September 30, 2013

My First Birthday Alone in LA

Pretty much ever since I knew I was moving to LA, I was panic-stricken about how I would celebrate my birthday.

In New York, I'd gotten used to throwing myself big parties attended by lots of friends, coworkers, sometimes even out-of-towners, and past and future lovers to bestow me with birthday kisses. I went skydiving for my 30th birthday, accompanied by a caravan of cars full of spectators and fellow jumpers willing to go all the way out to East Stroudsburg, PA to free fall over the Poconos.

For my first LA birthday, I convinced Michelle and Edith to meet me in Vegas.

Last year, Edith visited me here in LA and humored my request to ride a tiny train in Griffith Park and do other birthday nonsense.

This year, I was facing my birthday alone. I had to face my birthday alone. I can't rely on my New York girlfriends to keep me company every year. I have to build my own life, out here.


But as my birthday approached, and crankiness ensued, in the decision between fight or flight, I almost flew. I was this close to booking a ticket for New York to spend my birthday there.

But as much as I reconsidered the flight, I ignored the fight. I kept hoping my birthday would just go away, that I'd magically fall into a coma and wake up in October, just in time to celebrate Halloween. I kept hoping that someone here in LA would remember my impending birthday and suggest a course of action. It's hard to plan your own birthday. And if I don't have a buddy or roommate or significant other to help me plan a celebration, who on God's green earth would actually come?

Every time I deliberated a birthday dinner or drinks, I imagined myself sitting alone at the bar. It doesn't matter that I do that every night anyway. The heartbreak arises when the invited do not come. Perhaps better not to invite.

So, now two hours into my waking, daylight birthday, I still have no plan, for today, or tonight. I sit outside the library, waiting for it to open. I regret the almond dark chocolate cupcake I bought for myself last night at Sprinkles, which I ended up not liking very much. I regret the French toast I chose for breakfast, which was too big and too hurried and too touristy and washed down with coffee I didn't like very much, ordered only because they don't carry Diet Coke.

I regret starting off my birthday celebration by getting stood up. I shouldn't have accepted his dinner invitation, at least not on that day. But, not having any other plans, I was thrilled to receive an invitation from anyone, even a stranger. I shouldn't have relied on that stranger's kindness.

At this point today, I'm just hoping nothing bad happens. If it's a nothing, uneventful day, I'll be grateful. If I get to talk to a couple of friends on the phone, I'll be thrilled.

I celebrate life on plenty of other days, all alone, out there in the world. I drink wine in the afternoon. I get massages. I explore the nether reaches. I seize adventure.

I'm just too tired for it today.

So maybe it's just Monday.

No one to kiss.

Then again, no one to break my heart.

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