Friday 30 Sep 2016

Let Me Eat Cake
Jennifer Flaten

That sound you hear is the impending apocalypse. No silly not that apocalypse, it’s my fortieth. I didn’t want to write it, but did. Fine, here it goes it’s my 40th birthday, well, almost.

This birthday, according to my kids, makes me ancient. I keep telling them that since I am a leap year baby, I am actually only 10, not 40. I've only had ten birthdays, dammit!  It doesn’t help; they still think I’m old. I am sure their gifts to me will include helpful things like denture cream and a cane.

Speaking of gifts, keep in mind there are only thirty shopping days until my birthday not that you have to get me something. If you do, I like diamonds big shiny diamonds and cupcakes. A diamond-topped cupcake is a great gift. Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

I am not going to focus on the forty part of my birthday. The kids take every opportunity to remind me I am going to be forty. I am choosing and so are you to focus on the fact that I, in fact, have an anniversary of my birth this year.

Despite the hideous number of candles I will need on my cake, having an actual birthday is exciting. Yes, I am easily amused, but then again I imagine so are all the other leap year babies. Come on we have an official birthday once every four years, that alone makes us a bit eccentric. 

Of course, It’s not like we don’t have celebrate our birthdays, we do or at least I do. I’ve always claimed both February 28 and March 1 as my birthday during non-leap years. I figure since I don’t have an actual day I deserve to extend the festivities over the course of several days and it eliminates any arguments about what day to celebrate my birthday one.

Some people, say my mother, claim that since I wasn’t “here” on 28 February, I can’t celebrate until the first. I being impatient to get my gifts and my cake decreed that the 28th is close enough. We compromised: I celebrate on the 28th and the 1st, while my mother waits to give me my cards and gifts on the first.

Yes, this makes perfect sense to me. I’ve told you I am an only child. Thus, the sun does in fact revolve around me.

I suppose my argument that I am not old negates, completely, when I tell you that I am not going out and partying for my birthday. If do I will most likely be home by eight o’clock: we’ll go to a club and watch the band set up. Yes, I realize one cannot party and be home by eight, unless, of course, one is forty.

I might go out for my birthday. I might go to a place that doesn’t have a clown as a mascot. I can’t say for sure, maybe a place that has a shiny, light-reflecting ball handing from the ceiling.

What I know is I can’t stay out late. I have small children who still think it is their sworn duty to get up by 7am. To them the day is half over if they sleep until 7:30, so we are up early every day.

Don’t feel sorry for me, because it is my birthday and it only comes every four years, I will have cake for breakfast.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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