Yesterday I celebrated my 50-something birthday.
(I stopped counting after 50 because they’re piling up too fast.)
While I was in the shower, Nikki burst out into the hallway barking uncontrollably.
Someone is in my house, I thought, beginning to panic.
Then I heard a chorus of friends singing “Happy Birthday.”
Tracey, Erin, and Trina were serenading me on my birthday while I was still in my birthday suit.
Surely they would not come upstairs into the bathroom and continue this singing. Would they?
I quickly got out of the shower and wrapped up in a towel because with some people, you never know.
I walked out to the hallway and there they were standing at the foot of the stairs singing.
I’m not sure who was more shocked — me in my birthday suit when I heard them singing
or them when they saw me standing in front of them in a towel trying to cover my birthday suit.
Thankfully these singers are my “back door” friends,
the kind that can drop in anytime
and enter through the ugly part of my house,
and talk to me while I fold my underwear or lounge around in my pajamas without any make-up.
My “back door” friends are like family.
But, I never expected them to become “bathroom door” friends by singing to me in the shower.
Their plan was to drop off a smoothie for my breakfast and a birthday cake.
They rang the doorbell but I didn’t hear it because I was in the shower.
They saw my car in the garage and figured I must still be on my morning walk.
I guess they didn’t notice the rain…
So they punched in my very secret garage code
and came in the house to leave my birthday surprises.
Then they heard the shower running and Nikki barking wildly.
So they decided to serenade me.
What a way to start the day.
Planning to decorate the cake with candy, they asked my daughters which ones were my favorites.
Sara said, “I don’t think she’s ever met a treat she didn’t like.”
“But I think she loves the ends of licorice.”
Annie said, “Mom usually tries to eat healthy so I don’t really know.”
Hmm? Healthy candy.
They added chocolate cranberries to count as a healthy fruit.
This was their creation:
The fun didn’t end there.
Before my birthday I told them about a story one of the students in my writing class wrote
about being stuck in DC traffic for 12 hours last winter during an ice storm.
Yes, 12 hours.
He detailed the entire long, miserable commute.
All I could think about the entire next week was how I needed to get a better emergency kit for my car.
You can’t live in Washington D.C.which has the worst traffic in the nation,
and not be ready for to sit in traffic for hours.
His experience haunted me.
I told Trina about my student’s terrible ice storm plight
and my fears of having that happen to me, so she rallied a group of my friends
and they assembled an emergency car kit for me.
Other than the essential port-a-potty and toilet paper, the kit included essentials
like a bottle of wine to share with other stressed out commuters,
a compass, socks, a sewing kit for all that mending I might be carrying around
until I have a few spare minutes in the car,
chocolate — lots of it —
Sudoko and mind puzzles,Christmas cards to address, a notebook and pen,
markers and a drawing pad, a hangman game, Silly Puddy, toe warmers, and a rain jacket,
even a tube of cinnamon lip balm with a note that said, “if you’re really hungry, you can eat this.”
I love the quote that most of us don’t need therapists as much as we need friends to be silly with.
Oh how I love my silly friends, and the silly things they do.
But I think it might be time to change my garage code…