BIRTHDAY BLOG

February 1st, 2004

Wow! I've gotten so many nice birthday wishes from all of you! That's really sweet!

And to show my thanks, I am spending my WHOLE birthday (well, most of it anyway) revising Princess Diaries 6, just so you'll get it in a timely manner. It's a real sacrifice, too, because all day on the Lifetime channel they're showing made-for-TV movies I've never seen, in honor of (or in response to) the Superbowl. And you know how I love those movies about heartache and hardship, especially in the middle of a blizzard or midair plane collision.

But instead I'm working, because even though it's my birthday, I know I owe you all a book. Especially since it's a month late.

However, to tell you the truth, it isn't THAT huge of a sacrifice, since I don't really care about birthdays.

When I was younger, I cared. A LOT. Like, I totally thought if I didn't have a good birthday, I would have a bad year. It took me a long time to figure out that this isn't true—your birthday is just a day, like any other, and though you should spend it doing whatever you want, you shouldn't freak out if it goes badly. Because basically, my birthdays have pretty much always sucked…mostly because I cared SO much about having a good birthday–since I was convinced that that ONE day set the tone for the whole year—of course I always had a bad one.

Those of you with summer birthdays know the heartache of planning a party and having no one show up because they're all at camp or on vacation with their families. Well, pity those of us with winter birthdays. Imagine planning a party and having no one show up because they all have bronchitis—or are snowed in. I usually had a cold or bronchitis myself—once I even had tonsillitis—on my birthday. Compared to that, lyme disease is nothing.

And when I wasn't sick on my birthday, my mom would plan a party, but something would always end up ruining it. Like someone (usually me) would throw up from all the excitement. Or instead of the LIVE miniature poodle I wanted, I'd get a stuffed one, and have to spend the whole party trying not to cry (and sit there saying to myself, “Why wasn't I more specific? LIVE poodle. Should have said I wanted a LIVE poodle!”)

And because we weren't the wealthiest family, instead of the store-bought Barbie clothes I always wanted, I'd end up getting Barbie clothes my mom made. Now, of course, I realize these clothes were prettier and more tasteful than the store bought ones…but back then, I wasn't interested in making Barbie look classy. I wanted to make her look like a slut. So that was a crushing blow.

The worst was when I turned ten. My mom threw a Freaky Friday party for me, and everyone had to come dressed in their mother's clothes. Which you have to admit, is pretty funny.

But the meanest, most popular girl in my class, Shoshona (yes, I'm talking to you, Shoshona. Thought I forgot, didn't you? Well, I didn't) laughed at all the rest of us in our dress up clothes (her mother apparently didn't own any sun hats or funny gloves) and said we looked like a bunch of babies. Which kind of ruined the festive mood.

I don't remember too many birthdays after this. I think I started blocking them out. I vaguely remember my 16th birthday, but only because there's photographic evidence that my then boyfriend came to my house and gave me the original cast recording of South Pacific (on 78s, no less) which was my favorite musical, back then. That was a good birthday…right up until the moment he announced that he was moving to China.

I guess just breaking up with me wasn't going to put enough distance between us. He had to move to China, too.

Yeah, that was a memorable one.

I remember my 17th birthday because my mom threw me a surprise Smurf birthday party as a joke, and all my friends came, and it was a blast, and I was convinced 17 was going to be a great year—so of course everything else that year went wrong. Like, I found out my new boyfriend (not China Boy. I'd said zaijian to him long before) was cheating on me with my arch enemy, and so I had to break up with him, and there was no one left at my high school who was even remotely cute (who would date me) that I could rebound with, and I got CHORUS in the school musical instead of an actual part, and then I forgot my costume opening night, and got yelled at IN FRONT OF THE EX BOYFRIEND (who had the lead), and it SUCKED. Oh, and then I got a D in Chemistry.

So after that, I gave up on birthdays. Good thing, too. I mean, last year on my birthday, the space shuttle Columbia blew up. And then this year on my birthday, this happened:

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (CNN) — A stampede Sunday morning killed 244 Muslim pilgrims and injured another 244 at a stone-throwing ritual which has been the source of deadly tramplings in the past, according to Saudi's health minister.

Happy birthday to me!

But I sort of have started to notice lately that the less I expect from my birthday, the better it is. For instance, my 30th birthday happened to coincide with the re-release of the new digitally formatted original Star Wars movie in theaters. So all of my friends and I went to see Star Wars at the Zeigfeld Theater, and yelled at the screen and had a great time (and there was no Shoshona to tell us all we were acting like babies).

Standing in line at the movie, these two geeky nineteen year old boys in Jedi outfits tried to pick me up, inviting me to come home with them after the movie to Long Island in their mom's station wagon. I was very touched by this invitation and wanted to hear more about what we were going to do at their house in Long Island (play Rebel Strike, perhaps???) when my husband ruined it all by looming over the boys and going, “Guys. She's married. To ME,” and scared the boys away.

Really, could there BE a more perfect birthday than that? Well, to a thirty year old married woman?

After that birthday, I sort of broke the sucky birthday barrier, and lately, in spite of shuttle crashes and stampedes, my birthdays have gotten a lot better—mostly because I don't put a lot of pressure on myself about them.

Although I couldn't help noticing this exciting piece of news that appeared recently:

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Someone lifted a 170-pound bronze statue of Yoda, the “Star Wars” Jedi master.

The theft from a flatbed truck was reported to police last weekend and artist Lawrence Noble, 55, of Crestline has offered a $1,000 reward for its return. The limited-edition bronze is worth up to $20,000.

“It's a real high-end collectible,” Noble said.

The statue was being transported from Artworks Foundry in Berkeley to DKE Enterprises in Los Angeles to be sold, Noble said. Lucasfilm Ltd. commissioned the statue, a part of a planned series featuring other “Star Wars” characters.
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I don't want to put a jinx on it or anything, and I'm not getting my hopes up. But I can't help hoping that one of those boys from the movie line did this just for me, and that Yoda is on his way to my apartment even as I write this. That would be the best present EVER.

But you know what? If a 170 pound Yoda statue DOESN'T show up at my door, it'll be OK. Because I know I'm going to have a good year either way. And my birthday wish is that you do, too!

Much love,

Meg