A Midsummer Night’s Dream

It’s always been my plan to one day throw a birthday party that is Midsummer-Night’s-Dream-themed, for I am a midsummer night’s dream myself, being born in the evening at the end of June. That plan is many years away and for now, I’ll just have to have a bit more of a traditional birthday party, where I break bread with my family and have a homemade meal. That’s what I did a week ago on my 20th birthday. 

It was a strange birthday, since it felt surreal to already be turning twenty. Two decades around the sun is something that I have yet to process. I couldn’t decide how I wanted to celebrate my birthday. Last year, during the global pandemic, I had Indian food and watched a movie. This year, for my first birthday in the new house, I knew that I wanted to at least swim in my own pool. 

The wrapping paper on the gifts I received ended up being gifts for my cats

The night before my birthday, I listened to “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance, as a last minute farewell to adolescence. On the actual day of my birthday, I had lunch with my parents at the Passage to India lunch buffet.

I dressed up for the day

I continued with my karate that afternoon, because though I be but little, I be fierce, and then, finally, I had dinner with my parents, my great aunt Mac, and my grandmother. For my birthday dinner, my mother made me fried zucchini fettuccine, Stanley Tucci-style, and bleu cheese steak tips, Chrissy Teigen-style, plus some chocolate cake. 

Because I’ve acted like a princess my whole life, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that on my seventh or eighth birthday, I convinced my mom to make me chocolate crepes in bed. Surprisingly, she actually did it, and even more of a surprise it became a birthday tradition every year ever since. It means, among other things, that I have a very sweet mother and that I need to marry a very understanding man. This birthday, however, my mother couldn’t make the crepes because she had work. She made them a few days later, over the weekend. 

Calypso joined me for breakfast in bed, but didn’t seem to believe that the crepe was food

In a way, the crepes were symbolic because they caused me to develop a birthday philosophy. A birthday is an excuse to be happy and to take it easy. I sleep in, eat my morning pastry, don’t touch a single dirty dish, and just overall don’t lift a finger if I don’t feel so inclined. 

I also pull the “it’s my birthday card,” like it’s a reverse uno card. 

Is this selfish? Maybe.

Is this how all of us would like to behave on our birthdays? Absolutely.

If you think I’m bad, just know that my mother doesn’t even go to work on her birthday.

All of my gifts were perfect with handmade, chocolate covered strawberries and a bouquet of flowers from my best friend Padgett, a birthday haiku and one whole dollar from my friend Tyler, and a sunset lamp from my friend Anahat, that I can’t wait to use in my dorm room.

Thank you Padgett!
Thank you Tyler!
Thank you Anahat!
Thank you guys!

Not to mention, there was a stack of books to add to my stack of books and some movies. I spent the day receiving birthday wishes from family and friends all across the country, because they know how to really make a girl feel special and loved on her birthday. 

That night, when I was met by moonlight while swimming in the pool, it truly felt like a midsummer night’s dream. While most people had an adolescence filled with flirting with guys, holding onto old friends, and skipping curfew, mine was filled with reading good books, exhibiting some anti-social tendencies, and doing whatever I could to out myself on the path to becoming the next great American novelist. But the course of true love never did run smooth and that’s what this is: true love, true love with myself all throughout my teen years and now it will continue into my roaring twenties.

A saga

And since I am an honest Puck and I have unearned luck, I’m wishing myself a very happy birthday and a very happy next decade. Your twenties are when things happen, I am told, so I can’t wait.  

What visions will I see!

The Tragic Queen,

Raquel

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