First thing’s first: Chicago was AMAZING! I loved it all: from lazy afternoons drinking Prosecco on the back of a boat to stuffing our faces with deep-dish pizza and pulled pork sandwiches to dancing to old Madonna songs until 5 a.m. with our new friends from Omaha, it was the perfect birthday trip.
I am currently enjoying my 29th birthday in the Windy City, taking in the sights and eating my weight in deep-dish pizza. I can’t imagine a better way to ring in “the last good year of my life.” (Just kidding. Kinda.)
A few years ago, on the heels of breaking off my engagement just a month before my non-refundable wedding, I did what any 26-year old going through an existential crisis would do: I went out with my best friend for $3 shots at a seedy university club.
What is it about all men I know that makes them stubbornly dig their heels in the ground about not celebrating birthdays?
I for one, celebrate birthday WEEK. I believe all special occasions should be commemorated. Because, why not? Life is short and arduous and most days I wake up and go sit in a cubicle and stare out the window and wonder how I got there and then after eight hours of mind-numbing meetings and water cooler chit chat, I shed my stilettos and my alter ego as I hobble down the street and only when I am within the safety of the four walls of my shoebox in the sky can I exhale the day and feel like a real person who doesn’t use the terms “touch base” and “let’s connect” in every goddamn sentence as I feel the wine seeping into my blood and making me whole again.
Recent weeks at the financial salt mine have been particularly stressful as we approach year-end – always a flurry of activity for those who have made the unfortunate decision of selling their soul to a bank.
One of my favourite gems at work is a 50-something year old colleague with wild blonde hair, a fierce shoe collection and a weakness for hot fudge sundaes (extra peanuts!). She walks in each day with a big smile on her face and walks out each night on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Her job, quite simply, sucks. Lots of pressure; no recognition; no support.
Have you ever read the story about classical violinist Joshua Bell that went viral a few years ago?
If you haven’t, the Cole’s notes are as follows: big-time violinist appears incognito on a subway platform in Washington, two days after playing a sold-out show. In the 45-minutes he plays, only 6 people stop to enjoy (most notably, it is children who are most interested). He pockets $32. No applause.
When I was in Grade 3, my teacher announced a contest which combined the two greatest loves of my life: pizza and reading (it would be several years before wine bumped both down the list to claim top spot). For every 10 books I read, I would be rewarded with a coupon for a personal-pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Life was good.
If you think you’re having a bad week, I invite you to picture this scenario:
You get a phone call at lunch, urging you to come home immediately – there has been a fire. You arrive at the scene to learn that your apartment is in fact, gone. All your belongings, gone. Your pets, gone. Everything, gone.
I’ve been obsessing over Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” for the last few weeks. You may be already familiar with her name because a) you don’t live under a rock like me; or b) you’ve watched “Wild” – featuring America’s favourite potty-mouth DUI darling, Reese Witherspoon – based on Cheryl’s 2012 memoir.
I try and avoid “organized fun” as vehemently as I can. This includes (but is not limited to) any type of “shower,” child’s birthday party or pre-wedding event.
I have developed a theory around this: I spend so much time in an uptight corporate environment, struggling not to completely lose my shit, that my free time outside of the financial salt mine is sacred to me.
I learned three important lessons this week:
- Never trust your hairdresser when she suggests a perm (#firstworldproblems).
- No good idea ever started with six tequila shots.
- I have wonderful friends.
Millennial decided to peace out on a “personal leave” (after dropping a barrage of f-bombs and crass remarks on the way out), leaving me drowning in her work for the foreseeable future. Already grappling with my hair resembling an electrocuted 80s poodle, I started off the week strong with a night of debauchery that resulted in a crippling 24-hour hangover.