This has got to be one of my most DIFFICULT birthdays ever. Not BAD, in fact it’s far from terrible, just DIFFICULT. Almost as if at every turn, a roadblock is put in my path. Nothing major, just a lot of speed bumps.
My saga started last night, which started out pretty well actually, when we attended the dinner at the residence of the U.S. ambassador, Kristie Kenney. We were having so much fun the whole night, meeting a lot of new friends, until I realized that my phone was missing. I thought I left it in Delle’s car. Until it was time to go home and it was nowhere to be found. So we trek home, thinking I left it at home. But when we were at C5 already, I realized I was texting on our way to Forbes. So we had to turn around and headed back to the ambassador’s house. And there was my phone, on the gutter, where it has been soaking for the past 3 hours in rainwater. It was still on, but the keypads weren’t responding. There was water in the battery, the SIM card, under the key pad, under the LCD, EVERYWHERE. And I lose my phone a few hours before my birthday, when family and friends will flood me with wonderful texts, and I’ll miss them all.
Believe it or not, the next day, after much blowing with a hair dryer, the phone dried up and actually started working again. But by then, the messages where in the other phone, blah blah blah, and in short, I had about a hundred plus texts, most of which I had no idea as far as who sent them. I spent the entire day checking my old phone, asking “who u?”, calling up people to verify identities, and having such a difficult time on a day when I should be celebrating.
Then the resto I was supposed to get pizza from, Foccacia, at the last minute, an hour before my family birthday dinner, ran out of arugula. Panicked, I canceled my order and ran to Eastwood to take out food at Italianni’s only to find out that it has closed down and won’t re-open until July. I ran to Shanghai Bistro and it won’t open until 6:30pm. It felt like a joke. Like every restaurant called each other up to conspire in testing my resolve today.
Eventually the dinner turned out okay, I finished texting back my thanks to most everyone who texted me today, and I calmed down. Then I started to count my blessings. I was just thankful no one got my phone. The thought of strangers rifling through my private files sent shivers down my spine. Images of video scandals flashed before my very eyes. Not that I have any sex videos in my cam, and not that anyone would be interested to watch them if I did, but the idea was frightening nonetheless. What would they call my video? The “Careless Wrinkles” scandal? Things could have turned out so much worse.
But to be honest, I realize I was relatively zen-like the whole time. Acceptance of the events as they unfolded came quicker than usual. Is it the age? Have the years taught me the futility of swimming against the tides of fate? So if I lost my phone and all my contacts…what? Does panicking change anything? Does popping my veins with frustration change the fact that I still have to spend on a new phone? Does playing the “what if I did things differently” game change the eventual outcome? Maybe age does that. In a way, life has broken me, not so much in a bad way, but in a breaking a horse kind of way. So I’ve been reigned in and I’ve learned to follow “instructions” on where to go, rather than insisting in getting my own way. Is that bad? Does that make me a hopeless old coot, resigned to the ravages of time? Am I in an emotional coma? I’d like to think not. Maybe I’ve simply learned when to resist, and to flail my arms, and make a fussy hissy fit, and when to stop struggling, and just let life’s current take me where it will. I wax faux-philosophical every time I celebrate my birthday. It’s a yearly “tick” of my life’s clock that reminds me that I’m a second closer to the end. Mortality is a curse for those who suck from the marrow of life, but it’s relief to those who never had the luxury.
So thank you to everyone who made this a happy day for me, despite the “logistical setbacks”. The overflowing outpouring of goodwill is such an overwhelmingly wonderful treat. I blush in shades of deep purple at the unabashed display of affection. We don’t know if we deserve it, but thank you nevertheless! If only everyone had a chance to experience what we do whenever our birthdays roll in, we’d be much happier campers. Despite the dour outer shell, I’m actually a happy duck in a pond today. The heart is happy, it’s just the head that’s insane. Again, from the bottom of my achy breaky heart, THANK YOU!