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Unannounced Birthday

“You always have people throwing food and gifts at you on your birthday.”

Because I tell them to. If you don’t tell them, they have to want to do it on their own.

I have no trust that anyone will want to celebrate me on their own.

So I have a pretty strong history of forcing celebrations of me.

There was that time, when I worked at the prison, that I hijacked the annual company picnic. And forced the entire prison to celebrate me. And demanded paintball.

(The picnic was held at a park. That’s…not the prison in the background…)

But this year. I’ve been in a weird emotional place. Which…I know y’all got to get sick of hearing about my weird emotional places.

But it is who I am. And you keep reading these. So, it’s really on you that you keep hearing about them.

So, I didn’t announce my birthday attention demands.

I just kind of curled up into my own world. And figured I’d let August be whatever it wanted to be.

I did, at the urging of my new boss, take the day off for my birthday.

Rogue asked if I was traveling.

I’m gonna run. And workout. And get the lawn mowed. And clean the house. And then I’m gonna go to the school and train my replacement.

“…for free…?”


“That is the worst birthday plan ever.”

Which. Yeah, I can see that.

Except I don’t have people at my new job.

None of them get excited to see me when I come into the office. They don’t stop by my desk to chat. They don’t appreciate my humor. They actually don’t even know my humor. They don’t tell me I’m awesome. Or hilarious. Or Hawt. They don’t call me beautiful. Or sing to me. Or throw bags of Doritos at my head.

So, going back to the school felt a little like going home.

As I was signing in. One of the teachers stopped and stared at me.

“You’re a visitor?”

Well, yeah.

“That’s so weird.”

And it was weird.

But I walked into the main office. Got my hugs. And happy birthdays. And my birthday pencil. And requests for me to come back.

And then everyone went back to work.

Just left me to my own devices. Like I still worked there.

…Ok…So, I’m gonna…I’m just gonna head on over to New Me’s office…

And I headed on through Building Two. And stopped by Side Chick’s classroom. So she could serenade me.

And it was beautiful.

And I got to see some of my teachers’ faces in the hallways. Because there is a new schedule this year. And I don’t know how to time things to not hit smack in the middle of class change.

I hate fighting my way through the halls during class change.

I didn’t get to see my Tina Fey. Or Work Boyfriend.

Which was pretty devastating.

But Work Boyfriend left me this gift bag. Filled with all of my favorites. And some for Stinky, too.

And Confections Queen had my scones in the freezer. So I won’t have to eat carrots and hummus for snackies next week.

She knows how sad that would make me.

Even my former principal sent me a happy birthday text.

I mean, he had a pretty good chance of remembering it. Since it’s the same as his. And he had six years of listening to me announce to an entire school how they should focus fully on me on August 19th. And maybe also say a quick happy birthday to him. Or not. Meh. Just focus on me.

Had an excellent and fun birthday dinner with my family.

At a Mexican restaurant.

Where I immediately disappointed the waiter. By speaking Spanish. And then panicking. When he responded in Spanish. Which led me to, yet again, lose both my Spanish and my English words.

He carried a look of disgust every time he visited our table.

Thankfully he wasn’t there when my mother asked why there was spinach in the guacamole.

Ma, that’s…cilantro…It’s supposed to be there.

I know. We’ve begun a full investigation into her heritage. Kind of like a reverse deportation threat.

And at some point last week. I volunteered to help at my Mountain Junkies Fab 5k Sunshine Birthday race. And head Mountain Junkie told me to be at the “mile three turn pointing racers towards the finish.”


In discussing this with Scratch. His first response was, “There’s not even a course map for me to help you.”

…How would a course map be helpful for me in this situation? Or any situation?

But he did the necessary recon. And when I showed up this morning. He was able to show me exactly where to stand. And exactly which way to point.

And my Goatfinder brought me my Birthday Doritos.

Which she went through some things to get. So they’re extra special.

She even wrote my name directly onto the bag. So there wouldn’t be any misunderstandings. That would lead me to have to stab someone.

And I got to see so many of my Mountain Junkies that I haven’t seen in years. Because I’ve been away from my favorite race group for too long.

Told Lady MJ what Beautiful Beastie had planned for us tomorrow. And she looked at me with a flash of panic. Followed by concern.

Why are you looking at me with concern?

“No! It will be great!”

Well, that sounded insincere.

So, now I’m panicking a bit. And trying to figure out how to shove more food into my tiny pack. And googling Ubers on the AT.

Because survival. It’s kind of still my birthday. You can’t just let someone perish in the wilderness on their birthday…

I’m sure that’s a rule.


Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.

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