Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another Year Older

Just before my 16th birthday, my family moved to Belmont, MA. On my actual birthday, we closed on our new house, and so I spent my sweet sixteen supervising a moving crew while my parents took my younger brother to the hospital, where they were told he would need open-heart surgery. I knew no one in the Boston area then, and so the only person apart from my immediate family who wished me a happy birthday was a burly and surly moving guy, who grunted “happy birthday” and then told me that being sixteen sucked. At least he said happy birthday.

Just before my 20th birthday, my family moved to India. Though they had been in Utah with me for much of the summer, they needed to close on their new house on my birthday, and so left the States a mere four or five days before my birthday. On my actual birthday, I sat through four hours of Arabic class, and probably did as many crossword puzzles to stave off boredom. I probably spent the rest of the playing dominoes, where I'm sure my friends wished me a happy birthday.

Just before my 21st birthday, my family, who, again, had been in Utah with me most of the summer, left for India again. On my actual birthday, I sat through class, work, a meeting with a professor, and a long line at the DMV, where I chirpily informed everyone around me that I was turning 21, in the hopes that they’d tell me happy birthday.

Just before my 22nd birthday, I arrived in Indonesia, jet-lagged, confused, and alone. On my actual birthday, I sat through eight hours of TESOL training, wondering why those in education theory don’t wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and ask, “When did all the intelligent parts of you die?” Having been there only two days, I knew nobody, and so spent the evening running on the treadmill and reading Virginia Woolf, though not at the same time. Because I was twelve hours ahead, I didn't hear from anyone until the next day, but at least I got lots of birthday greetings then. Better late than never, right?

Today is my 23rd birthday. Just before my birthday, a few days ago, my family moved to Belmont, MA. On my actual birthday, they are closing on their new house. (History repeats itself.) I have just moved to California, and I know nobody here. (By now, that’s practically tradition.) I have no solid plans; I’ll maybe do something fun in San Francisco, maybe get myself a library card, maybe move into a new apartment, and maybe spend the day lying on the couch with a book. All of those options sound pleasant, and all of them sound far better than intensive Arabic, the DMV, or TESOL training. Now all I need for the day to be complete is people saying happy birthday to me. (Hint, hint.)

Happy birthday to me!

14 comments:

Yellow said...

Happy Birthday! May the library be more entertaining than ever.

(Also, I'm quite proud of myself for finding the "Post a Comment" button.)

alea said...

I'll have you know that I sent your b-day email before reading this entry.

But, ¡Feliz CumpleaƱos! in the blogosphere as well.

bawb said...

Happy birthday!

Mr. Fob said...

Happy birthday to me!

Oops.

I mean you!

ChillyGator said...

Happy, happy birthday Petra, dear
Happy days will come to you all year!
If I had one wish than it would be...
A happy, happy birthday to you from me!

(May I also add I'm just as pleased as Yellow that I found the comment button. Didn't think that would happen.)

dimmi said...

Happy Birthday!

ambrosia ananas said...

Happy birthday!

Th. said...

.

You should walk to Amoeba and buy yourself a slew of dollar and two-dollar cds you always wished you had.

alishka babushka said...

happy birthday

Katya said...

Happy birthday! :)

Booker Bean said...

Happy Birthday! Remember when you threw me a surprise party in Belmont? Man, that was awesome. One day I'm going to repay the favor. Sadly, not this year. Have a good one anyways!!!

Your Proud Mother said...

On the day you were born, 23 years ago, there were many many people there to greet you because you had taken so long to arrive. Aunt Anna walked the many miles with me to induce labor, your Dad fed me cheetoes hoping to induce vomiting which would trigger labor, my visiting teacher brought me muffins laced with cod liver oil to encourage you, the midwife recommended something I won't mention here. They were all delighted to wish you a happy literal birth day but no one's "happy" was happier than mine. It wasn't just the joy of no longer being pregnant, it was the happiness of knowing what a wonderful creation had come forth. And in those 23 years, you have never proved me wrong. Happy day my darling daughter. For your 23rd I will risk sentimentality to tell you I love you publically and to thank you, publically, for being such a wonderful daughter.

Samantha said...

I left you a Birthday greeting on your introductions thread on BB--but I think you need just one more. My birthday always coincided with the start of school and somehow got lost in the shuffle--so for you, from a fellow forgotten-birthday person--Happy Birthday!!

Tolkien Boy said...

If the Internet had not conspired against me, yea, the very jaws of electronic Hell, these greetings would be much less tardy.

However, I love you pretty much insatiably. And happy, happy birthday!