The Perfect Birthday

31 Dec

When it’s your birthday you shouldn’t have to do anything you don’t like…right? That, at least, is what I always thought when I was a kid. It was always a total rip off when I had to go to school on my birthday…especially if my birthday was the first day of school following Christmas break.

If I stuck with that philosophy now my day sure would be nice. See, I’m turning 44 this week so I’m thinking that I ought not to have to do any dishes on that day. Nor should I have to wash (or fold) any clothes. I won’t wear my heavy coat when I leave the house because I don’t like my heavy coat. Never mind that I’ll freeze to death. I won’t sneeze because I hate sneezing. I won’t throw up because I really, really hate throwing up. I won’t answer the phone because I don’t like telephones. I won’t sweep. I won’t dust. I won’t water my temperamental plant. I won’t eat anything I dislike. This includes coffee that gives me heartburn and anything that will add to my waist line. But I will drink weak but utterly delicious coffee and eat cake.

Magical cake that has no calories.
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I won’t exercise. I won’t run the microwave and the toaster at the same time, thereby avoiding the deep, dark basement when I pop the breaker. I won’t do that. I won’t. I won’t clean hair out of the drain or wipe toothpaste out of the sink. Heck, I’ll avoid the bathroom as much as possible because, let’s face it, it’s not my favorite room. This means I won’t have to wash my face and my skin will be perfect. And my hair. That, too.

And birthdays are all about favorites.

I’ll talk to all of my dear friends I’ve lost track of over the past 44 years. I’ll go and visit all my favorite places. But I won’t suffer from jet lag. I’ll have all the time in the world to write and I’ll be focused, creative, and edit-proof. I’ll also spend hours on end with my family and my children will never squabble or argue with me, nor will they make messes. Or if they do, they’ll clean them up.

My husband will bring me breakfast in bed after I’ve slept in until I wake up on my own. My bedroom will be toasty warm from the fire my husband will light in my magical fireplace that only appears on my birthday and never leaves a mess behind itself.
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I will luxuriate in a bubble-filled bath with water that never grows tepid because a magical fire-breathing dragon is keeping it heated from below. And he won’t poop or stink up the space beneath the house ‘cause I wouldn’t like that and my birthday is all about stuff I like.

I’ll eat chocolate and read a fabulous book and have soup and everything I cook will turn out perfectly and even prettier than the photo in the cookbook. I will find an agent and a publisher and be famous, all in one day. But with none of the obnoxious stuff about fame…’cause no one wants that.

And if I don’t want it, I won’t have to deal with it.

Because it’s my birthday.

And it’s supposed to be perfect.

Or, rather, it’s my birthday…and no matter what I do – or don’t do – it will be just fine. Because maybe our birthdays as adults aren’t quite as exciting as they were when we were kids…but still, it’s a birthday! And that, as they say, is far better than the alternative.

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28 Responses to “The Perfect Birthday”

  1. Beth Rickers Namanny December 31, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I hope you get to do all those things, Gretchen! Happy Birthday!

  2. colorfulcharactersclub December 31, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Your bday is your special day. :P Your rules!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell December 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      Special and lovely no matter what, yes! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. treadlemusic December 31, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    ROFL!!!!!! RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m with ya, Girlfriend!!!!! I’ve always felt that way but for some strange reason the day comes and goes with nary a ripple in the cosmos. Those around me go about their “dailies” without acknowledging that this is MY day!!!! Sigh…….maybe next year………………………..Wishes for a Blessed Birthday, dear Bloggy Friend!!!!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell December 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      Ha! Yes. You do understand! The world doesn’t stop for me on my birthday, mores the pity. And yet…life goes on and not too shabbily, either. :-)

      • treadlemusic December 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

        No, not too shabbily…….how does that happen!?! Ha!

  4. Minnesota Prairie Roots December 31, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    You have penned a fabulous fantasy here, dear birthday girl. But I totally understand. I think we each possess some magical idea of what a birthday should hold. I do refuse to cook supper on my birthday. Choose something from your list and indulge yourself. I rather like the magical fire-breathing dragon.

    Happy birthday, dear friend, and many more!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell December 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Thank you! Yes…if only the dragon would agree to come, that would be lovely. :-) There may be dragons…but probably not benevolent ones. Sigh.

  5. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen December 31, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    I hope some of these fantasies are doable! Especially the hot bath and treats! Happiest of Birthdays!! Here’s to many more!! xx

  6. Jenny December 31, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Happy to you wee G!!!! :) May you get at least one of the things you hope for!!!!

  7. Betsy Patton December 31, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I enjoyed this so much, Gretchen. Happy Birthday on January 3. Don’t forget to feed the dragon! :-) Love, Auntie B.

  8. Jackie December 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Hope some of your desires come true, Happy Birthday Gretchen!

  9. Kate December 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    That would be amazing! My bday is today and I was thinking the same thing – what would I do with a day all to me? Hasn’t been too exciting yet, but I did splurge (well, used Kohls cash and a $10 bday coupon) for new sneakers for the new year! There might be dinner out tonight – husband forgot that my bday lands on New Year’s Eve and we need to make reservations! Hope your bday is special, regardless! All bdays are special!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 2, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      It’s an odd time of year to be born…and yet also I like starting out the new year all fresh and…new! And yes, sometimes it’s just things like new shoes that may be the most exciting part of our birthdays at this age…but still…there’s the comfort of knowing that one can buy new shoes that makes for a lovely day!

  10. gardenfreshtomatoes January 1, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    A perfect Birthday, if I ever heard one! May at least MOST of it come true!

  11. Gemma Hawdon January 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Happy 44th Gretchen! And, absolutely, do whatever pleases you – birthdays are the one day we are allowed at least that x

  12. thewritesteph.com January 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Hope you had a wonderful 44th Gretchen! May God bless you with many more.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Thanks! I had a lovely day…despite temperatures at about 15 below zero, Fahrenheit!!

      • thewritesteph.com January 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

        I can’t even i-m-a-g-i-n-e! Today I blogged about the cold temps in AL. It’s crazy cold down here, too!

      • thewritesteph.com January 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

        I don’t think I’ve ever even been somewhere at zero degrees!

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