So I had a birthday. I knew it was going to be a good one because in the first few minutes of my day, I won a level of Candy Crush. And there were really good songs on the radio. And the baby didn't take her shoes off in the car. That was a birthday miracle in itself. My friends decorated my cubicle and it made me so happy. I had to snip through streamers to see my computer monitor and I felt evil doing that. I got a munny vote in the Monday morning meeting and that was enough for me because even one vote is a rarity. And suddenly I had three votes. Then four. Then it was a tie with Chris and we had to go heads down and I won the tie. Probably because it was my birthday, but I won the little Munny for the week. Actually, this makes two weeks in a row.
We went to my birthday lunch at a place called Happy's and how can you not be happy at a place called Happy's? If Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, it should be called Happy's. Or Happyland. Like, who names the happiest place on earth after themself? Zierkeland? Yeah, that sounds harsh and cold and trippy. Probably because German last names all sound so aggressive and whimsical at the same time. I forgot to bring my leftovers home. They are still in the work fridge. At least I think they are. They could've been cleaned out. I'll still eat them. I'm totally okay with 4-day-old leftovers but I know some people aren't. I'll probably be judged. My dad texted and called and it was short and superficial, but at least it happened, right? And I knew it was my first birthday without my mom, and I thought I was ready for it, but the emptiness kept creeping up on me. My half-brother texted me. We texted back and forth a bit. We've never done that before. It wasn't superficial. I need to do better with my half-brothers.
I left work early to go read in the park with the fall leaves. 4:30 sunshine on October 21st is absolutely the best. There was a park bench that was a memorial for some awesome dead guy. It was marble and super cold and I loved it and I wish that my mom's headstone were awesome. I try to tell myself that things like a lame headstone don't matter, but it makes me feel angry and sick inside the way nothing else ever has before so how can that not matter? It matters. It matters a lot. I had a good conversation with my mother-in-law. And my sister-in-law. I didn't get a single birthday card and I am totally okay with that. They are a waste of money, I think. I remember telling my mom that. Don't spend $4 on a card. Just keep it or put an extra $4 into the gift. Write your message on a PostIt note. That's when she started doing her homemade Mandi Creations cards. I miss those a lot. I cry when I think I will never receive another - or my kids. Noelle never got a single one. Should I start doing those for my nieces and nephews? Or just let that be a Grandma thing that died with her? I picked up leaves and sniffed them. I kept holding them to my nose and smelling. And it's nice to know that death and decay can be so damn beautiful.
I decided to drive by my childhood home. The house that my parents brought me home to when I was born. And they kept the rock and now there's a giant flagpole and that's okay because I think it fits. But the bushes and landscaping suck. My mom would be disappointed. I saw a lot of houses of my childhood friends. We've moved on and have our own lives and I miss them and still love them. Like, a lot. And I am Facebook friends with them and we text and whatnot but why do people we love have to go out of our lives? I know it makes room for new people to love. But I just want to be able to pick my friends like I am casting a movie and put all the best people in my life all the time and never say goodbye. I saw my elementary school and the alcove where a boy and I kissed. The alcove can been seen from a very busy street and I wonder how many people saw us and got a laugh out of that.
My sister bought my dinner and that was seriously such a great gift. Justin picked up the pre-ordered, paid for food and it was fantastic. And the night was different and I spent a lot of time alone. There was cat puke in the bathroom, which sucked, but really, it was the best place for a cat to get sick. The new carpet is still spill- and stain-free. And I missed my mom and every time I tried to fall asleep I would miss her and cry. So I did when I've been doing a lot of lately and that's just doing something to keep my mind busy so I don't think, so I got out my book and read and read and read until I was so tired that I fell asleep mid-sentence because it's during those quiet times between heartbeats at night that I miss her so much and I cry and my life shatters again.
And I turned 32.