I got a girl crush, hate to admit it but
I got a heart rush, ain’t slowin’ down
I got it real bad, want everything she has
That smile and the midnight laugh she’s givin’ you now
I wanna taste her lips, yeah, ‘cause they taste like you
I wanna drown myself in a bottle of her perfume
I want her long blonde hair, I want her magic touch
Yeah, ‘cause maybe then you’d want me just as much
I got a girl crush, I got a girl crush
– Little Big Town
I was supposed to be in Barcelona on Friday.
My heart is literally breaking as I type these words to you.
A lump settles in my throat. Tears fill my eyes.
I was supposed to be spending the next two weeks in Spain, and France, and Italy, and Turkey, and Greece. I was supposed to be walking the streets of Europe – eating the freshest pasta, and pastries, and fish the world has to offer. I was supposed to be island hopping in the Mediterranean. I was supposed to be wandering through ruins, and ancient cities, and filling my days with history.
I had planned to tag along with my Auntie Crystal, Uncle Jeff, and Cousin Travis on their European vacation. We were going to celebrate Travis’ high school graduation. I was so looking forward to it. But then, I randomly decided to move across the country, got robbed, and suddenly realized I should probably put such an expensive adventure on hold.
It took me weeks to admit I was having to cancel a trip. I have never canceled a trip, people. Those who know me, know traveling is my life. I live to vacation. I have been known to go on Chef Boyardee-only diets just to make ends meet for a vacation. So, for months, I drove myself nuts trying to make it work logistically. It just wasn’t meant to be.
In March, I finally emailed the travel agent and requested a refund for my portion of our Mediterranean cruise. For the last three months, every time I thought of that missed opportunity I would tell myself, “It’s no big deal. Europe will still be around by the time you have money enough to go. Actually, it’ll be even older! More history! More stuff to see! Awesome!”
Here’s to hoping I will still be around by the time I have money enough to go…
In the meantime, I am state-side.
Spending my twenty-eighth birthday alone.
I have never spent a birthday alone.
Well, there was that one time I went to choral camp. (No shit. Bare with me through this one…) It was the summer before my freshman year of high school. My fourteenth birthday. I had never went to camp before. And as you would imagine, I was really fucking out of place.
I’m not the “camp” type. I’m just not the kumbaya singing, camp fire sitting, pillow fight having, lover-of-all-the-people type. I’m not into wearing group tees and having to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn. I don’t like having to make friends either – friends I would otherwise have never made.
My birthday fell on a Tuesday that year. I can remember not mentioning it – not mentioning the anniversary of my birth – to anyone for the better part of the day. Honestly, how would something like that come up amongst strangers? “Hey, nice shower flops! My Momma sent some with my birthday cake. For my birthday. ‘Cause today is my birthday. Yay.” It’s awkward. It’s awkward, and weird, and not really relevant.
Long story short, I never went back to choral camp. Or any camp, for that matter. And I’ve never spent a birthday alone since.
Fourteen years later.
Sort of ironic, huh?
Perhaps I am destined to spend every fourteenth birthday alone. Maybe, on my forty-second birthday, I will be riding solo too. And my fifty-sixth. And when I turn seventy. Who knows? Maybe I’ll kill over on my eighty-fourth birthday.
That’d be poetic, huh?
“Old Broad Croaks on Sixth Anniversary of Unlucky Birth Year – Alone. Basset Hound Has Cake, Throws Pawty.”
Should be fun. I’m looking forward to it.
Here I am, saying all of this shit, making you feel sorry for me and I’ve only just started feeling sorry for myself. Actually, it occurred to me last night, while I was downstairs grabbing some things for dinner out of my pantry.
That’s what I call the grocery store I live on top of – “my pantry.” I’m a queen, living in a concrete castle littered with palm trees and birds-of-paradise. My not-so-noble courts people lounge in the hot tub or by the pool. They lazily sip cheap wine from plastic cups. Our castle sits atop a large and expansive marketplace. I often visit the market for essentials: Pizza Rolls, frozen breakfast sandwiches, Diet Ginger Ale, cookie dough.
Anywho, last night, while skimming the PopTart flavors it hit me, “There will be absolutely no one around.” There will be no surprise dinner, no party, no gifts, no hugs, no laughs, no stories, and no toasts. There will be no love. It will be quiet, for the most part.
I guess I’ve just been so caught up for the last few weeks. Caught up gloating (to anyone who will listen) about the birthday party I am throwing for myself at Disneyland on Saturday, that it slipped my mind no one will actually be around to celebrate with me…
MC: Mother: Macyn and I had to hack your Facebook page last night. You posted a picture of me where my vagina was clearly hanging out. Thanks for that, by the way. In other news, I’m throwing myself a Kardashian-esque birthday party at Disneyland for whoever wants to come. You have to buy your own ticket, food, hotel room, etc. But aside from that, it’s going to be totally worth being at.
Momma: Sorry about the va-jay-jay shot. I was having an issue with FB last night. You know I’d love to come to DL for your BD but can’t afford all that right now.
Momma: BTW KK would have left the pic up on FB you know.
MC: We won’t get into why the picture had to come down.
Just ignore the part about my vagina being put on social media blast. It wasn’t that being of a deal, really. I mean, maybe it would have been if the photo were viewed on a 17″ screen – with zoom. Oh, and I’m not too sure when exactly my mother started using so much goddamn shorthand, but I can’t be bothered to address that right now either.
Back to my birthday…
I have been planning on going to Disneyland for weeks. I thought about spending the whole weekend in Anaheim. “Do I want to take Sonny or just send him to the sitter? Will I be too exhausted to do a day trip?” (I decided on the day trip.) I even looked into buying myself a crown to wear for the event. I have been so distracted with going to the Happiest Place on Earth that I didn’t even consider how it would make me feel to go there alone.
And then, last night, I realized I hadn’t even considered my actual birthday.
So, I started making plans in the shower:
I will make reservations to my favorite Italian restaurant in Little Italy for Friday. The reservation will be late. I love late dinners. I will wear that backless, sequinned blush dress I bought months ago. Now, which heels? Black? White? I probably need to take my time curling my hair so it will keep throughout the weekend. I might have a vodka – on the rocks, with a lime and orange wedge. Afterwards, if I’m not too full from gnocchi, I will walk to my favorite dessert place on Union. I will get a brownie if they have one. I will head home – taking the long way, down 4th street and up G, with my windows down. Sonny and I will stay up late watching TV or reading. And then, I’ll wake up early and start up the coast to WDL.
Maybe, on Sunday, I’ll go to the beach.
It will be the perfect weekend.
My perfect weekend.
As the water slipped down my body and pooled around my feet, I couldn’t help but think this was the perfect way to end my twenty-seventh year.
I have spent this entire year alone. The first year in many, many years I have ever been totally independent of another. It has been emotional, and hard, and quite an adjustment. It has also been liberating, and familiar, and beautiful.
My life has never been more my own than it is at this very moment.
I chose this life. I chose every single ounce of this world I am living in. I chose every person, every place, every morsel of food, every view, every word, every – everything. My bad days aren’t that bad. My good days – well, they probably aren’t that great but at least I am happy. The smallest of cosmic alignments make my heart smile: completing a load of laundry, seeing Sonny in his pageant puppy gate, the sea turtles at Sea World, a graphic tee in my size on sale, the fairy irises in our courtyard, seeing the city lights through my open window.
I am alone but I am not lonely.
I wish I had more visitors – more loved ones to share this life with. I wish I could take each person I value the most and give them the opportunity to see the world from my perspective. See life from this perspective.
But then again, maybe the Pacific wouldn’t be as blue if I had came here before.
Maybe Disneyland wouldn’t be as magical, and Little Italy wouldn’t be as quaint, and downtown wouldn’t be as shimmery. Maybe Mission Brewery’s Dark Seas stout wouldn’t be as creamy, and crossing the Coronado bridge on a clear day wouldn’t be as beautiful, and hiking Torrey Pines wouldn’t be as breath-taking. Maybe the sea lions in La Jolla wouldn’t be so fucking cute and maybe the rows, and rows of vineyards in Temecula wouldn’t be so goddamn peaceful. Maybe walking aimlessly around the city on a Saturday afternoon wouldn’t be so fulfilling. Maybe the palm trees wouldn’t be as tall, and the sand as soft, and the air as sweet, and the sun as warm if I had come here before.
Before my twenty-seventh year.
Maybe none of this would have mattered if I had came here – became this woman – before my twenty-seventh birthday.
On Friday, it is fitting I celebrate her alone. It is fitting that I quietly toast to the woman I have become. It is fitting because I stand before you today – better than I have ever been – with only myself to thank.
There will be no surprise dinner, no party, no gifts, no hugs, no laughs, and no stories. There will be no love. It will be quiet, for the most part.
But it will be fucking awesome.
Twenty-eight… will be fucking awesome.
P.S.: Of course, I also thank my family and friends for supporting me. Through thick and thin, up, down, and all-around… you guys are the best. You are my rock and my wings. Without the love and support of each and every one of you, I would not have this kind of strength – the crazy kind of strength that goes to Disneyland for her birthday by her goddamn self. #singleriderlinewhatsup