Take a look at my ninth birthday party y'all, some sort of amazing Pepsi product placement ad. I am somewhat hidden on the left there, but my perm? Nobody puts my perm in the corner. She is truimphant in all of her fluffy glory.
Across the table from me is an adorable Allie, whose skirt was awesome. She also loves Pepsi. Mmm!
Behold also one of my brother Mike's Christmas present, a gigantic pinball machine that my mother thought would be a good idea, despite the fact that it only fit in the kitchen. I resented that damn game for stealing my thunder at my birthday party. This was about me! And my perm! And Pepsi Cola!
And just nine years later, I turned 18. This was my year! I graduated high school. I moved to Brooklyn. I registered as a Democrat. I hung out at Clark Street bar on Henry Avenue, throwing back kamikaze shots for most of freshman year of college.
This was my party in our new home, sans pinball machine. The perm is gone as I sit with cousin Ricky on my lap, and the sneakers are passable. Remember overalls? Yes, I had multiple pairs. I once wore denim overalls to a high school "mixer" with an ivory sweater and combat boots. V. grunge. You can catch D, Koos, and Grace in this picture as well, and I am sure they will be so pleased.
And then three years after I turned eighteen: 21. See the triumphant smile? The slutty red shirt? The drinks?? Is there anything quite like the feeling of confidently showing your actual ID for the first time, knowing you can't possibly be turned away, knowing you don't have to pay a sleazy bouncer at Maui on Delaware Avenue $50 bucks to get into penny drink night? Are you with me?
To be 21 in Manhattan! At least up until September.
Then the years fly by, and I am suddenly 28. I am tempted to snap a photo of myself this morning and post, but I'd frighten you. I'm still in my fleece pajamas, hair pulled into a sloppy bun, wearing my glasses. I haven't brushed my teeth. My coffee is cold. It's raining. I am suddenly tempted to climb back into bed and sleep the anniversary of my birth away.
But you know, this is the year I get married to J, the man who surprised me with a giant bouquet of exotic flowers last night, and is whisking me off to Los Angeles on Thursday. We'll visit Punta Cana in July, surrounded by all of our closest friends and family, and say our vows barefoot on the beach. This is the year we (possibly) visit Africa. It's the year I stop screening so many calls, make an attempt to get my Master's, and quit watching Sex and the City on TBS.
This will be a good year.
Even if I have to start using night cream.