Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Pre-Birthday ...

I don't make a big deal out of my birthday. I don't generally tell people what day it is. Not that I'm one of those people (who I find so weird) who don't like to disclose their age (I'll be 36 - see, now, that wasn't so hard, was it?) but just because it always seems like a ploy to elicit birthday wishes.

The people closest to me know when it is. That's enough.

A few years ago, I started a tradition: I take my friends out to lunch. Sometimes the timing works out so that we actually get together on my birthday, but sometimes not.

Yesterday was this year's birthday lunch. Eight of us at Coco Pazzo Cafe, a charming little restaurant east of Michigan Avenue.

You know what? I have the most amazing group of friends. Not everyone could make it (some have these crazy things called jobs that they can't always get away from, some had to be out of town), so they were represented by framed pictures on the table. But those who were able to be there in person, not just in spirit, collectively, are even more amazing than they are individually.

I laughed so hard I started crying. They're all funny people, but the humor is definitely greater than the sum of its parts when they're all together.

It was simply perfect. And even though the invitation said not to bring gifts, they ignored me (the one occasion I can think of when I don't mind being ignored) and brought fun presents! Girly stuff - flowers, bubble bath, body butter, chocolates - and Vice stuff - CDs and a Starbucks card. Decaf grande sugar-free hazelnut soy latte, here I come!

And to extend the holiday even further, Doreen and I got together Thursday afternoon. She was on her way out of town and couldn't make yesterday's fete, so we convened to nosh and exchange presents. Plus, since my birthday falls on a Sunday this year, there's always the chance that I could get a birthday card in the mail Monday.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday birthdayness. I highly recommend it.

But most of all, I recommend surrounding yourself with people you love.

Every day.


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