Reasons I Am Not My Age

So I turned 29 on Sunday, which kind of sounds like one of those fake ages no-one really is. I mean honestly, 29? That's like the punchline to a bad joke some grizzled cashier at the drugstore tells her friends over a Jack and coke: "oh, just turning 29 again!" on her 52nd and 53rd and 54th birthdays. Before I turned 29, I didn't actually know anyone who was 29, and it almost seemed like maybe I'd just skip right over from 28 to 30. Because really, when it comes down to it, what's the point of 29? It just feels like a weird limbo age, the bridge between Wild And Unencumbered and Now Prefers Low-Key Dinner Parties. My friend May, in fact, calls 29 "just running your victory lap." 

That said, however, I was really looking forward to my birthday this year. Nineteen, as I have mentioned, was probably my best age ever, and so I figured maybe these cusp years, these almost-at-a-milestone years were the ones in which I shone. Did I tell you, by the way, that we now have a wedding date? Yup, the church is booked and everything: Saturday September 5, 2009. And when I walk down that aisle, how old will I be? I'll be 29. So it seems like maybe 29 is going to be a banner year for me. No wonder I couldn't wait to get started.

Also, presents really help.

But here's the thing: if you'd seen me on Sunday morning, working my way through a thrillingly large pile of gifts, you would have asked yourself whether I was turning 29 or 92. Not only did I receive two umbrellas---something I was dorkily overjoyed about, seeing as I've wanted a decent umbrella (or two) for ages---but my parents also gave me a present that at first sounds suspiciously geriatric but is in fact STRAIGHT UP AWESOME: a heated mattress pad. This heated mattress pad, in fact.

Friends, have you ever tried a heated mattress pad? You haven't lived until you've tried a heated mattress pad, I'm telling you. I don't reside in the arctic tundra, sure, but San Francisco can get pretty chilly at night, and crawling into a bed that's already toasty warm from top to toe? Well, that's just bliss. For the last few days, the radiators in our apartment were broken and, unhappily, this malfunction coincided with some of the coldest weather we've had in San Francisco this year. Me, however? I was happy as a clam in a down duvet. I just turned my heated mattress pad on to pre-heat, climbed into my bed at seven o'clock, and conducted all business from the confines of my comforter: emails, work, dinner, TV. Never been so warm and snuggly in my life. In fact, that reminds me: I need to turn it on to pre-heat now.

Perhaps, however, to counteract the wow-I'm-old-and-boring feeling that stems from being so enamored with a heated mattress pad, my parents also gave me a bag of cocaine for my birthday.

At least, that's what it looked like when I opened it. What it turned out to be, however, was just a bag of harmless white sand that was meant to be laid out as a base to accompany this little Buddha man in his garden of rocks and pebbles.

THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT. Some things are priceless, and the dawning relief that one's parents have not smuggled Class A drugs past Immigration, Customs, and Border Control is one of them. Still, I'm sure you can imagine the shock. ("No, mum and dad, when I said I was tired, I just meant I probably needed to order a Venti at Starbucks instead of a Grande to get through the morning, that's all!")

From Sean, I received the most beautiful pair of brown leather boots, a GPS for my car since I enjoyed yelling at the one in Florida so much, one of the aforementioned umbrellas (it's a "bubble" umbrella and looks like this; if only you knew how long I've lusted after one of these), and a book so large and heavy that it looked rather suspiciously like a King James Bible when it was still wrapped up, but then turned out to be something else entirely. Oh look, Internet! Guess where we appear to be going on our honeymoon!

(I mean, we hadn't actually officially decided on Australia, but since we've got the book I guess we have to go now! Ah, how history repeats itself.)

After the presents had been opened and the Great Barrier Reef had been read up on, we headed up the street to my favorite place for brunch, where the best birthday present ever was waiting, all snuggly and warm and willing to fall asleep in the crook of my arm:

Yep, little eight-week-old Wombat was there, ticking Baby's First Brunch off his list. Leah and Simon accompanied him, of course (I mean, he's a smart kid, but probably still a little too young to take BART by himself), along with some nice young nanny---excuse me, manny---they brought along to help:

Wait, wait, wait, wait: who's that holding the baby in the background? You mean, that's not their strapping au pair from the south of France? But he looks like such a natural! Note the burp cloth strung so casually across his shoulder! This guy's a professional, right?


Birthday Brunch With Baby from Holly on Vimeo.

After brunch, which was filled with mimosas and bacon and presents and laughter and some of my very favorite people, Sean and I took a drive (with the new GPS!) out to the Marin Headlands, which were cold and windy and very pleasantly atmospheric:

Before my birthday, Sean had asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner, but to be perfectly honest, I really kind of didn't. Perhaps it was the non-stop eating we'd done in Banff, or maybe the economy, or maybe the driving rain that hit around 6pm, but all I wanted to do was make an entire dinner from cheese and champagne and a chocolate souffle cake from Tartine and snuggle up on the couch with, like, five Netflixed episodes of Lost. And so that's exactly what we did.

And the funny thing is, that's pretty much exactly what we did for my birthday two years ago too. So I guess what I'm saying is that hey, I may be 29 now and the enthusiastic owner of two umbrellas and a heated mattress pad, but I can STILL PARTY LIKE A 27-YEAR-OLD. Well, a 27-year-old who likes partying by herself, in her living room, in her sweatpants, with a cat on her lap and baguette crumbs down her shirt, of course. But still.

Feb 13, 2009

Happy Birthday (slightly belated) It sounds fantastic, and I must look into the heated mattress pad idea. It's freezing here (teen temps at night) all winter and I have this habit of sleeping with my window open. Yes, don't know why I've not thought of the heated mattress pad idea myself.

Huzzah for Australia! Squee!


Feb 13, 2009

Things I want for my upcoming 29th birthday that would make you think I was an old lady:
-a nice nonstick pan
-a hefty cutting board
-a heating pad (I got super excited when I saw that you got one!)
-a nice chopping knife
-someone to come in and clean my house
Umm, yeah.

Also, I have that umbrella and I'm madly in love with it!!! I bought it when I was living in SF and kept seeing all these cute Japanese girls with them, and then finally found it (for $30!, wtf??) at a little botique in Hayes Valley. Love. It.

Finally, those pics of you guys are so cute, and when I saw them after the baby pics, I thought to myself "someone is going to say 'these are pictures of my parents' someday"...sweet!

Feb 13, 2009

My husband would probably leave me if I got a heated mattress pad. I reaaaalllly want one though. Do they come half-heated / half-regular? That would be ideal.

Nothing But Bonfires
Feb 13, 2009

Hillary -- the one I have has controls for each side of the bed! The hilarious thing is that I woke up this morning IN A POOL OF SWEAT because Sean had his side cranked up to 8.

Feb 13, 2009

HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY! now i want one of those cool umbrellas too.

Feb 13, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

I can totally relate on the heated mattress pad (Electric Blanket) In New Zealand you needed them every night in winter. They are the BEST!

I have actually recently moved to Australia. Its a great country, and you will love it for your honeymoon. And September is a good time to come. Its just starting to heat up :)

Feb 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Holly Burns!

You and your fiance are certainly edible, if cuteness factor is any indication.

Feb 13, 2009

I (28) have had an electric blanket (heating pad in Ireland) for as long as I can remember, so I don't associate them with old people at all. I really miss it now that I have moved to the Netherlands and did not think it was in the top things to bring with me.
Congrats on setting a date!

Feb 13, 2009

I went to Australia a year ago (to Perth) and am just waiting for the chance to go back and see more. It's one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people. You're both going to have a great time!

Feb 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Holly! I turned 30 in January and I have to say, sometimes I still think I'm 29. It's just a nice age to say out loud - thirty sounds so...cliche in a horrible frumpy dress sort of way.

Rachael W
Feb 13, 2009

Happy birthday! I have to say, when I read about the "best birthday present ever" waiting for you at the cafe, I expected the picture below to be of you holding a puppy. Needless to say, I was utterly bewildered by the presence of the baby. I thought, "I didn't know you could give a baby as a birthday present!"

Feb 13, 2009

Hooray for bubble umbrellas! I found one I loved, just like yours except the handle was clear and filled with water and sparkly stars. But it was only available online through a British store called Brollies Galore. So I had it delivered to my boyfriend in London. He had to borrow a gigantic suitcase from a friend so it would fit, and then drag said gigantic suitcase through two flights and a gate change in Dallas. And it was SO WORTH IT.

aBd libbing
Feb 14, 2009

I was married at 29, too. It can definitely be an awesome year. Plus, we're going to Australia in June (yes, it will be winter, but it's the only month when we have a huge chunk of time to spend) and are psyched about it.

By the way, when are we going to get to see the boots?

Feb 14, 2009

Happy birthday, Holly!

Feel free to ask me (and I'm sure, any other Aussies who read your blog) any questions about our fair land! I'd love to give you any help I can with planning.


Feb 14, 2009

Twentynine is the year I got pregnant! Well, at the very end of 29.... 2 months before my 30th. But still, looking at these pictures, that might be what 29 holds in store for you too! I say: you's two's are ready!

Feb 14, 2009

Congratulations on your impending nuptials. Funny coincidence: We got married on Sep 5th, 2004 and also honeymooned in Australia. You MUST try red sparkling wine there. YOU MUST. Ooh, and scuba dive off a boat in the Great Barrier Reef. And winetaste in the Barossa Valley. And drive the Great Ocean Road. And climb the bridge in Sydney. And lick green ant butts in the Daintree Rainforest with Pete Baxendell ( See koalas and kangaroos and fairy penguins and seals on Kangaroo Island. And go canyoning in the Blue Mountains. But skip the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park--it BLEW. We also visited Melbourne and Adelaide. To be honest, though, the cities are a lot like Southern California. We rearranged all our travel plans on our 3rd day in Sydney when we finally admitted we were bored stupid and made sure to spend as little time in the big cities as possible. We spent three weeks total there.

Have fun!

Feb 14, 2009

Happy belated birthday! It sounds fabulous to me, but I'm almost 34. :)

Feb 14, 2009

Hey we share the same birthday! It sounds like you had a perfect day! And mattress pads are God's gift to young, cold blooded women like ourselves. We can't help if most people don't discover them until they're in their 60's...

Feb 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Holly!

Feb 14, 2009

Happy belated Birthday!
Now, this is coming from another geriatric (I turned 30 not too long ago), but I love my heated mattress pad. I have no idea how I suffered through years of New England winters without one as a kid, but it has made life so much better for the last two years! I hope you enjoy yours for many happy years to come!

Feb 14, 2009

Hope it was a wonderful birthday! And don't worry about seeming too old for getting two umbrellas. I'm a few years younger than you, and for Christmas this year, I asked for a magazine rack and shoe organizer.

Feb 14, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Your fiancee has the best hair, ever!

Feb 14, 2009

Hol, I can tell you two things quite for certain: (1) Your thirties are the absolute prime of your life, so do not fear. I was at my absolute most pretty and smart in my thirties; and (2) You and Sean look absolutely good with that baby, so keep that in mind. I waited till my forties to have 3 kids with Ben, but that was mostly the hand of the Universe. Y'all owe it to the gene pool to reproduce. Oh, and plus (3) happy birthday. I thought you were like 24, so that's a good thing.

Feb 14, 2009

I turn 27 this year. I want to do what you did on your 27th.. substituting the lost episodes for top chef or americas next top model. Heaven.

Happy Birthday! All the pictures are so great!

Feb 15, 2009

Happy happiest of birthdays! It sounds like you did it up RIGHT, fine lady!

Pink Sun Drops
Feb 15, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!

Feb 16, 2009

Happy belated birthday Holly! It looks like you had a fabulous day and Wombat is just so cute at your birthday brunch, I love how he gets handed round the table like a little parcel!

I am just about to leave 29 and turn 30 in 3 weeks, but 29 was a great year for me, my boyfriend and I bought our first apartment, so may your year of being 29 be just as happy!

Feb 16, 2009

happy birthday! pictures of wombat and sean = heart melt.

your 29th birthday evening plan sounded perfect!

the sassy kathy
Feb 16, 2009

happy belated birthday! it sounds like (and looks like!) an absolutely lovely bday celebration!

(and ps - just read "nineteen" - i'm dying to know where you interned, b/c it sounds VERY similar to my time spent at a glossy bridal magazine in NYC a few years ago. i did pretty much, um, nothing. i did get a lot of reading done for my seminar on Jane Austen though! and i was also continually sent in to raid the beauty closet...i made quite a killing... though i don't even wear makeup...)

Feb 17, 2009

I know what you mean about the cusp years. I am 39 and feel like I'm fibbing everytime it comes out of my mouth. I actually mentioned the fakeness of the age in a post several months ago. I know it may just be in our heads, but I swear people cock a little sideways glance when 29, 39, whatever "9" are uttered.

Happy Birthday!

Feb 17, 2009

Oh yeah, that mattress pad warmer is tha bomb. Here in Colorado I think they should just give you one when you enter the state: Hi, welcome to Colorado, here's your mattress pad warmer! Seriously for those who love their bed, which is an ageless state of mind.

Feb 17, 2009

Apparently, I loved 29 so much that I'm still telling people that I'm 29 - but only on accident, I PROMISE.

And, the heated mattress pad? Have it and love it - although I did just wash it, according to directions of course, and am scared shitless to turn it on.

Feb 19, 2009

Ok so electric blankets, so not for old people. I've had one since I was a kid!! Two I'm from a Australia so of course think it would be the perfect place for you to honeymoon!