I knew that my birthday wasn’t going to go by unnoticed at work yesterday (maybe the fact that I stopped nearly every co-worker on Friday to remind them had something to do with it), but I really wasn’t expecting as much of a to-do as I actually got. I figured there would be some mild decorating, maybe a card or two. Instead, I walked into a confetti explosion, not one but two Happy Birthday banners flanked by pictures of Jonny Craig, a parade of gift bags and cards, and mini lemonade cupcakes.
What the fuck, you guys, I almost died!
You can tell I was excited because all my pictures are blurry.
Glenn could have at least signed his Post It Note. (I put the confetti there myself; he’s not that creative.) When I asked him if he got me anything, he handed me a piece of candy from my own candy dish. God, he is totally Work Henry.
My card from Gayle!
GAYLE MADE ME A JONNY CRAIG CHARM BRACELET CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?! I was wearing my prized jeweled elephant bracelet at the time and that sucker was shunned real quick in favor of dangling Jonnys. Barb’s reaction was, “Great. Now she likes Gayle more than me.” I just see this as motivation for everyone else to step it up!
Ruby-hued cocktail ring from Debbie, who had no idea that Ruby is my nickname. This inspired me to tell Barb the story about alter ego after Debbie left for the day (she might be too new to handle some of my over-shares) which was met with Barb’s standard WTF reaction.
Lee was jealous that my birthday caused more hullabaloo (God I love that word) than his did last week, so he confetti-bombed me. And I mean, he confetti-BOMBED me. Every time I moved, clumps of it would cascade down my back all the way into my pants.
It was sharp.
I ended up leaving a trail of it all over the department and brought even more of it home with me. I’m still brushing it out of my hair.
This was taped to the back of Barb’s card. She got me an I Love Being in the Cemetery pendant! And Wendy got me a fairy door locket so I’ll be able to put a picture of Jonny in it.
“Yeah, forget about Henry and your son,” Barb said sarcastically when I excitedly announced my intentions.
Jeannie got me some lip balm and a Shit List notepad (Wendy rolled her eyes and said, “Great, I know my name will be on that a lot”), Catherine got me a Starbucks card because I’m awesome, and Sandy (who hung one of the Happy Birthday banners up on her own!) and Sue got me cards. Everyone else fawned over me with words, which was acceptable.
A few people were like, “It’s your birthday, WHY ARE YOU HERE?!” and I just spread my arms and looked around my desk smugly. Seriously, stay home and miss all of this?! I have the best work friends of all time!
After work, Chooch gave me two cards: one was his signature ridiculous music-playing cards (he loves those things) and I couldn’t stop laughing because he used an Internet smiley face on the envelope. Seriously, he’s six.
The second card was handmade. He’s been obsessed with all of the Ju-On movies of late, so that’s the picture he drew for me, which I guess is better than the mound of shit he drew on Henry’s birthday card in June. He also got me nail polish and the new Used CD.
And Andrea’s mom sent me the most beautiful flowers! I never get sent flowers! They made me feel so special.
Actually, everyone made me feel so special yesterday. I have had a notoriously long line of disappointing and depressing birthdays. It’s not about “stuff,” it’s about feeling like people care about me. I always get so sad around my birthday because it makes me miss my Pappap so much, and it brings to the forefront all of the issues I have with my family and I can’t help but wonder if this will be the year my mom actually reaches out. It never is, but both of my brothers, my aunt Susie, and my cousin Danielle remembered my birthday, and aside from Henry and Chooch, that’s all the family I need.
This was the first year I didn’t cry (in a bad way) once on July 30th, and it’s because of all you guys. (There was a good chance that Henry would fuck that up once I came home from work last night, but he was careful with his words. I didn’t even flip out when he said that my present has to be given to me on a certain day which was not yesterday. This obviously means, “Erin, you spent all of my money with your dumb weekend amusement park tour, so now I have to wait until I paid again.” But look at me, being all patient and not spoiled!)
Meanwhile, Seri and Pete have something up their sleeves and it is driving me absolutely crazy. We’re celebrating my birthday in two weeks because they’re going to Delaware this weekend. Seri texted me when we were in Erie over the weekend and said that they bought my birthday gift and it’s so obscure and Erin-esque that she feels confident it’s the most perfect gift ever. They came over Sunday night after we got home and while Seri was inside discussing birthday plans with Henry, I tried to get Pete to tell me what my gift is and all he would say was that he’s not entirely comfortable having it in their house.
I was telling Barb all of this at work yesterday and I said, “Well, whatever it is, Seri was able to carry it into my house to show Henry, so it’ s not a wheelchair.” I paused thoughtfully and then blurted out, “Oh my god, maybe it’s leg braces!”
Barb almost died right there at the absurdity of my exclamation, but I was totally serious. Turns out that wasn’t even my actual present that Seri was showing Henry, but something that “goes along” with everything else they’re planning. WHAT THE FUCK, THIS IS KILLING ME! I’m so not used to this kind of birthday treatment.
Thirty-three already feels pretty spectacular. It’s time to close the crypt door on all of the childhood darkness.