Yesterday was a Big Day in my life: I've officially spent 43 years on this planet. Unlike some other Big Days, this wasn't really one that caused a lot of reflection (or, to be more accurate, a lot of additional reflection - I've been doing a lot of that recently anyway, thanks to the Big Move and Life Changes in June '05).
I decided that it was time for my semi-annual haircut, which was very nice, thanks to Serena (one of the few I actually trust with my hair). Then I went to Brooklyn and spent time with M. We changed our coins into dollars ($190 between the two of us since June), had a bite to eat, had a brief snooze, changed, and went to dinner with my aunt and uncle and cousin. This particular aunt and uncle spend half their time in Jerusalem (where they moved in '71), so it's always nice to see them and I felt honored that they'd agreed to dinner only three days after landing in the US!
At the end of dinner, when the check came, my uncle said that "Uncle's always pay" and treated me (and M) to dinner. What a lovely tradition, birthday or no! I was also happy that my cousin had chosen to dine with us rather than her husband's brother and two children (recently arrived from India, stopping in NYC on their way to a new life in Miami).
Sunday I headed to Boston for a family meeting. Before the quarterly meeting, there's a cousin's dinner at a nearby hotel. I got there early and went to the bar for a drink; soon after, a cousin and his wife appeared, bearing flowers. I knew they'd spoken to my parents, so I wasn't surprised they knew it was my birthday, but I was very touched. We had dinner for twelve, with one in-law joining us about halfway through. It was great talking to people and catching up on their lives, since I hadn't seen them in a year (not having been able to make the previous dinners). For the record, none were first cousins - they were mostly first cousins once removed (my mother's cousins), with one second cousin (the child of my mother's cousin) and a third cousin once removed (the granddaughter of my great-grandfather's brother). And yes, I can keep all that straight in my head.
Then it was time for dessert. My very thoughtful cousin had arranged a cake: a four-layer chocolate cake, with "Happy Birthday [Lazygal]" on it! Clearly, they'd planned this in advance, because you can't just walk into a bakery on Sunday and get one made. It made me so glad that I'm a part of this family - quirky and Gothic and bizarre as it sometimes is.
And I feel totally spoiled. Which isn't a bad thing, on your Big Day.