On my 30th birthday I was feeling sad about a boy who'd broken up with me. He worked in the restaurant at the Space Needle, and I decided to go and wait for him to get off work so I could talk with him and see if I could change his mind. It's my birthday, I thought, I get to do what I want. So I sat on a bench beneath the Space Needle, near the door where I knew he'd come out after his shift was over. He was surprised to see me, but came and sat with me on the bench. He did not change his mind.
On my 40th birthday, I was on a date that had started the night before. It was technically a first date, though we'd had lunch once before. He made a mix-CD for me, took me to dinner, and then we went for coffee and dessert. He drove me home and we sat in the car for a minute chatting while I waited for him to kiss me goodnight. He didn't. I looked over to him, put my hand on the car door handle and said, really? He laughed and then he kissed me, and then we went to his apartment. I only left the next day because I had to get my driver's license renewed and he had to wrap up some things at the office. As soon as our errands were done, we went back. It was the best driver's license picture I've ever had.
On my 52nd birthday, someone I was hoping would remember, someone I reminded more than once, forgot. Somebody else was unexpectedly sweet. And my family, as always, showered me with love and gifts (and a really good steak). I got pulled over just blocks from my house for having a headlight out, which I hadn't realized. I had forgotten to print up my new proof of insurance card at the beginning of the month, too. I asked the cop to please cut me whatever slack that it being my birthday might afford me, and he laughed. I did not get a ticket. I thought of the ease of being a middle-aged white chick with your son in the car on your birthday in PT vs. being a black teenager walking down the street with a friend in Ferguson (or so many other places).