Tuesday, September 29 2020

my thirtieth birthday

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Dear Journal,

Good evening, everyone. How was your day today? For those of you who have grown accustomed to it, I'm sorry didn't have a post out this morning before your work day started. I took the day off to celebrate my thirtieth birthday, and that began sometime last night. After catching up on my chores and rewarding myself with a bottle of wine, I turned off my alarm on the way up to bed. Like any good birthday should start, I woke up whenever I damn well felt like it.

After enjoying a cup of coffee upstairs, I followed the smell of bacon and breakfast into the kitchen. Marissa had prepared some egg in the holes, and had mimosas out on the table.

I opened up some gifts. Marissa got me a Kanye West sweater, a new synology box, and a Bears oven mit. "That one is from Rodney," she clarified.

30th synology

It might be tough to explain what this is. All you need to know is that it makes nerds like me happy.

"So these are the mittens Rodney was telling me about?" I asked. Rodney nodded. A few days ago, Rodney caught some flack for almost disclosing what the present was. He did his best, but the best I got out of him were "they're MITTENS - black, with a little bit of orange, and a little bit of white too." I was picturing some winter mittens, like the kind you would get for a child with a string keeping them attached.

Additionally, I'm pretty excited about this sweater. It's a limited edition piece from Kanye's surprise Jesus Is King launch.

"I got it on Ebay," she said. "I didn't want to get scammed, so I was really caution. I made the guy upload like a dozen pictures. Is it too small?"

I took a fashionable turn in the kitchen on my own runway. "I really like it," I said. "It's a little short, but to be honest, it reminds me of how all my clothes used to fit me in the nineties, before the whole grunge thing kind of took over."

More importantly, this sweater feels like it was designed for working on the computer. Sitting here at the keyboard typing, it's hard to describe how or why this thing is so comfortable. It captures that magical, immaterial quality of what it felt like to wear that favorite random old zip up that had been in your closet for as long as you could remember.

30th sweater

Just wanted you wall to know I will be wearing this exact outfit for the duration of this freakin pandemic.

Embarrassing as it is, the day started to get a little fuzzy after breakfast. We bumped some tunes in the kitchen while we decorated a cake. Marissa and I each had two drinks in our hands - a mimosa and a fresh cup of coffee.

"It's a weird sensation, isn't it?" laughed Marissa. "It's like with every sip I'm getting more energy and less energy at the same time."

Rodney helped Marissa assemble the halves of my birthday mistake cake in the kitchen. As Rodney was cleaning off the frosting spoon, a little drop of food coloring fell on my cutting board.

30th frosting

Rodney engaged in the satisfying, dangerous art of tasting frosting.

"Oh no," sighed Marissa. "Rod, try to be more careful." She reached for the dish rag and started to scour it.

"Oh don't worry about it," I said. "Seriously don't even try to clean it. I stain it with tomatoes all the time."

"Really?" said Marissa. "This is food coloring though, it might be hard to get out."

"So I have a blue dot on my cutting board. Don't sweat it," I assured her.

"Yeah, don't sweat it," repeated Rodney.

"Are sprinkles ok?" asked Marissa.

"Of course," I said. "Let me check the spice rack. I still keep them on the spice rack, by the way."

Marissa, having already made a perfect looking Bears logo on top of the cake with icing, was feeling invested in its perfection. Trying to figure out how to apply the sprinkles, she hesitated.

"I could just like... pour them..." she said, tipping the container. The sprinkles fell to the plate. She picked up a few, throwing them on the side, like a garnish.

"HIGH YAH. HIGH YAH," she said, tossing sprinkles around like a hibachi chef.

Marissa ordered Portillo's for lunch. I ate an Italian beef with cheese sauce and fries. The last time I polished off a plate of Portillo's that quickly, it was probably in high school after a hockey game. And after a slice of cake? I didn't have a chance. I sauntered up to our bedroom for a crushing nap that took up most of the day.

I just woke up a few hours ago. We ordered Chinese food for dinner. Funny story about that home run in pizza from yesterday - I accidentally ordered the miniature size. The pizza could fit in the palm of my hand, and it was safe to say that wasn't going to feed us this evening.

Today was the best day ever. Credit to Marissa for setting up a pretty relaxed and loving birthday. I was barely concerned about quarantine. She ran interference for Rodney and Miles. All day long, she curated a day that truly felt like I could do whatever the hell I wanted to do - surfing the web with Rodney, writing code, drinking coffee outside, and napping.

30th marissa

Marissa, the birthday mastermind.

And now that things are winding down, I'll spend the rest of the night reflecting. Most people I've talked to or messaged from my phone have asked me something along the lines of what do you think about turning thirty? or what's the best thing that's happened so far? Marissa and I brushed the subject last night standing out on the porch.

"Do you feel different?" she asked.

"Honestly, yeah," I said. "But I feel like I turned 30 a few months ago. I think I'm going to like it."

I took a thoughtful swig of beer. "I feel more centered and self-aware. I feel more capable. All in all, I like my life. It's equal parts regimented, spontaneous, curious, and fulfilling."

We moved inside. I grabbed Miles from her lap and burped him over my shoulder. "What's the best thing that happened to you this year?" she asked.

"This year? Pshhhh this year sucked," I sighed. "Trump. Covid. Riots. Just forget everything this year."

Marissa stared at me, trying to hide the fact that she was horrified. She glanced at Miles, who was almost knowingly started to chuckle.

"Oh that's right!" I laughed. "Everything, except you, Miles. I suppose that was pretty good."

In a few moments, Marissa and I are going to sit outside the fire and enjoy the rest of this Camembert cheese. It was a good day today. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone. I'll see you tomorrow, when I officially begin my thirties.