today is my birthday

The things I wanted for my birthday had nothing to do with presents. I wanted a dinner with my family that didn’t erupt into world war three. I wanted a day of peace and tranquility. I wanted some nice fuzzy warm memories.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

The day started out with Arianna treating me to breakfast. I’m a breakfast person. I prefer breakfast to any other meal in the day. Ironic, really, when I so seldom take the time to actually eat breakfast these days. More times than not I end up with two cups of coffee at work on an empty stomach. And when I do end up having the typical eggs-and-sausage breakfast, it’s usually for dinner or something. God bless IHOP and all those other 24-hour places that serve breakfast all the time.

Anyway… Arianna treated me to breakfast. Because this is her student teaching year, she had to take a weekend job to make ends meet. She was really lucky, she doesn’t have to do her student teaching for free the way most teachers do. She signed up through a program at Pasadena Independent School District that pays her the same rate as a substitute teacher; the district pays for her tuition and books, and she has a job ready and waiting when she graduates. She only has to commit to work for PISD for as many years as she was in the Teachers In Training program, and that’s going to be one year. Even so, it’s less money than she was making working as a fund-raiser for the American Heart Association – much less money – so money is tight. And little sister has a weekend job.

What all this means is that she wasn’t available all day Saturday and Sunday to make a big fuss over my birthday, as she would if she could’ve. Arianna is the one that loves celebrations, loves to make things bigger than they have to be, loves to orchestrate things to perfection. I’m kind of glad that she didn’t have the time to do that this year. It occasionally takes the fun out of the party. So she couldn’t celebrate with me all day, so she took me to breakfast before work.

It seems that the theme for my birthday this year is “See how much you can eat.” Breakfast was a buffet that tempted me into eating more than I should have, more than I thought I could after overindulging yesterday. Mother wasn’t feeling well, so she didn’t go with us. So it was just little sister, little brother and me. And lots and lots of food.

I’m always amazed at how food defines celebrations. The birthday cake was a tiramisu cake ordered from the local bakery. Arianna hates to get plain white or cream cake for birthdays, so we always end up with tres leches or Boston crème or white chocolate. The cake is important. The food is important. My birthday dinner consisted of takeout Italian food with all the trimmings: garlic bread, salad, hot seafood spread, lasagna, fettuccine, capellini and other stuff. Yummy.

Birthdays are fun, when you’re in the mood.

Author: Paloma Cruz

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

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