On July 24th I’ll be 46 years old. I’m excited about it because I still see my birthday similarly to how a small child sees her birthday: another year older and closer to being a grown up and people taking me seriously and stuff. I can’t wait til my 50th birthday when I’ll happily join AARP (I want those discounts).
When I was growing up, my favorite food was birthday cake, especially the fluffy, gooey frosting. My mother always ordered the cakes for me and my sister well ahead of time. She was big on birthday celebrations and so am I. Every July of my life I’ve waited for my birthday cake with anticipation. As a child, I relished eating the leftover cake for days after the party. As an adult, I carefully choose and order the cake that will celebrate ME. Under stress, my go-to food has always been plain layer cake with piles of white frosting. It is THE food I cannot resist.
But this year my growing intolerance for wheat has me considering an alternative. As sad and hard as the decision is, I think I’m not getting a birthday cake for my party this year. My emotional ties to cake remain, but my digestive system can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to spend my birthday party in pain and that’s what will happen if I have a regular wheat-based cake. Instead, I’m considering (no, not that gluten-free pastry stuff) making a birthday pie. Most pie fillings can be made without wheat ingredients and I’ve found a recipe for a nut-based crust. Problem solved.
I love my birthday. I never let a year go by without celebrating it with others. I enjoy the party, the cake (pie), the candles, the singing and being surrounded by friends. The only thing I dislike about my birthday is the presents. Over the years I have done a pretty good job of convincing my friends that I really don’t want any -- really, no, seriously, no -- birthday presents. Edible gifts aren't so bad because I can always find someone to eat them and they don't require storage. But besides that, I do not enjoy gifts.
...unless I’ve specifically asked for them. If anyone were to ask me what I want for my birthday my response would be immediate: an Amazon gift card so I can buy e-books. But people don't usually ask adults what they want for their birthday. Grown ups giving gifts to other grown ups often believe a gift should reflect a special quality or dynamic between the giver and receiver. It should encapsulate the friendship and send a message. They think it’s an emotional gesture that is hollowed out by gift registries and specific requests.
I don't believe that. Forget the birthday present. Just celebrate with me, preferably with lots of friends and some really good food and goodies. That's what I want my birthday to be: friends and food!