This weekend I had my first birthday in Madison.
My friend Makeba flew in from New York, like the life-size present she is! She is a seasoned traveler, and this was her first trip to the Midwest, so you know I had show off all the good spots.
We checked out the feminist bookstore, three coffee shops, two museums, one airy boutique, a steakhouse straight out of 1960, the State Capitol from every angle at every hour, a free yoga class overlooking the lake, and a store where you can sample absolutely everything!
We also walked on water.
Frozen water, but still! It takes a lot of courage to walk on a lake when you did not grow up doing this kind of thing.
Devin’s idea of reassuring us was to stomp on the ice as hard as he could right next to our feet. “See! It’s very frozen! Hey, look at that crack over there!” (Did you know you can have false symptoms of a heart attack?)
We were also able to rescue some chairs that had been abandoned in the middle of the lake (but not before taking some cool pics).
Last year Anda sent me the most beautiful gold sparkler candles in the shape of the numbers “2” and “6” and I rushed to use them on my birthday eve, before turning 27. (Numerous people later told me I could have waited until I turned 62. I hadn’t thought of that; otherwise, I might have!) By coincidence, our friend Kate gave me two chocolate pastries that were a perfect match.
After the birthday eve blowing-out-of-candles (a new tradition I highly recommend), we went to Gib’s and saw almost everyone I know in Madison in one place. This might be the uncoolest thing to admit in writing, but I realized I have more friends here than I thought (when did that happen?), and it was super nice to see them all in one place!
Then, we went to a ‘90s vs. ‘00s music video dance party, and I learned that I am the only person I know who prefers the noughties to the nineties, at least musically. This is shocking to me. Doesn’t anyone remember Hey Ya? Paper Planes? The genesis of Young Money? Without which there would be no Nicki Minaj or Drake, and then where would we be??? I don’t even want to think about it.
One bright side of living far away from most people I know is that I got more phone calls, FaceTimes, and birthday packages than ever before. I just finished making a list of all the people I still need to thank or call back, and it is the nicest to-do list.
In conclusion, I like my birthday and I like you.