First Day of Twenty-Two

I did some things yesterday.  There aren’t pictures, because I’m a goon, but basically, I had a birthday.

I pulled an all-nighter, of course, only going to sleep once 5:30 (and official birthday time) was upon us.

When I woke up, I tore into the mysterious box that had been looming with promise all week.

Then I grocery shopped.

Then I cleaned.  I did piles of dishes, glared at Joey when he dared to dirty more for lunch.  I swept, arranged chairs, baked a cake, licked the bowl used to mix up said cake, did laundry, made up with Joey after he agreed to mow the lawn, arranged pitas in attractive spirals on a chipped plate, spent an hour creating a party playlist, and changed outfits twice.

Then I paced.  And paced.  And asked my housemates if I could do anything else.  And paced some more after they said no.

I couldn’t decide if it would be worse if people didn’t arrive, or if they did.  You see, now that we’ve gotten to know each other a little better, I feel that I can tell you that I don’t like parties.  I’m not good at mingling, I’m never the most outgoing person in the room, and I tend to shrink into a corner when people start dancing.  And even though there would only be friends at this party, many of whom I have known since freshman year, I was still worried that this party would be some sort of horrifying dud that would involve many polite coughs and eye rolls.

Furthermore, Jordan, not knowing about my meticulously-crafted birthday playlist, had attached his iPad to the speakers.  Upbeat Latin music was blaring, and I was pacing, and the scarf I had eventually decided to wear was feeling more and more like a noose with each passing second.

And then I unplugged Jordan’s iPad and plugged in my laptop.  The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” started to play.  And I felt infinitely better.

The party, of course, was fantastic.  Everyone brought loads of food: sushi, soup, shish kebab, snickers salad, homemade salsa, soda, fruit snacks (it was a college party, after all), brownies, pasta, etc.  It was a little strange to realize that everyone was essentially there to see me, but I tried to bounce around to all the groups, and to talk to every person there for at least a little while.  And, although I invited people from different walks of campus life (there were my friends from my freshman dorm, my English major buddies, and my MCSA comrades), everyone got along and seemed to have a good time.

The best moment, however, was when Maddie walked out of the kitchen holding a lit cake,  and everyone started singing.  I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so perfectly happy.

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