So the other night I am sitting at my computer feeling so. super. sorry. for myself. Which, to be brutally honest, has become so common a description for my state of being that it is almost redundant to say it out loud. It's like clocking an autonomic function... SO I was pulling oxygen-laced air into my lungs and then chemically changing the oxygen to carbon dioxide and releasing it... like that.
The only more constantly true thing I could say right now would be, “So I am sitting in bed watching another Netflixed installment of Harper’s Island (I wish it was 130 episodes instead of 13 at this point, I truly do, so sad it is about to be over...) and feeling so. super. Etc etc...” You get the picture. This morbid bathing in a self pity pond is because I have been ENDLESSLY SICK, see entry below for the snot-filled fevered details.
SO there I sit staring at a screen, dull and listless and WAH-filled, and meanwhile, sneaking up behind me, comes my birthday in on little cat feet. I had no solid plans, but there have been many Mysterious Doings and hints and portents of surprises. My husband, MONTHS ago, told me not to PLAN anything for the three days surrounding my birthday. No book club calls, no service work, no lunches with friends. NADA. I thought to myself, SELF I thought, we are maybe going away for the weekend. But I try several times to conversationally trap my mother into admitting she is coming to babysit, and my mother gambols safely, feckless as a lambkin, through my conversational minefields.
I begin weaseling at Scott for clues and snooping perniciously about, dawdling in doorways when he is on the phone, feely-feeling all over packages that come to him with my feely-fingers, doing some mild shaking. Perhaps I even SNIFFED them. (Not recommended: The outsides of packages mostly smell like the insides of UPS trucks, and UPS trucks mostly smell like motor oil laced with eu de foot with aftersmells of dog poo-crumbs and loam.)
As the weeks unfold, it becomes clear that whatever it is *I* am doing for my birthday, Scott is not doing all of it with me. I begin to suspect spa days, except he KNOWS I hate for strangers to touch me anywhere below my forehead or above my knees,, and the only spa treatments I actively enjoy involve my hair and my feet, and what can someone POSSIBLY do to my feet for three days running that is legal in the state of Georgia?
I call all my friends and make them wrack their brains with me, and my friend Sara figures it out: I have LONG wanted to get certified to dive. You can actually do this in three days. I start hunting around to make sure my most utilitarian bathing suit is unfrayed and practicing making scuba noise-breathing. I become secretly irked that Scott is not getting certified WITH me so we can scuba at Beach Week this summer. I am pretty convinced, is all I am saying.
Then, on Birthday-Eve, I am sitting at my computer, feeling so. super. sorry. for myself, wondering if my lingering pound of lung-mucus will ruin my chances at certification, when lo! there is a knock at the door. I assume it is another foot-smelling UPS package. It’s about UPS o’clock. I glance at the door as Maisy runs to get it, and through the side window, I see the delivery guy in the porch looks a LOT like my friend Sara, who lives a good three states away. And the delivery guy has a puffy Hallmark-style adhesive bow stuck to his forehead. And is grinning like the very devil at me. Hmmm, I think. Weird. I turn back disconsolately to my screen.
Then Sara says I did a take SO double it can't be called a double take. It was like a take SQUARED. I run to the door and let her in, and we leap around, LAR LAR LAR, so happy. She tells me that, ALAS, Karen was flying in from NYC but as I know, Bob, NYC is full of blizzards and no flights have gotten out for 24 hours and they are SO backed up that she MAY or MAY NOT be able to get out on a flight in the next day or so. Sara blinks sadly at me, and I blink sadly back, DUMB AS A CUD CHEWING GOAT WHO NEVER PAYS ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER CHANNEL.
And of course, 90 minutes later, while Sara and I are sitting on the high bar stools of my kitchen, sipping foamy pink pom-tinis and gossiping 90 miles a minute, Karen comes stomping through as if she has been in my house the whole time saying, “Oh MAN, I can’t believe you vodka hogs didn't pour me one."
So far it has been truly a superior birthday.