the day before my birthday

Happy birthday to me!

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m 29 this year. That number sounds incredible to me because, on a good day, I feel 17 and on a bad day I feel 2… just completely immature and childish. I guess, if I have to, I can act like an adult. Only if I have to. 🙂

Last year I barely noticed my birthday. I just wasn’t in a frame of mind to enjoy it. It’s sad, really, that I can’t even remember what I got last year or what I did. It was just that unremarkable, completely forgettable. In fact, a lot of things that were going on in my life about this time last year were not too great. My job search was going nowhere, I was car-less, I was poor poor poor and getting worse, etc., etc., etc. This year is so much better. starting with my birthday.

My number one freelance web client, Amalia, has an assistant I’ve gotten to know pretty well. Lucy is an aspiring architect, very artistic, very nice, and very likeable. She’s from Indonesia, has my birthday, and is one year older than I am. In the course of the past six or seven months, we’ve talked a lot. Amalia is a very interesting person, but not the easiest to keep up with. We’re talking about a successful architect, a woman who’s been on the local best-dressed list more than once, someone who one day decided that she wanted to be in new media and proceeded to get herself a radio show and hire me to do the Web site. Amalia makes things happen by sheer force of wanting it. It’s very daunting. Lucy has the impressive job of taking Amalia’s ideas and making them coordinated, organized and understandable to us mere mortals. She’s very good at following up on the small details Amalia overlooks or simply assumes will be dealt with. They work well together.

Lucy and I made plans over a month ago to celebrate our birthday together. All we knew was that we were going to take Friday afternoon off, the day before our birthday, and do something. Somewhere along the last few weeks we decided to do a late lunch in Kemah and take in a movie. Kemah is a little town outside Houston, on the way to Galveston, which has a boardwalk, restaurants facing the water and other attractions. Kemah is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the area, even better than Galveston, so we figured it would be a good idea.

This is the part where I tell you that this week was hell. There were no major catastrophes, but everything seemed to land on my desk and everything was due the day before I got it. Budget cycle ended. School starts Monday. I had a retreat on Thursday for which I was responsible. There was a departmental party on Wednesday I helped coordinate. I had a job interview moved up a week, never mind that I wasn’t ready for it. When noon dragged around, I was drained, exhausted, tired and ready for a break. Kemah couldn’t come soon enough. I told my office that they were not to beep me even if the school caught fire and went up in a blaze. I had had enough.

Amalia ended up joining the party, which was good since she picked up the tab. We went to the Kemah Crab House and had their seafood buffet. I kid you not, we were there 4 hours and made at least 4 trips to the buffet each. And proceeded to have desert, yummy Oreo custard for me and key lime pie for the others. We sat outside, watched the boats sail by, and talked and talked and talked. And ate and ate and ate. There was an older couple sitting at a table near us; when they left the man teased us that he had “never seen 3 little girls eat so much.” We thought it was hysterical. Our poor waiter looked at us like we were crazy. But I have to admit that by the time we left I was as relaxed as I was ever gonna get.

There was something almost therapeutic about the combination of sitting outside in the shade, the salt air, the non-stop chatter, and the girlfriend atmosphere. We talked about our families, our childhoods, men, money, health, girlfriends and boyfriends and just friends, careers and hopes and wants and dreams. We talked about politics, and disagreed loudly, and smiled and laughed and damn near cried a few times. Other than the nice older couple for an hour or so, we had the balcony to ourselves, so there was no one to bother. It was just us and the cute 18-year-old waiter and the boats sailing by. It was nice. Memorable.

Lucy and I went to see The Cell. I hated it, she liked it. Then Lucy took me home and we talked some more on the drive there. All in all, the day before my birthday went really well.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter ( and (Facebook).

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