silver jewelry for accessories.)

The group of us spent half and hour chatting and relaxing while I have my pic taken as I read cards and open gifts before we settle down to work. We had to because even the clients were starting to get their party on with us!

That would have been more than enough for me, but:

Lunchtime.

Lunch? I never take lunch. I work less than 8 hours, so I usually buzz right through with just coffee and one of the little snacks we all share during the day. This day, though, was special, so a little before noon, I'm told to grab my purse and gifts because we're shutting down shop for a while and all heading to one of my favorite places (yes, folks, I was about to have me some of that famous bread pudding).

We get to Famous Dave's and my nieces/nephews/friends/family are all there. I had ribs (of course) and the pudding (of course -- and mine came with ONE spoon... No sharing for the birthday girl, tho I did take back a tiny bit for the receptionist who was left behind to hold down shop), and we all made way too much noise while we enjoyed each other's company. The folks as FD's must think birthday calories don't count since they gave me a "Birthday Sundae." Are you kidding me? I donated that one to the kids.

Back to work (work? I think I actually touched three sheets of paper and answered one phone call) and still feeling good. I feel a whole lot better when my brother tells me I don't have to be back in to work until Wednesday -- AND my days off are going to be (gasp!) paid. As Snoop says: "Hell yeah!"

When I got home, I was exahusted. Bread pudding is like a freaking sedative! Throw in some of this Arizona heat and I'm like Jeff Foxworthy after great sex: "You may as well put up crime tape, folks" 'cause I'm out for hours!

I laid across the bed to read through birthday cards again, and... SLEPT from about six-thirty until eleven at night. Damn. This old-age crap kicks in immediately. LOL

I get up and have a cleaning fit. Twelve oh one. I'm officially 45. That's 4 tens and 5 singles. Forty-freaking-five. Just five years from a half century... Dag.

I take down the frame with Daddy's picture and give him a kiss. God, I miss him so much.

I go in the other room and talk to my mother for a minute. I tell her how thankful and joyous and scared and deliciously excited about the future I am. I tell her how much I love and miss her and wish she was here whenever I get anxious about being older and having to live this life of mine on my own. "Oh, god, Mama. Tell me what to do." (And, yeah, I know, it's just her ashes in a box, but her heart's somewhere hearing me when I have these conversations with her.)

One o'clock in the morning & I'm vacuuming the living room, dusting, and making sure the new curtains in the living room are hanging juuu-st right... Two o'clock & this house is clean. Still wired up, I get some writing done. No, not just some -- A LOT.

Later in the day, when normal people are just making it in to work, I'm still writing. My hands are flying over the paper and I'm wearing pens into a leaky mess. I'm like AliceWalkerStephenKingSalinger on speed. The ideas are flowing, bits and pieces of dialogue that have been sneak-attacking some hidden part of my brain now come out, come together and just work... Beautiful. Then my hands cramp up and I've got to take a break and let my fingers rest and my mind idle down a bit. I think I can literally feel the motor in my head hummmmm with relief.

Around nine-thirty, my cell starts ringing my new ring tone (EW&F, of course, with "That's the Way of the World.")

First call: SWV & En Vogue serenading me with the Birthday song. (O.K., so it's really just my sis-in-law and the other ladies from the office. They make jokes: I have to get in there now because the office is just falling apart without me... ha. ha. ha. ha... And: When I come back to work Wednesday, don't bother looking for the chocolate I hid in the back of the fridge because they had to, uh, throw it out. Yeah, that's it, it was contaminated and went bad...ba-dump-bump... And: we have eleven months to find Keanu Reeves because I simply must get laid by by him before next year's birthday. We've got plans outlined.) Finally, they remind me of our date for a limo cruise and drinks. Like the last time we did this I didn't almost end up in the hospital for alcohol poisoning!

Second call: Brother # 2 telling me it's all right to be 45 when you look this good. Damn. Good present, bro. Better than the Nordstrom certificate -- not that I'm giving it back or anything. LOL.

Twenty minutes later, another call, then another, then another. Cool. Just a lot of well-wishes and "I love you's" from the family -- blood-related and otherwise. From Anchorage, Fairbanks, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Big Spring, Hope, Great Britain, Scottsdale, Mobile, Seattle... They're just wearing my Earth, Wind and Fire out.

Still later, the flowers (one delivery from a "secret admirer"... How "secret" since he obviously knows my favorites are Red Anthurium... hmmmmm)...

...more gifts (I don't have to tell you that one of them is a Victoria's Secret gift card)...

...more "Love You's" -- which are my favorites. I'm so senti-sappy-mental. Or just plain mental!

Now -- having a secret admirer is interesting, but it kind of fucks with my wild-assed imagination -- you know: is it someone I'll dig or someone I'll **shudder** not dig, or.... OMG -- is it, could it be... TIM??? (You see now why I have to keep my mind off the thought until I know more. Just stresses my head all out.)

Moving on.

Because the agent has written me back ("Everything" is still "under consideration"), and because I'm on a writing roll, and because I tend to go Cancer-Hermit-Crab-like when I get on a roll, I postpone the dinner and drink invites. Because everyone is family -- or love me for other reasons -- they all understand and don't push me. (Plus, them neegras know they all trying to plan their Fourth.) So, I have dinner and drink plans scheduled into the end of week after next. The one I'm looking most forward to is with Edith -- the only woman I know who can say "Fuck you, motherfucker" and make it sound as classy as a queen ordering up tea and scones. (She's funny and sweet and cracks me up & is also so unnaturally beautiful that I feel like the invisible woman when we're together.... Have men tripping over my feet to get to her...) Also, I suspect I have a little "Bougey" in me because I'm looking forward to my limo ride. I don't know why I love that so much... Bougey. Just freaking broke-ass bougey.

So, the celebrations will go on.

Today -- I'm going to take a writing break later so I can hit Victoria's Secret(sale alert!!!) and Bath & Body to scoop my birthday booty. Best of all: I have four whole & glorious days to WRITE. My goal is to finish the first draft of "Enough." (We'll see. It's just a goal, not a paying contract with the Devil.)

Thanks for all the sweet wishes y'all sent my way here and via email. Love it.

Peace
--Free

Thoughts I can't get out of my head:
"OMG! Is my secret admirer Tim?
OMG, OMG, OMG... Tim?"

Note to Supa & anybody else who's lost stuff on Blogger:
"Try Blogger for (Microsoft) Word. Cool tool. My thoughts never leave home without it."

Song:
Stevie Wonder: "Do I Do"

Laziness Factor: HIGH
I'm posting this on My Space & Blogger

6 comments:

  1. *clears throat*
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY DEAR FREE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Don't you just love FAMOUS DAVES??? Glad to hear you heard back from the Editor! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. *applauding* BRAVO! *whistling" BRAVO!!!

    LOL

    Thanks, babe. (And I'm staying away from Famous D's until I get this last couple of pounds off my behind! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Go Free, Happy Birthday, Go FREE, Happy Birthday!!! Awww, I'm a lil' late, but big ups to ya, sis!!!!

    Loved reading your re-cap. All the haps, plus a secret admirer?? Good shit. :)

    It's so wonderful to be surrounded with people who love and support you on your birthday. No overdrawn out hype, just good vibes and genuine fun. The BEST.

    re: Missing Momma: "I tell her how much I love and miss her and wish she was here whenever I get anxious about being older and having to live this life of mine on my own."

    Girl...say that. I know how you feel. This line brought tears to my eyes; I think that at least twice a day. :)

    Here's hoping the rest of your summer is delightful. Glad to hear you're on a writing streak. Let it flow, ma!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, Supa -- soon as this books on bound paper, we're gonna get us a limo and tear somebody's town up. We can talk Mama's, memories & bras. Then we're going to have us some brandy, girl!

    Peace, sis.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy belated birthday!

    That sounds great to be surrounded by so many loving people.Count your blessings.

    You really went without a bra for so long?

    ReplyDelete


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