Sunday, March 22, 2009

Winter Adieu (the "I bought you something, but I ate it!" edition)

Spring is finally here and snow (like my youth) is but distant memory for the guyliner sporting gnome that lives in my garden. A remnant from my childhood, he has been around since the tail end of the disco era. Luckily, neither of us has ever cared particularly much about age. It is a good thing, because it makes birthdays SO much more fun.

One of my favorite things about my birthday is that it falls on the first day of spring, which also coincides with Nowrūz (Persian New Year). While all birthdays are technically the beginning of a new year, having one that falls on the Vernal Equinox just seems symbolically lovely - spring starting, snow melting, flowers beginning to bud, everything awakening after the winter. That is not to say that I am not a little jealous of my summer birthday friends who get to have sunny picnics and barbeques to celebrate their existences. They don't have to deal with nature during "Faces of Eve" month.

I have seriously considered moving my birthday to May when the weather is warmer and more predictable. "March"/"May", it's only a few letters. And what are a couple months between friends? No one would even have to know. New friends would be easy. I would just tell them my birthday was in May. And the old ones? I'd borrow a page from the Bush/Cheney playbook and simply deny it despite the abundance of previously recorded evidence to the contrary. "I don't know what you're talking about! My birthday has always been in May. You are seriously misunderestimating how the calendar works, my friend! Say, what do you say we bomb an innocent country on Thursday and tell everyone they were plotting against us with our most hated enemy?"

But, you have to deal with what life gives you and what life gave me was the month when nature apparently has PMS ("I am sun and sweet little lambs frolicking in the meadow! No, I am rain, black clouds and gale force winds! What are you talking about? I'm NOT in a bad mood. I'll show you a bad mood! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch t.v., so I can cry at the sheer cuteness of the puppy in the "ain't no bugs on me" commercial...).

Life also gave me turning 40 this year. For the most part, I don't really care, but it still feels weird on my lips. "I am 40." Weirder still would be to lie about my age. I don't want to be one of those women to botoxes and surgically sculpts herself beyond recognition, so they can insist they're 29 when they're really 50 (though maybe I should keep my not yet duckified lips shut until I know how I will feel when I start looking old...). It is, however, weird to suddenly find myself "in my 40's". It's really not so much that I mind being 40, it's more that I wonder how it happened. It seems like a little monster crept up while I wasn't paying attention. ("Look! Over there! Something shiny! MWAHAHAHAHA! You are 40!!!)

Ultimately, 40 isn't so bad. I have a good life, good friends and family whose lunch and dinner invitations have ensured that I haven't had to cook for myself since I was in my 30's. Seriously! Birthday eve was Moe's with my coworkers. Friday, a shopping lunch of Chinese food and the best birthday dinner EVER with my primary birthday posse (minus one who was sick, but I hope the medicinal Black Forest Cake we sent home for her helped!) at Dar Essalam in Wilsonville. Then there was a Saturday post-tax appointment lunch salad at Marie Callender's (a new thing for a new decade, since I've neer previously eaten there) and oyster shooters and shrimp enchiladas and blackberry margarita's at El Tapatio. Tomorrow, I start a cleanse, but not before I attempt to talk someone into a goodbye dinner of Eggplant in Garlic Sauce at my favorite Thai restaurant...

P.s. I cannot say enough good things about Dar Essalam, which is my new favorite restaurant. Anyone in the Portland area seriously needs to avail themselves of a dinner there. I swear, you will thank me! And don't let the location fool you - once you step inside, the staff, the decor and the food are so lovely, you will completely forget that you are in office park/strip mall country. It is totally worth the drive!

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