I Guess 22 Is No Big Deal

Things that made me happy:

  • Not having to do morning choir practice and mass because Michael volunteered, before he even found out it was my birthday. I got a lie-in.
  • Avril spotting me across the room when I finally ventured downstairs for tea and bawling “Happy birthday Michelle!”, which got everyone else to start singing.
  • Swyrie baking me a chocolate Nutella cake.
  • Cards from people I really hadn’t expected cards from.
  • Sitting on the pavement in the sun outside Caffe Uno with chicken escalope sandwich and a latte.
  • Finding Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today Is OK (Mum) and The Document (Andy Smith) going very cheaply at Reckless Records.

Things that made me laugh:

  • The naked guy on a plinth at Trafalgar Square.
  • My rather appropriate description of where John and I had wandered to as “the arse end of Old Compton Street”.
  • “Warning: Choking hazard. Small parts. Not suitable for children under 3 years” on the packaging of the Jesus Action Figure (with poseable arms and gliding action!) John gave me.
  • Also the “Made In China” statement for said Jesus.
  • The Wash Away Your Sins cleansing bar, also from John. Its instructions: “3. Moisten oneself 4. Lather vigorously 5. Rinse 6. Repent.”
  • The Royal Tenenbaums, at night. More of a laughing-inside movie than laughing-out-loud movie for me, but still, undeniably laughing.

Things that made me feel guilty:

  • John spending the afternoon with me even though he really should have been doing his dissertation. I, on the other hand, failed to even call him when he turned 21 recently and still haven’t bought his birthday present.
  • Being really badly prepared for evening mass, and having to ask someone who was good at sight-reading to play the ones I couldn’t play.
  • My priest, with more than enough to occupy him this weekend given that he was moving to a new parish on Monday, taking the trouble to make me a card. I’d been meaning to do the same for him to say goodbye and thank you, but never got round to it, just scribbled a message in the communal well-wishers’ book on Saturday night while merry on alcopops.

Things that made me feel sad:

  • I didn’t do Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music as I’d been hoping. There just weren’t enough people willing to go to be able to make a proper good time of it, although Shoop and John (bless them) supported the idea staunchly right to the end before accepting my eventual decision to call it off. It would have been fun.
  • The realization today when Claire asked if I’d had a good birthday that the most honest answer I could give was “No, not really. But then I never really do, so I’m pretty used to it by now.”