Today was not really a “secret” birthday, but it was kind of a secret. What made it kind of a secret was the fact that I switched the date of it on Facebook to an earlier date. I did this for a few reasons.
1) I’m not really a birthday person. If you are one of my friends who really loves having birthdays, and actually makes a list of things you want, and you have not just one, but several birthday parties, who likes to turn your birthday into a week long series of events, please know, I love you. But I don’t really like your birthday. I don’t like eating at restaurants with big groups of people and having waiters circle around us and sing alternate non-copyrighted versions of “Happy Birthday.” The optimal number for a dinner out is four. Six is acceptable. Anything more than six means that I’m eating with the three people next to and across from me, but I have to shout and somehow at the end of the evening the bill will be astronomical. I’m not a fan of going to bars in large groups either, or even to Vegas. I will go club dancing in a large group, for a “girls night out” thing, but I’m embarrassed to dance in a circle, and eventually I will leave you and dance alone. I like bowling, but once you have a butt in each of those five chairs, you don’t need more people. I will go camping with a a large group–but that’s an entirely different thing, and really, who does birthday camping? I get the reasoning for large birthdays, because you like all your friends and you don’t get to see them enough, I feel that. If I was to have a birthday party, despite everything I just said, I would want to invite everyone. But right now is not the best time to have a birthday party, which brings me to
2) I’m just too busy….really. Not busy with glamourous stuff or even some high-stress job. I’m just writing. But i’m writing on deadlines which require a certain amount of output each day, and if I don’t complete that output I cannot leave my house. Which would suck if I had arranged to meet 23 of my closest friends at the bowling alley. Today I skipped breakfast, the gym, getting dressed, and managed to write ten pages before 5pm. Yeah me. But yesterday I finished at midnight. If I were more devil-may-care, or just capable of surviving on less than six hours of sleep, I’d just say F**k it, I’m going out, I’ll write when I get back and I’ll sleep when I’m dead, but I am not like that, mostly because I am OLD. which brings me to
3) I’m old. Not old as the hills, but significantly older than my counterparts at film school / facebook friends. I’m told that these folks are my network, that someday in the future, we will trade favors and give each other jobs. And I’m a little old to be someone’s assistant. I understand that. My fellow students are not unaware of that. Still, no need rub anyone’s face in it
So there you go. After all of that, if you are wondering, I had a lovely secret Birthday. Four friends–who are the kind of people who remember these things — remembered, and wrote or called, which is about perfect. So did my family. Everyone else just went about their normal lives. I, as I mentioned, wrote this morning. I went to the gym around 5pm, then decided at the last minute that my ideal birthday evening would be to go catch part of the broadcast version of the Metropolian Opera, and then go swing dancing–which is a very hard thing to get Paul to do when it’s not my birthday.
So that’s what we did, and it was a lot of fun.