Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday

I wanted to write this before it got pushed out of my brain to make room for some useless piece of information (most likely related to Eleanor, work or grocery shopping).

I've been dying to see my parents lately.  Last week I looked at plane tickets to see if I could feasibly go home for a weekend next month.  (No.)  I bug them all the time about coming up.  It was really hard for me to think that I wouldn't see them again until Christmas, and hadn't seen them since June.  I was quickly becoming the depressed girl at work, because all I thought about was how much I missed my family and how unfair it was that my coworkers got to see theirs regularly, even if they don't live in the area.

My birthday was last Friday.  I took the day off but hadn't planned anything.  Nick kept bugging me about it, where we would go eat or what I would do on my day off, but every time I sat down to think about it, I become overwhelmed and had to stop.  So I said I didn't know, I'm too busy to think about it, and pushed it away.  Thursday afternoon was rough.  Work was a monster and I was looking forward to a night of more working (after over eight hours already in the office), washing all my clothes because I was wearing my last clean bra, and cooking an uninspired chicken dinner.  I wasn't pleased with the entire situation, and I kept thinking that if I still lived in Florida, I'd at least have people to spend my time with.

My mom and dad had had a lot of interest in my birthday in the weeks leading up to it, asking what I had planned and what I wanted, what was happening, what I would do on my day off.  I never had an answer besides "Nothing."  Thursday, my mom told me she wanted me to open my gifts as soon as I got home--she knew they'd be arriving by Priority Mail that afternoon.  Feeling especially sorry for myself, I told her I had too much to do and couldn't think about it at the moment.  All I could think about was this shitty birthday I'd be spending alone (well, with Nick, but I'd be alone all day) and I had no one to blame but myself, because I wanted to take a job hundreds of miles away from everyone I know.  I don't have any friends, my family is far away, and my cat hates me.  Might as well go stick my head in the oven.

I got off the Metro Thursday and got on the elevator, climbing the twenty stories to the mezzanine level to make the long, depressed trek home.  And then I saw them.  My parents were standing just outside the gates, holding gifts and a birthday cake.  I couldn't believe it.  I immediately started crying.  I wasn't even embarrassed.  Wouldn't you?  They told me they got in this morning, it's been planned for at least a month.  They knew we couldn't be together for Thanksgiving, so they wanted to do something special for my birthday.  As we walked to my apartment, I kept thinking how this wasn't really happening, and yet, it was exactly as I wanted and imagined.  All day I thought about how I wanted my parents to show up, and there they were, walking down Georgia Avenue next to me, petting my cat once we got inside and telling me it was okay my apartment was a mess.

I opened all the gifts and we sat and talked.  Nicholas had no idea they were there.  I think he was even more surprised than I was.  We all went out to dinner.  I couldn't believe it.  I was getting what I wanted for my birthday.

So I spent a great weekend with my parents.  We didn't do a whole lot--they wanted to see the renovated American History museum, but the rain kept us inside most of Friday.  Mostly we walked around and shopped.  I took my mom to my yarn store, and Saturday we went to Bethesda and Arlington, driving around and seeing what they don't usually get to see.  I didn't want it to end.  I wanted them to move up here, or for us all to move somewhere else together.  (I'm not moving to Florida.  No way, no how.)  We talked about the living situation up here, how Nick thinks I may lose it if we spend more than a couple years here.  They tried to buy me things and I politely refused each and every one.  We took them to District Taco so they could discover the beauty and wonder found in that little restaurant.  They left Sunday morning and I was immediately depressed.

I'm so happy they came up, and I'm so lucky to have them as my parents.  I don't know how they knew I needed to see them, but they did.  It's so hard to be up here with only Nick and Eleanor, trying to make it and not being sure if I even want to.  I know I'm not even the first person to do this, so I shouldn't be so pitiful, but I am.  I look around and see people who are surrounded by their family and friends, and I don't have that, and it sucks.  But they're just a plane ride away, it seems.

I won't see my parents again until Christmas, when we drive down for a week.  I already miss them, and missed them as soon as I dropped them at the Metro.  But it'll be okay.  Everything will work out. This isn't forever, and at some point, our paths will line up again, and we won't have to fit all the neighborhood-walking/shoe-shopping/joke-making we can into one weekend, but rather, as long as we like.

I wish Jake would've been able to make it up.  I kept waiting for him to walk through the door, but it never happened.  Which is fine, but I miss him as well.  I'll see him in December.

Happy birthday to me--twenty-four isn't looking so bad right now after all.


  1. This was beautiful. I almost started crying for you when I read that your parents were there! Happy (very belated) birthday!

  2. Aww, thank you! It was such a surprise.


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