Monday, February 23, 2009

The perils of celebrating your birthday

I'd like to state for the record that perhaps HOW my birthday celebration went down is NOT an indication of how my 25th year of life will be at all.

At least I hope so.

It's not that I didn't have some specks of fun. I did. It's just that..

...Well, from the beginning:

So, Scott and I drove Nicole down to Philly (like a three-hour drive). We met up with Jeannine, who lives there, and the four of us walked around Jeannine's neighborhood, grabbing a cup of coffee and window-shopping along the main drag.

Still harmless at this point.

We brought Nicole to the train station and said our teary goodbyes.

Still no problems.

Then we headed to our hotel that we had rented for the evening festivities. With our laundry basket luggage (apparently our suitcases didn't make the move to the new house in October) and with Jeannine proudly toting a bottle of red wine. Which we pretty much sucked down like it was nobody's business. How much wine did we each consume while Scott napped on one of the beds? I wound up wearing my headband as though I were Rambo. Jeannine had to take a cold shower.

We're still OK at this point. I mean, our room looked out onto the street so we could watch lights changing on buildings and gaze at the scores of people walking by. We had a fun time getting ready and headed out on our merry little way, which consisted of about 10 blocks of walking?

The restaurant was well worth the walk in the frigid temperatures because I had the best salmon of my life. To go along with the three locally-brewed beers I downed there.

I'd still consider the night a success at this point, but in hindsight am thinking I could have gone back to the hotel at that point and been content.

Scott decides to do just that, leaving Jeannine and I to fend for ourselves, which we did by heading to a local bar called Drinkers. I mean, that name should have been some sort of clue as to the debacle we were beginning. I can't even guess how many beers I had. I only had $25 charged to my card, but I don't think I pulled that out until the very end. Up until then, the (free) drinks were a blur. I can guarantee there were some shots involved, which, I probably honestly haven't done in at LEAST a year.

The s*it show is beginning at this point.

We bump into some people we went to high school with, which was freaky in and of itself. Before I really knew what was going on, we got into a cab and headed to the one schoolmate's apartment. We might have gone to a second bar, but really I couldn't say that with absolute certainty. When we got to the guy's house, I realized that um, Jeannine would be um, busy. Riiiiiight.

This is not good.

So, I'm now tired and bored and slightly agitated. Oh, and a bit tipsy. So I decide to wait outside the apartment, which then makes me just want to walk home, apparently not comprehending the distance to the hotel or the slums I'd have to walk through, some friends of Jeannine's guy tell me. I argue with them -- in the freakin' cold -- that I know what I'm doing, have lived in cities before and would be fine. I think I told them that if I pretended to be on the phone, no one would mug or rape me. Whatever, maybe that would have been true.

I walked part of the way before I realized they had gotten into a car and were following my stubborn cold ass. So, I gratefully accepted the ride and wound up stumbling through the lobby of the hotel moments later. But now, I'm upset. The fact that I *almost* walked 20 or so blocks alone in Philadelphia while drunk at 3 a.m. was pissing me off.

So I did what any girl would do. I walked into the hotel room, where Scott was up watching TV, and cried hysterically in this sort of I-cant-believe-I'm alive sort of way. I also just think I realized -- the hard way -- that this just wasn't my thing anymore.

So we left the hotel soon after I could get myself together. And drove back home.

We got home, crashed into our bed for about five hours and then woke up, at which time I moved to the couch and did not move for much more than five minutes the whole day.

On the plus side, Scott felt horrible and thought my birthday was a flub. I wish some parts were different, but I am grateful for the time with Nicole and Jeannine, happy for the laughs we had, still reminiscing about that awesome salmon and just wishing the end fiasco could have been avoided.

I consider it a success because I watched the Academy Awards and got to see Kate Winslet and Sean Penn win Oscars.

It could also be called a success because I realized that I am indeed not in the same place in my life as a lot of my friends and I feel so blessed that it's only taken me 25 birthdays and a handful of s*it shows to learn just that.

I think 25 as a year in my life will be much better than the night that started it all off.

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