Saturday marks the start of my 39th trip around the sun. And I had absolutely no inspiration of what to do.
In the past, we’ve done some ridiculously cheap Groupon water park trips. Alas, there aren’t any good deals this year. Besides, Tim’s back has been acting up. So walking and long periods of standing on concrete probably isn’t the best idea anyway.
The order of events generally goes:
- Cash in IHOP breakfast coupon (one of the few non-BOGO birthday offers around)
- Cash in Rita’s Italian ice coupon (the second non-BOGO deal)
- Take in a movie
- Get slab o’ chocolate cake from The Cheesecake Factory
- Do something juvenile: water park, mini-golf, arcade, etc.
But this year the activities don’t seem particularly compelling.
I’m not interested in the movies currently at AMC. I don’t want to play mini-golf in this heat, and Dave & Buster’s was way more fun (read: affordable) when my birthday fell on the half-price day. And for the first time ever, The Cheesecake Factory cake doesn’t seem worth the trip.
So the only real birthday tradition to stay intact this year will be the IHOP breakfast. Because any birthday that starts with French toast is, by definition, a good birthday.
Other than that, there’s still a lot of time to fill on my big day.
We could go to the cheap house to jeer at The Mummy or Transformers. But that’s still only two out of my 16 waking hours.
So I had a crazy thought: Let’s hang out with friends on my birthday!
We don’t really have many friends here, though we’re getting to know the people in our Meetup.com group, but I do have a friend from college that I’m trying to see more often.
So I messaged her on Facebook and, voila, she and her fiance are coming over Saturday night. We’ll drink, snack, play some pool and shoot the breeze.
This will be something of a test run.
Tim wants to have people over, and I think that sounds good in theory. Then I look around our house and try to picture it through other people’s eyes. I think other people will be kinder than the ones in my head, but, regardless, I’m hesitant.
So we have a ways to go before I’ll feel comfortable inviting something more akin to quasi-friends (Meetup group folks) for something like a game night.
But thanks to Mom’s help, the place at least looks good enough for actual friends. She:
- Cleaned both bathrooms
- Did dishes
- Wiped down the kitchen counters and stove top
- Swept (repeatedly — the animals are shedding like crazy)
- Helped me change out the cat litter (Booda domes are awesome but huge)
- Helped me move the scratched and chipped coffee table out of the living room
- Helped me stain the fence (read: did about 70% of it)
- Spot-painted the living room wall
And then there were non-guest related things like cooking multiple meals and helping us move junk out to the curb* for bulk trash pickup day. #MomVacation
(Tim pitched in as much as he could for those activities, but physical constraints — including the aforementioned recent back flares — limited his mobility.)
The paint was an especially big deal. When we had the wall trimmed back to facilitate pool playing, we ended up with white splotches around the area where the support beam meets the living room wall. The dark green living room wall. It’d been driving me crazy for about 18th months.
But thanks to Mom, the wall is once again a solid green. She was even able to cover up the now-defunct termite tunnel!
Clean toilets, a non-splotchy wall, a stained fence — all these things make me feel less anxious about having people over. Hopefully, we can get a few other improvements done soon — most of which will have to be DIY thanks to the new flooring for the guest house. So we’ll see how well ideas turn into action. But I guess it’s good to have goals.
Point being: I officially have birthday plans. (Non-juvenile ones, but nothing’s perfect.)
And we’ll get to find out how much people actually care about the stuff that bugs me. And whether we can get Pandora to calm the hell down around strange men. We plan on having the fiance give her a whoooooole lot of liver treats.
What do you like to do on your birthday?
* Then move it again when, on the day of pickup, someone told us that our stuff was supposed to be in the back alley.