Yesterday was my birthday, and I’ve been spoiled by my husband for the last week or so as he drove me to see a few family and friends. Tuesday night (my birthday eve) I had dinner with my husband, oldest son (Naughty Bear), niece, sister, sister’s husband, brother and father. Due to some family drama, I had more than a little anxiety. I just simply pushed that aside and focused on the excitement I felt that they were all coming to my birthday dinner.
It was a wonderful time, although my brother announced his move far away in a week (?!?!!), and I was even more grateful to have gotten everyone together since we don’t know when we’ll see him next. Luckily, Chooch, my son and my niece are the kind of people that it’s impossible not to have a good time around.
When the waitress asked how old I was, my dad said, “21!” I was standing and taking a picture of someone when I heard, giggled and said “43! Woo hoo!” making it clear to all that I have no druthers about my age. Besides, how awkward would that have been with my 21 year old sitting at the table? No, I embrace my years, color my grays and smile at the laugh lines in my reflection, grateful for every smirk and belly laugh that’s contributed to them. 43!!!! In hindsight, based on his usual flirtatiousness, I think he wanted the waitress to think he was younger. Just kidding. I actually don’t think he knows that I embrace each birthday with such aggression. I love to level up to a new age. Have a giddy moment, even. Give a sigh of relief, even.
We slept in at a surprisingly nice, cheap ass hotel, and headed to the first fun item on the agenda: my annual *cough* physical. Regardless of where I live or how good my local general practitioner is, I always go back to Dr. E for this particular appointment. She’s thoughtful, very clever, empathetic (a rarity, I’ve found, in doctors) and a genuinely good person. She also keeps looking at all my symptoms and bringing up MS as a possibility, which scares the shit out of me. She keeps me honest, kicking me out of denial on an annual basis for well over a decade.
Then Chooch and I had lunch, which I inhaled since my appointment wasn’t until two pm (fasting bloodwork), made a grocery store run and headed home. Mmmm… jalepeno cheddar bread from Sweetwater Tavern … mmmm… Drunken Rib Eye (I don’t order the delish dish, Chooch does. It’s so rich, I only ever want one bite, which he sweetly shares.)
As planned, Housie Jen and daughters Tiny Expert and Feral Dancer joined Chooch in having a cake party for me, and the resulting silliness, giggles and feral impressions made the day special in a completely different way. They are at that amazing age where their full belly giggles and laughter are magical, stopping adults (is it just parents captivated by The Giggle?) in their tracks to stop and revel in the innocent sound. I was so happy to have had the time with them. It eased missing our kids a bit.
It was devastatingly difficult to leave, but TMC was running a special showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I haven’t seen it since I was a teen and was startled and “migrained” by the difference. I don’t think I’ll ever view old movies the same, the ones I’ve only ever seen on a television screen. Never before had I recognized the tremendous difference between the two displays. Having the opening credits play over a wall of blurred images of attacking birds and over-loud screeching birds had my heart racing by the time the movie suddenly went silent and started.
It was something that had never blipped on my radar before, typically getting snacks or fussing with a blankie or whatever, waiting for the actual movie start. But I now see how movie theater viewers would have a much higher fear factor towards the flying murderers from the very beginning of the movie. On the tv, it’s like a commercial or filler (for me) that I only partially pay attention to and I had no fear of the birds at the start of the movie. I don’t know which is a better/more powerful, the lack of fear and seeing how they go from every day birds to killers? Or being immediately immersed into the terror to come?
Now I wish I could see all the AFI Top 100 movies on the big screen. I think seeing some of the ones I disliked may strike me differently. And it may eventually be possible with Turner Classic Movies dropping these tasty theatrical nuggets. My friend Andrea, just told me she heard they are brewing up a Karloff movie for Halloween.
There have been a few small birthday celebrations and toasts this year, no big party as circumstances just don’t accommodate it. And while Facebook doesn’t seem to allow me to reply for about 40 of the well wishes , I’ve read each of them and greatly appreciate each one.
Now, on an unrelated note, there’s a new Hobbit trailer! Yes, I’m annoyed it’s to be a trilogy. Yes, I pray McKellan’s role has been completely filmed. Yes, I’m FUCKING EXCITED. *swoon – Martin Freeman*