Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 27, 1986

Googled what is statistically the most common birthday month and answers fall all over the yearly calendar. In my circle, it's September and I put it down to holiday and super bowl humping.

Yesterday had early birthday lunch with the ladies. Funnily enough all the cards had to do with shopping, drinking or working out. No sex cards (yet) but all good habits for a long, happy life. The subject turned to “How did you spend your 21st birthday?” Many of the ladies were married by then, some raising families. I clearly recall my leap into unadulterated adulthood.

I was in college FT and working mostly FT hours at Crossroads Mall in Boulder (now defunct, leveled and rebuilt as “Twenty Ninth Street”). Had a full weekend shift that day, not unheard of since most weekends were spent working and, in truth, I had little time for universal University debauchery. When you work at a mall you become part of its community, a member of its village, creating friendships, developing crushes, hooking up with the manager at Foot Locker. I’m certain my friend and Abo’s franchise owner brought over pizza for lunch (a big slice, maybe a candle plus a drink). The girls (I worked at Piercing Pagoda and in all my years there we had just one or two male employees) brought me a huge bouquet of helium balloons. Since the Pagoda was a large open kiosk I felt doubly special as shoppers and passers-by would comment and ask, “Is it someone’s birthday? Happy Birthday!”

My shift ended as the mall closed. Funny how strolling while holding anything celebratory makes one feel like the center of attention - balloons floating on a string, cradling a bunch of flowers wrapped in crinkly paper, a wedding bouquet. It’s an invitation to special. I stuffed and maneuvered and arranged and re-arranged the helium monster into my tiny 1978 Dodge Colt, the interior filled to capacity with latex and ribbons. I batted them back defensively over and over on the drive to Boulder Community Hospital where my niece had been born the night before, September 27, 1986. Best friends born 21 years and a day apart.

Can’t wait to give my niece her birthday present. I’m busting a bit in my own excitement, like those balloons squished against car windows. She inherited my taste for quality be it food or wine or bath products or people. Most importantly she gets/got that hard work makes it happen and fuels the indulgence that much more. And we devour month-long birthday freebies – the $10 Gift Card from Victorias Secret, your choice of lip gloss trio or to-die-for birthday cake scented body wash at Sephora, restaurant desserts and appetizers. A sweet treat from Cold Stone Creamery. I need to get taken out more this month; time’s a wasting.

It’s good, another year on this side of the grass.

2 comments:

jorg wobblington lopez said...

Happy Birthday!

My mom and my cousin share the same birthday.

dan said...

Happy birthday, and by the way, lashana tova - may this season bring you peace, joy, and renewal. But to more significant matters, my 21st was a night of debauchery that rivals the worst I've ever done to myself. In fact, I just erased the whole story as unsavory and not a suitable birthday sentiment for you. Party on, my friend! May the piercing girls ever have a bouquet of flowers for you!

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