Saturday, November 6, 2010

What Do These Things Have In Common?

By Kirsten Scott

Okay, here's the quiz: what do SNOW, a THANKSGIVING TURKEY, and a CUPCAKE WITH CANDLE all have in common?

Did you guess yet?

How about now?


Oh man, did you not know MY BIRTHDAY is in NOVEMBER? November 25th, to be exact, so there are years when it falls on Thanksgiving. Even when it's not on Thanksgiving Day, it's nearby. And you know what it's usually doing in Buffalo NY, around November 25th?


Now I'll be flat out honest -- I love my birthday. I love cake. I love presents. I love it when people gather to celebrate ME, and tell nice stories about me, and are forced to do nice things for me like clean up the kitchen and buy me presents. I love it even more when it involves rich food -- especially gravy and stuffing. Yes, I'm shallow. I should be asking people to donate to a charity instead of buy me presents. I do that for Christmas. I love a good share of a goat to celebrate Jesus's birthday. But for MY birthday?

Nu-uh. I want prezzies.

Despite my love of all things birthday, I must admit that lately I had been getting a little anxious around November. It wasn't the birthday itself. I still loved that. It was the number of candles. The uni-candled cupcake does help with that, but I had still begun to find it disconcerting to see these big birthdays loom over me, and think about the sheer number of years that I was managing to rack up in my wake.

At least, I had felt that way, until I read this blog post by my dear friend Bridget. Bridget is an amazing young woman who is certain to be a superstar when her young adult book is released from Hyperion books in 2012. Bridget also happens to be fighting colon cancer, and when Bridget celebrates her birthday, she really celebrates. She's going for a birthday week. I'd like to see her get a birthday month. In any case, it stopped me short to read Bridget say this on her blog:

I am very pro-birthday (and pro-celebration, clearly), but not just birthdays for the sheer joy of having a day and a week to indulge in fun. I am also pro-aging. Really, I want to win at the aging game and get really, really, really old. I have dreams of being one of those plumper old lady types who smell like cookies, wear extravagant scarves, and have whole closets filled with a gorgeous shoe collection.

How in the world can anyone, particularly anyone who knows Bridget (and BTW, you all now officially know her -- Bridget meet Everyone, Everyone, this is Bridget) complain about their birthday, or adding another candle to their cake? How can anyone possibly consider being anything but thrilled to have the chance to smell like cookies and wear extravagant scarves?

I know I can't! So I'm going to start celebrating early this year -- I'm turning 38, and I can't wait.

So tell me about what you love about your birthday. Is it the cake? The day of having your family waiting on you? The presents!!?

And...if you're in the mood...there's an auction on Bridget's web site to help her with some of the costs of her cancer fight. Do you have something to donate?

In honor of my birthday and Bridget, I want to send someone a present -- so a copy of Delcroix Academy: The Candidates, by that fabbo YA author Inara Scott, is up for grabs to one commentor!


Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

have Fun

Helen said...

Whoo Hoo we are going to curl up on this cool and rainy day here in Oz and finish reading Delcroix Academy The Candidates Kirsten I am loving it I will be finished it very soon I have about 20 pages left to read and I am savouring it really it is sooo good.

I too love birthdays the presents and the cake and people waiting on me what more could a girl want and the more of them the better I say. I do hope you have a great birthday I turned 53 this year and age doesen't worry me much I send all my hopes and best wishes for your friend Bridget I know how she feels my hubby was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 39 he is now 55 and we are thankful every day that he is still here enjoying his family. He was so postitive throughout the 9 months of chemo and radiation treatment that began after the surgery. We learnt then that life is too short so live it to the fullest and enjoy everyday.

Have Fun

Pat Cochran said...

I am so pleased to meet Bridget!
I love meeting new friends, no one
ever has too many!

Kirsten, do you have a date for the
auction? Maybe if I follow your link I can get that piece of information.

As for celebrations, I love the fun
of getting together with family and
friends. Presents are not needed,
but cake & ice cream certainly are!
I've celebrated 74 birthdays and
I still have to have that cake!

Happy birthday, Kirsten!

Pat Cochran

Cybercliper said...

Getting older - celebrating birthdays - eating lots of cake - a big "heck, yeah" to all the above! I got my first cancer diagnosis at 21, my second at 23 both cervical and after that - the third - skin cancer at 35.

And Bridget, you know what - each time after that first wave of cold shock - that kind that numbs you for a bit - rolled through me, I got so pi$$ed off I couldn't see straight. I thought if you think you can take me, then you better have packed a lunch and brought backup, because you're fixin' to get your backside handed to you. Get mad Bridget and get even!!

I'm almost 50 now and what I love about birthdays is having one. Of course I still tell everyone, it's the 20th aniversary of my 29th birthday - it's fun to watch them try to do the math :-)

flchen1 said...

A happy happy birthday to you, Kirsten!

Jane said...

Happy Birthday, Kirsten. I love celebrating my birthday, but I don't like getting older. Ooh, cake is always appreciated. I usually go for a Carvel ice cream cake. The presents are definitely at the top of list, but I always get the birthday-Christmas combo gift because my birthday is in mid-December. Sometimes I feel shortchanged, but then I snap out of it and remember to be thankful for everything. Definitely looking forward to Bridget's book in 2012.

Sheree said...

Happy Birthday, Bridget! I like seeing family for my birthday. I don't particularly need presents or even cake. Okay, I take that back about the cake. It's not that I dread getting older, but that I value my family more than stuff.

Wow, I haven't had a Carvel ice cream cake since I was a kid (no Carvels around here). I have memories of my father breaking knives on the rock hard cake (because no one remembered to let it defrost a little beforehand).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, he's back in Oz! Whoo-hooo!

Mind you, I have to tell you something cute - Emily thought the GR was a Grand Romance! We should be so lucky!

Kirsten, fantastic about your birthday coming up. I've had a talk to the cabana boys about who wants to jump naked out of a cake!

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, Bridget is amazing!

Cath's Chatter said...

The best birthday present ever would be an entire day to relax and read a great book WITHOUT having to do any of the usual household jobs a wife and mother of 3 energetic girls would normally be doing =]
Hasn't happened yet but I still live in hope LOL!!!!!

Gannon Carr said...

Kirsten, happy early birthday! I can relate to (occasionally) celebrating my birthday on a holiday. Mine sometimes falls on Easter.

I love birthdays! I celebrated my 44th this year, and I really don't get bothered by the number. Bridget is so right---celebrate aging! The blessing of growing older is something we tend to overlook. Maybe it's because society thinks we should all look 25 when we're 60!

My mom had colon cancer when she was 43 and beat it! Unfortunately, we lost her earlier this year, but it wasn't due to cancer.

My thoughts and prayers are with Bridget. I know she'll get her wish of reaching the age where she will be smelling like cookies, wearing extravagant scarves, and having a fabulous shoe collection. Love that!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I have never sweated the number of years, I just took that year as another badge of courage for making it through one more year. I have a cousin (6 months older than me) that was devastated at the big o's, 30, 40, 50, just about did her in. Me, not so much. I have to agree with Bridget, and I so admire her spunk. I am 58 pushing real hard on 59, fat, sassy and proud to have gotten this far.

Linda Henderson said...

What I love about my birthday is the fact that I'm here to celebrate the day. A few years ago I wasn't certain about my future, well actually I'm still not, but I try to live every day to the fullest. I have severe RA. When I was first diagnosed I read everything I could find about this condition. One of the first things I read was how it could shorten your life expectancy, a very daunting thing to read. So every year I am around to see my grandchildren is a blessing to me. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I hope Bridget keeps up the good fight and celebrates many, many more birthdays.

Anna Sugden said...

Some of my favourite people have November birthdays! Happy birthday to you all and to Bridget too!

I think once I hit 30 I stopped worrying about birthdays. Don't know if I'll still feel that way when I hit 50 in a few years, but for now I just enjoy being the age I am (and being told I look younger *g*).

I enjoy the special treats my hubby gets for me and makes for me. Plus a yummy dinner somewhere spiffy. Plus cute cards from my fab niece and nephew.

I'm very lucky because my lovely hubby gives me/makes me treats all through the year - so it's like being in Wonderland with lots of unbirthdays!

Kirsten said...

Hi Helen! 53 sounds like a great year -- amazing story about your husband. So glad he was able to bring such positive energy throughout such a long run of chemo.

And I'm thrilled you enjoyed Delcroix!! Keep your eyes peeled for Book 2 giveaways... :-)

Kirsten said...

Hi Pat! Yes, Bridget is awesome and I can't wait to see her book on the shelf as well. I agree, cake and ice cream are ESSENTIAL to birthday success. Especially when celebrating 74 birthdays (can't wait to wish you happy 75th!).

Donations for the auction must be in by Fri November 19th; bidding begins on the 22nd and goes until December 4th. Thanks!

Kirsten said...

Hey Cybercliper -- you're some kind of amazing survivor!! I guess all that mad fueled you right into beating your cancer. 50 sounds perfectly wonderful.

I love your riddle -- but I could never use it. I'd have to sit around doing the math myself and that would be painful to watch. LOL. So I'm just going for, "I'm 38 years of gorgeous." LOLOL.

Kirsten said...

Thanks Fedora!! I appreciate the birthday wishes!

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Kirsten, wonderful post and happy almost birthday!

I've had several friends or husbands of friends diagnosed with cancer in the past few years. Everyone of them beat it. The treatments they have now are incredible. So Bridget, hang tough! It's a b**ch but you can do it!

I'm all about embracing my aging self. I never minded the big 0 birthdays. Thirty and forty were great. Now I'm staring down 50 so we'll see how I handle that in a couple of years. But I look at my mom for motivation. She's 83 and looks maybe 70. She's had a hip replacement and you'd never know it. She exercises 3 times a week, is constantly meeting friends for lunch or dinner and is always upbeat.

And I do want cake and presents on my birthday!!

Kirsten said...

JANE! A fellow ice cream cake lover? Oh man, I had a Carvel cake every year for my b-day!! Love the little cookie crumbles in there, and the way the hot knife slides through (or doesn't, if you're my mom and you forget to take the cake out of the freezer until the minute before you cut it and the darn thing is frozen like a rock).

ALSO hear you on the birthday-Christmas combo thing. I think I was just far enough away to avoid this MOST of the time. But I did get the occasional combo. OTOH, the combo presents were pretty sweet. Which is nice. :-)

Kirsten said...

Sheree, I didn't mention it, but I am completely with you on the family thing. See, my sister's birthday is actually the day after mine, and my cousin's is the beginning of the month, and when I was growing up, we'd always get together with my aunt and uncle and their families for Thanksgiving and to celebrate our birthdays. It was a big ol' party, with presents all round and more food than one family should consume in a day. Now that I live across the country from them, I get super sad at Thanksgiving. It's truly my favorite holiday.

And YES on the rock hard cake -- you clearly have the same family as me! :-) No Carvels here in the Pac NW, but there are a couple of places that I've found make ice cream cake. Happy sigh.

Kirsten said...

Anna -- excuse me? Were you DISCOURAGING the cabana boys.


Kirsten said...

Cath, Amen sister. Not sure how old your girls are, but I know that feeling. I want to take my family to some resort for my birthday some year. That way there will be no chores to do and no one will complain about having to do them. LOL.

Kirsten said...

Hi Gannon! Thanks for the birthday wishes -- I'm really getting into the spirit here. My husband and I even talked last night about a party -- and I started thinking about making my birthday present list. Seriously, I make him a list every year. He said the first time I did this, he was a But really. If I want presents, don't I owe people suggestions?

I'm so sorry about your mother. I'm sure that's still a big hole to fill. I appreciate the kind thoughts for Bridget -- I have a feeling she's getting all of them and they're pushing that cancer right out of her.

big hugs to you!

Kirsten said...

Hey Dianna -- this could be my favorite line EVER in a blog:

"I am...fat, sassy, and proud to have gotten this far."

You are awesome. I am inspired! :-)

Kirsten said...

Linda, I'm sure your heart and kindness and energy will keep you with your grandkids for many many years to come. I have no doubt of the power of the mind and spirit. Since we're celebrating birthdays here, let me just say Happy Birthday to YOU, whenever that birthday may be. :-)

Kirsten said...

Hi Anna! I agree -- there are many a fabulous birthday in November.

Yes, I think for all my good intentions, I'll still be a bit flummoxed by the 50th -- but hell, I should be thrilled if I get there, right?

Spiffy place for dinner, YES. Chinese food for me. I'm a sucker for mu shu pork.

Your hubby sounds wonderful, BTW. A gift you get all year long. :-)

Kirsten said...

Thanks Christie! I've also seen some amazing recoveries in the past couple of years. It's absolute hell, but thank goodness for the treatments they've come up with.

Your mom sounds like an inspiration. My mom is that for me as well. She's 68, and still works full time as a 4th grade teacher, and just started going grey in the past couple of years. (Bless those genes!) She's had a lot of health problems over the years, but she just grins and takes it on the chin and keeps on going. That's how I want to be. Tough.

You can definitely swing by for some cake and ice cream -- or ice cream cake, as the case may be!!


mariska said...

i still want that copy !! :)

i guess we're gonna have same birthday this month *wink*

what i love about my birthday, we usually celebrate it by having a big lunch and my sister will order the cake for me.

Aside to Helen,
congrats on having the GR today.

catslady said...

Happy, happy birthday! You're still a baby :) November is a big birthday month at our house. Many years we share one big one - My husband is the 4th, my nephew the 12, and I'm the 29th. Mine too hits Thanksgiving and many a time it's been a pumpkin pie instead of a cake lol. I did always think it was nice to be off school for my birthday. Oh, and I'll be 60 so I'm real close to smelling like cookies roflmao.

Nancy said...

Helen, congrats on the bird! That's so great about your husband's cure.

Nancy said...

Kirsten, I love cake. Preferably chocolate with chocolate frosting. And candles. I like gifts, but they don't matter as much as they once did. Being with people to celebrate is the best part for me.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Cybercliper, so glad you beat those awful diagnoses!!!!

Linda, RA sucks. I had a school friend who had it - ran in her family so it struck early and it struck hard.

Caren Crane said...

Helen, enjoy your chook!

Inara, I ADORE my birthday. I have never had one I dreaded - not even for a moment! I love celebrating with my friends, celebrating with my family, celebrating with my family of origin. I even love the monthly birthday celebration at work.

It usually takes so long to arrange the various birthday celebrations that I have weeks of birthday fun. My birthday usually falls on or around Mother's Day, but my family knows those are two totally different celebrations of my awesomeness. ;)

My little grandmother is 90, turning 91 in January. My mother is 70, turning 71 on Nov 29 (another Thanksgiving baby!) and is my grandmother's full-time caregiver. I do hope not to be a burdent to my loved ones and NOT to suffer the dementia that often comes with old age (which Grandmomma is developing, sadly).

But I'll take my chances. Let's all embrace Bridget's philosophy and get really, really old!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, it's so great to hear your husband survived his colon cancer. It is often caught quite late and is hard to treat. What a survivor you have in him and what a great story!

Caren Crane said...

Pat, I'm with you. I don't need presents, but I LOVE to be fed. The more dinners the better, especially at restaurants that give you a free dessert!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh birthdays!

Kirsten, 38 is NOT old baby!! Enjoy everyone of those candles! You've earned them.

I just had my 52nd on this past Tuesday. God even gave me a present. For the first time in months, we had a cold, dreary, slow constant rain. I'm quite sure God said, "Who can I give this kind of day to on their birthday and they'll love it...oh yes, Suzie."

And he was right. I opened the window a bit and listened to the rain on the roof and bushes and in my pool as I curled into my blankets with Rocky curled right beside me.

For the first time in 29 years my hubby cooked dinner for a family celebration for me. It took him 3 days of planning for a meal I could whip up in 60 minutes. (By the way I still have salad enough for 45 people). The food tasted good and the girls helped out once they arrived. Lynds brought desert. But the best part? HE planned for 3 days what to make, gathered the ingredients, studied the recipe, organized the girls, and cooked while I rested and then played with the grandbabies.

It was the celebration of me by him that was so fantastic!!

The next day I had an hour long foot massage with one of my friends then we went to lunch. Then a long visit to the bookstore and finally dinner out and a movie with my son.

I say CELEBRATE each birthday. You are worth it!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Anna S:
I think once I hit 30 I stopped worrying about birthdays. Don't know if I'll still feel that way when I hit 50 in a few years, but for now I just enjoy being the age I am (and being told I look younger *g*).

Isn't it great?

Most of my patients try to guess my age. They're shocked when I tell them not only my age, but that I've been a nurse for over 30 years. One girl guessed my ageat 34 the other day. I told her that was nice, but she didn't have to flatter me to get an epidural! LOL

Louisa Cornell said...

Yay Helen! He'll enjoy curling up with you for a good read!

My birthday is December 29th which REALLY sucks at times. I have always received combination presents, seldom had a party because who wants a party that close to Christmas and didn't have many birthday cakes either because there's always so much Christmas cake left over!

However, I have decided that every birthday spent THIS side of the ground is a reason to celebrate! I intend to enjoy my birthdays because so many people don't have that privilege any longer. Women in my family live a long time and stay active right up to the end. I have told my niece and nephews I fully intend to live long enough to become a giant pain in the arse to them!

Susan Sey said...

I turned thirty-eight this year, too, & I have to say it's been one of my favorite years so far. I'm smelling more like cookies every day & while my shoe collection is decidedly lacking, I do wear a scarf each & every day. They are not fabulous scarves but I do live in Minnesota, so there you have it. Give Bridget my best & tell her I'm all about the cake, birthday or not. :-)

Slush said...

Happy B-day Kirsten.

I am sure your birthdays are wonderful with lot's of pumpkin based goodies... yum!!! Or are you white cake chocolate frosting kinda gal?

Honestly I love the idea of being spoiled on my birthday, but my fondest memories of birthday fun were in High School when I would share my special day with a dear friend whose birthday was just a few days away from mine. We would party with all night movie marathons, silly string fights, and lots of junk food.

Turning 25 this year, special b-day wishes from the ones who care about me are what I enjoyed the most. Especially the homemade cards from my children.