By the time this posts, I will officially be 42. And as many of you probably know by now, pandemic birthdays suck.
Last year, I had French toast and biscuits with apple butter for breakfast, got a massage, treated myself to Smashburger for the first time in ages, then met my friends in a Mexican restaurant (ah, remember when in-restaurant dining was safe?) to drink margaritas and eating chips with three kinds of dip. Then we adjourned to the Cheesecake Factory further down in the open-air mall. Then one of the guys I was seeing (ugh, remember Darryl? Some stuff is better now) came over.
This year… Well, not so much.
In fact, I almost didn’t take my birthday off at all. August already has fewer weekdays in it than usual. So taking an extra day off would hurt my check even further.
People told me to do it anyway, and I hemmed and hawed for a few days. Then realized, duh, I could just trade shifts with the other gal. I get the day off without losing the hours. Win-win!
So I’m either taking one weekend day or two four-hour evening shifts while she covers today. Because let’s face it, working on your birthday — if you have the option not to — is just the pits.
So I’m going to try to still enjoy myself, even though I can’t see friends. (I guess I could go over to Kevin’s, but he just recently saw a different friend. Thus I’m trying to wait two weeks.)
In the morning, I’m going to call in an order to Cracker Barrel (extra biscuits and apple butter please!) and pick it up. As long as I remember to ask them to leave off the butter (which I never use anyway), it shouldn’t be soggy by the time I get it home.
No idea what I’m doing for lunch, but I’ll figure something out.
Anyway, the day that I figured out I was taking today off, I looked at case numbers. Thankfully, they continue to be (comparatively) very low. The last several days have been under 1,000 cases — even with 16,000ish results coming in per day. So I called the massage place and asked if there were any chance my gal was open.
She was not. But they’ve been having cancellations lately, so they put me on a list. Monday I got the call that a 3 p.m. appointment was available. Hooray for a both-masked massage!
After that, I’ll take an annoyingly long drive (by which I mean about 30 minutes) to Cheesecake Factory to get my annual slab of chocolate cake. (I’m weird, I don’t like cheesecake.) And take that home to feast. Actual dinner food may also be involved, but maybe not, given the cake’s calorie count. (Which I masochistically look up every year — why???)
I’ll watch TV in the interim and the evening, play on social media and generally try not to pout that the 41 year old isn’t available to keep me company even part of the day.
Obviously, there are far worse things than a solo birthday any time — such as ones spent without any human interaction or ones that don’t involve cake (or your dessert of choice) — and obviously in a pandemic there are far, far worse things than that. Myriad, myriad ways things could be far worse.
So, I’ll stop whining now, suck it up — along with plenty of food — and try to enjoy this day as best I can.