I don’t know ’bout you…but I’m feelin’ 22!
If you don’t know where that’s from, clearly you have not yet turned 22 in America. If you ask me, we really need a new anthem. Too bad I’ll never turn 22 again to enjoy one if it happens…
I LOVE birthdays because I get to say to my friends: “hey, thanks for being BORN!” It’s the most unconditional celebration of a human that I can think of. People didn’t have to do anything to deserve a birthday — they didn’t work for it ; they didn’t have to be pretty, or smart, or exceptional ; they didn’t have to “fit in” or live up to anyone’s expectations — nobody even knew how they would turn out on their day of birth. And we get to throw a party to thank them simply for being in the world. I think we forget that everyone was a baby miracle to someone, at some point, when we get bogged down in the expectations (/insecurities) of Life After Birth.
In foreign countries, birthdays are bittersweet. The ingredients of my perfect birthday in America are as follows: Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake, lots of friends and family love, maybe a present or two, a lot of nice cards, and some celebratory dancing + tunes + friends to dance to them with. I’ve had a lot of fantastic birthdays, thanks to some amazing loved ones.
But when you’re far from home, all expectations must be thrown out the window. Nothing will be as expected. Three weeks ago, I had no idea if I’d even have any friends to celebrate with!
But I do. GREAT ones!!
First, I made some food for them. I love cooking for people, and I’ve discovered that people really like eating. [Left: Tartiflette, Right: Falafel night!]
I also discovered the loveliest Queen of Cakes there ever was, my friend Natalie. She surprised me with a beautiful strawberry tart in the morning, and a chocolate tart + marzipan penguin at night.
And candles too. And a traditional birthday song! (You may have heard of it)
I also got a card + candy and my own DVD copy of Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis! I can FINALLY become hip to the Ch’ti cultural lingo that everyone has said I must learn about. (THANK YOU FRIENDS!)
Then we went bowling! Yes, there is a bowling alley in Val! Complete with American diner. I’m going back for milkshakes someday. The selfie queen made an appearance.
And tonight, it’s party time!! I am fortunate enough to share a birth month with a lovely British gentleman named Josh (pictured above), and we have joined celebration forces! It’ll be great. The bête de fête from Paris has returned.
To all who sent me bday messages, mail, FB posts, texts, etc…they really, actually mean a lot to me! Thank you!
Love & bisous,