This past Saturday was my twenty-eighth birthday. As a child, I always feared that my birthday would fall on the first day of school. (A fear I’m sure that was shared by every child with a late August birthday.) The last couple of birthdays have had complications that I never envisioned when I was younger, and this is the round-up:
August 29, 2004: I was working for Alpha Gamma Delta the year that I turned twenty-three, and, on the actual date of my birthday, I had been on the road for almost one month. I was getting a little lonely for my friends, and it didn’t help that Hays, Kansas is a communication black hole. There was no internet in the house, and my cell phone didn’t get reception. There may have been some crying.
August 29, 2005: My twenty-fourth birthday was on the first day of law school. I think that’s all I have to say.
August 29, 2006: After being in class all day, I had to sit through a four-hour mandatory journal orientation, which is a special kind of torture. There was, however, a major upside: One of my dear friends brought cupcakes, and we had a little party in the hallway during the break.
August 29, 2007: My twenty-sixth birthday was the first of the Land Border Crossing Birthdays. We were leaving the China mainland and heading to Macau, and the line to leave the country was unfathomable. I’m not much for standing in lines, and this was the line to end all lines.
August 29, 2008: I turned twenty-seven in Myanmar. We had arrived the day before and just missed the last bus north, so we were stuck in the border town over night. The idea was that we would go north when we awoke, but, after our night in the border town and sleeping in our creepy hotel under Felix the Cat blankets, we instead ventured back to the land border crossing and walked back into Thailand. There was a bus ride to Chiang Mai, but the birthday dramatically improved from there and included a mooncake with a candle.
This birthday was the first in many years to go off without a hitch, unless you include the ladies who steadfastly remained at the table we needed in the restaurant while pushing the same bite of cake around on their plates for what seemed like forever. I don’t, though, as it was such a small inconvenience on a day normally full of them.