I get the birthday blues every year. I think it started when I turned 24 while I was living in London. I was in the M&A department of a blue-blooded British investment bank, lived in a smart part of London, and had a tall, blond, public-schooled investment analyst for a boyfriend. That was the year I realized that I added little value to the world even though I worked 14 hour days. I could play no musical instrument, no sport (except for badminton, but is that really a sport?), and I did not know how to paint nor produce anything of artistic value. I realized that if I were suddenly hit by a bus, no one would miss me for anything I did. So, I embarked upon a mission of self-improvement, which was half Singaporean and half Virgo in nature. I decided to take up various courses - piano lessons in Hampstead, art lessons on the Strand and tennis lessons in Regents Park.
Many years have passed since that point in time, 13 to be exact. I can now paint huge canvasses of acrylic and oil and can play decent tennis. No, I didn't get very far with my piano, but my two lovely children are learning to play piano, violin, tennis and golf. I have a handsome doting husband (neither blond nor English), a good, steady career, a beautiful house with a koi pond, and a burgundy BMW. However, I still get the birthday blues.
Today is my birthday. Three days ago on Sunday, as my birthday blues started settling in, my fabulous girlfriends from Davidson turned up at my house for a surprise tea party. The five of us get together regularly for glasses of wine, dinners and movies and have been compared with famous posses like the one in Sex in the City - some of the fashion and very little of the sex. The fab four, Artichoke Dip, Brown Sugar Cookie, Fruit Salad and Texan Chili, turned up at my door with huge smiles and tea from Gevalia, cucumber sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, raspberry jam, and brown sugar cookies. The warmth and affection was just what I needed and I smiled through it all, not revealing the blues I concealed in my heart.
At work today, I had a similar special treat as Swiss Chocolate took me to a new French Bakery in Uptown Charlotte, Amelie, and treated me to pastries and coffee. The greedy guts that I am, I wanted to try two pastries instead of one, and she smilingly obliged. I chose the chocolate eclair and my all-time favorite, the almond croissant and washed it all down with some French roast coffee. I also got to sample some of Swiss Chocolate's plum tart. They were all very good and the almond croissant was exceptional.
The pastries won the battle this year.