The Birthday: A Photo Essay

Thank you, Internet, for all the lovely birthday wishes! You were all so kind, and you made me want to bake and deliver each of you a cake for your own birthday!

(A disclaimer: if you live any further away than, say, downtown Charleston, it's going to have to be a virtual cake, but that just means you can pick the flavor, and besides, this way it will be way more delicious than anything Betty Crocker and I could make you anyway!) Really though, thank you for all the well wishes. And to the person who said my dad was hot, I'll get you his number. Maybe also a time machine.

So now I am three years older than Sienna Miller, which is depressing, to say the least. But! At least I do not have a strange short choppy Rebound Haircut that I am sure she is now regretting. Also, I bet Jude Law does not look at her like this when he's trying to park the car in a very narrow space and she's all "smile for the camera! I'm going to take a picture of you! I don't care that you're trying to parallel park in a very tight space and I'm distracting you! It's my birthday! Smile!"

So I had a lovely birthday. It began with Peet's coffee, which Sean had brought all the way back from California, and which I did not have the heart to tell him could be purchased---albeit a little more expensively and only after coming into contact with several unwashed hippies---at the Whole Foods down the street. Then I opened a couple of cards, the most surprising of which was this one:

It was from Sean, and inside he had written "That's French for Happy Birthday! At least, that's what Charlie told me," which to me was hilarious, but to you is probably not so much. Perhaps I need to give you some backstory! Here is Charlie:

Sean and I like to pretend that Charlie is French. We also like to pretend that Charlie is something of a trickster---you know, always playing practical jokes on other neighborhood cats and members of the household, and then laughing (in French) about how he's pulled the wool over their eyes. (Yes, Sean and I are TOTALLY NERDY and we give our cats nationalities and personalities, and I'm sorry that you had to find out like this that I am SUCH A GINORMOUS DORK. By the way, our kitten Sadie is Portugese.)

But anyway, here, look at these shoes I bought yesterday! These were my birthday present to myself and they will distract you while I laugh a little more at the hilarious birthday card joke, and you roll your eyes at how embarassingly unfunny it is that I like to pretend my cat is French. Look, so red! So pointy! So on sale at TJ Maxx!

Oh! You wanted to see the presents I received from other people? How novel! Well, aside from buying me this book (and also remembering that ALL THE WAY BACK IN NOVEMBER, I'd vaguely mentioned that I didn't want the one with Elijah Wood on the cover because, ew, gross, no thankyou, the movie bombed, didn't it?) and this perfume, which I could just eat with a spoon if I didn't think it would kill me (and also maybe not taste all that good), Sean outdid himself and bought me this:

Is that not just the teeniest tiniest printer you've ever seen in your life? Don't you just want to throw it in your purse? And how about the sky blue on the front? Does that scream Printers Don't Have To Be Geeky, or what? I'd been saying for months, "I really want to print all my digital pictures at home, but I just don't want a big, bulky, ugly, gray printer on my desk! Don't they make cute printers? Don't they make pretty printers? Small ones? Darling ones that you sort of want to lick?" and lo and behold, he found one!

He also had apparently remembered my very specific dictates on globes---ie: that I'd desperately wanted one, but a stylish vintage-looking one, rather than a "I Totally Stole This From The Geography Classroom" one---and look what he found! (Side note to my parents: look to the left! Doesn't the lamp you gave me for Christmas look nice?)

So then we went out for dinner, to the restaurant that the magazine I work for voted "Most Romantic Place for a Date" last year. (This is a distinction which really carries a lot less weight than you might think, because guess who chose that restaurant to be voted Most Romantic Place for a Date? Me! Apparently this is one of the perks of my job---choosing, at will, which restaurants are romantic!) But it was very romantic, and we had a table in the window, and the waiter brought two glasses of champagne to us just out of the blue, and I was all, "Whoa, now I am totally going to have a birthday EVERY TIME I GO OUT TO EAT," and then at the end there was tiramisu with a candle, and thankfully no singing.

Incidentally, in case you ever go to this romantic restaurant, you should know that the bathroom doors have the backs of naked people drawn on them, and if you happen to have caught a slight buzz from all the wine and champagne at dinner, there is much entertainment to be had from photographing yourself either cupping their bottoms or trying to ape their poses. Just like this!

So it was a fabulous birthday, and it's not even over because on Saturday night I'm going here with friends and we are going to celebrate my birthday AGAIN, even though everyone will probably be TOTALLY SICK of it by then, but it won't matter, because the half-baked molten chocolate cake there is absolutely worth it.

In other news, I picked up my rental car today, which I have on loan until the new back door is put on the back of my Jeep, at the expense of the toothless rednecks. I managed to convince Sean that my rental car was called a Kia Krappsta---it's Latvian, of course! Or maybe Russian! I don't know! What do you think? Polish?---for a full five minutes, before he finally figured out I was kidding. Ah, that boy! He buys good birthday presents, for sure, but he certainly does drive a Ford Gullible.

Feb 10, 2006

How perfect -- the cat, the shoes, the dinner, the cupping of bottoms!

Feb 10, 2006

It sounds delightful! I particularly like the globe and printer (go Sean!), and especially the lamp from Christmas! I'm totally digging your parents right now.

Feb 10, 2006

Why does Sean look like the previously mentioned Curiously-Sexy-Peter with Simmons' glasses on? And also, I recall the time you saw an ad for a very weird product, maybe a moustache remover, and you said 'ew gross' and Sean said, 'Nice going Charlie, you told me she WANTED one of those!' Hahaha!

And also, come on Sean, at least buy a Porsche Gullible, it may be a little more expensive, but at least you'll be Gullible in style!

Feb 10, 2006

arse. I'm sure Kate said your birthday was in March... well, anyway HB. Pretend that the long email I sent you yesterday was rammed with birthday good wishes. In like, code or something.

Susan D.
Feb 10, 2006

Happy bday from this lurker! Just had to say, good bday haul, and Everything Is Illuminated is one of my top 5 books ever (although I think it resonates most of all with Jews and I don't know if you're one). BTW, once you've read the book, do rent/Netflix the movie - it really did a good job capturing the magic of the story, and I have to say Elijah Wood surprised me by bringing to life a character who I didn't get a real clear sense of in the book. IMHO. Oh, and cool shoes too!

Feb 10, 2006

Oh my GOD you two are so cute I don't know whether to lick you or smack you. Decisions, decisions....

Feb 10, 2006

Shoes... so... adorable... !!!

TJ Maxx sucks ass for me in the shoe department because I have ENORMOUS feet and apparently so does everyone else in the Continental United States because they never have anything decent in my size. So? You suck.

Also? I don't know if we've discussed this, but I'm sensing that you're a map geek. What with the globe and all. I bet you LOVE maps and globes, don't you?

I'm glad your birthday was memorable! And I'm jealous about the molten chocolate cake!!

Feb 10, 2006

I was really hoping you and my baby could share a birthday, but the little priss just won't come out. If my feet didn't look like giant sausages I would SO be on my way to TJ Maxx to copy cat you with those shoes.

Feb 10, 2006

Don't all cats have personas? My older cat, Calvin is quite sardonic and world-weary and more than a little annoyed with everyone and everything (except this one Old Navy flip-flop that he loves and adores and has adopted as his own). He is especially annoyed at all times with the kitten, Opie. Opie loves everyone and feels positive that everyone loves him in return and that yes, they do want him to jump on their laps and lay on them and possibly even drool on them just a little. I realized after we got Opie that his "voice" is a combination of my two favorite special ed students of all time. (Not that I have favorites of course because only wicked teachers have favorites and I love all of my students equally...)

Glad you had a great birthday!

Feb 10, 2006

I'm feeling a contact high from your birthday- why oh why didn't we find that resturant when we visisted Charleston for my birthday last year?
Happy Birthday (again) and glad it was great.
PS- Loved the Charlie card

Feb 10, 2006

Okay, now I know we can be friends because I, too, have bought myself shoes at TJ Maxx for a 'happy birthday to me' present. I've worn those shoes until the inside soles have fallen out - TJ Maxx shoes seem to do that A GREAT DEAL. Or maybe it's just my feet.

Your birthday sounds PERFECT and I love Charlie and his Frenchness! That crazy French cat!

Feb 10, 2006

ENOUGH with your totally cute (and funny) boyfriend and your gorgeous red shoes and your working at a magazine and your champagne with dinner and you're not even 30 yet!!

ARG. Now I'll never have a good birthday again.

Feb 10, 2006

I love the shoes. I kind of freaked at the printer, since it's attached to the computer I have and love. I would like to own it, as well. Not to mention the cat. And I love the amount of magazines in your home, because I was just forced to get rid of all of mine.

You two are gorgeous -- what a good day it looks to have been!!

Feb 10, 2006

yes, but does he happen to have a single brother in california? :)

Fraulein N
Feb 10, 2006

Glad you had a fabulous birthday. I must say, you have the best looking stuff in your place. And I for one think it's hilarious that your cat is both a trickster and French.

Happy Birthday.

My cat is also black and white, and my husband and I often pretend he is french. Of course he actually has a thin white mustache and a white gotee so we may not be too off base. So assigning cats nationalities=normal, not dorky.

Irony Queen
Feb 10, 2006

What is WITH all the perfect Internet boyfriends/husbands who know how to pick out just the most perfect, thoughtful gifts ever??? First Amalah, now you...I am soooo jealous! Where can I get me one of these??? And how can I ever date again??? No one will ever live up to these expectations!

Also, love the pointy red shoes (naturally). But alas, I am not allowed to wear anything backless like that, as I will walk right out of the shoes, trip on them and die. And death is just not pretty.

Enjoy Birthday Celebration Part 2. Save me a piece of that cake, will ya?

Feb 10, 2006

What a lovely birthday! Could you ask for anything more?
And I think Charlie is related to my cat, Tux, who is British and is quite stuck up.

Feb 10, 2006

You and your boyfriend are adorable! I hate you. :)
I love that your cat is a French trickster. I see that as perfectly normal...not sure what that says about me. Anyhow, happy birthday again and one more time....I LOVE YOUR WRITING!

Nothing But Bonfires
Feb 10, 2006

Hey CharlestonGirl, you may be the only one I actually CAN deliver a cake to, if your moniker is representative of your location! What flavor would you like?

Feb 10, 2006

Sorry Burns, I did CONFIDENTLY tell Josh your birthday was March 10th about two weeks ago. I don't know why. He loved the package by the way and let me eat one of those scary foot of fruit things.

Feb 10, 2006

Hey, you're not weird at all. My karaoke host and his girlfriend have decided that their dog is Jewish. I think my cat is gay and neurotic and bulemic. And there's that really great movie narrated by someone (I think Dudley Moore) called Animals are people too and it shows monkeys of some sort getting drunk on ripe fruit. Quite hilarious.

I want that printer. I have been thinking the same thing about big ugly gray printers (that don't work, damn them!). Where, where, where did he get it? And, oh God, could he be any hotter?

What a great birthday. I feel happy living vicariously through you. My birthday is March 11th, I would like my virtual cake to be the one that my grandmother used to make for me, with the pineapple and cool whip and the Jiffy yellow cake. Okay?

Thespian Libby
Feb 11, 2006

Congratulations on the splendid birthday festivities! And who cares if your friends are sick of your birthday by Saturday? I managed to have birthday celebrations for 5 consecutive days last week, and a belated event last evening. We February Birthday "Bazitches" are entitled to celebrate all month long because (a) it's a short month, and (b) just because. (And I'm so excited! My youngest brother gave me a ginormous TJ Maxx gift certificate, bless his heart.) And aren't you glad now that LN Stacy and I didn't go rummaging upstairs trying to find all your presents?
Continue the Happy!

Feb 11, 2006

We at Friday Playdate believe in celebrating the Birth Month. And now that I have GIVEN birth, I treat myself in the months of my childrens' birthdays as well. To make up for what they did to my ass.

But---those shoes! And the printer! And the globe! So fantastic.

Happy birthday, Holly. All month long.

Nothing But Bonfires
Feb 11, 2006

DM -- Done. I am buying the virtual Cool Whip as we speak.

Feb 11, 2006

I am currently trying to downsize my recently rather large you are off the hook for the cake! Thanks anyway, maybe next year!
Also, I see nothing wrong with a long celebration of your birthday. I celebrate the week before, the day of and the week or so after. I usually call it "The Festival That IS My Birthday"! I thought that after I turned 30, that would stop. I was 41 and still the celebration continues.
Great shoes, cool globe and awesome printer..rock on.

Feb 11, 2006

Hee. HEE! Sean is also hot, and I don't just say that because he wears the same glasses I do. Your dad is probably about my age, so don't bother with the time machine and all that -- just give me his number. Except that Ben and I don't, you know, SWING, so I will have to just admire him from afar. I'm sure your mum would prefer that anyway.

I'm Polish, and so are the naked people in the pictures on the door whose bums y'all are cupping. Furthermore, your shoes are delicious. By an odd coincidence, I bought myself all manner of cute shoes for Christmas because I do ALL the Christmas shopping at my house. No one else buys me anything, so . . . CUTE SHOES.

Happy birthday one more time, since it's ongoing, to my virtual little sister and/or daughter, who I STILL do not hate for being way younger and cuter than me.

Feb 11, 2006

So glad you had a great birthday! Hope the next 363 days are great too!

Feb 13, 2006

hi there. I like your site, I've been checking it out every so often, and usually giggling to myself, or my fiance about it. But Charlie being french, and the Bat Mitzvah card almost made me pee my pants, and forced me to comment. Love the shoes, love the naked doors, love the kittie, clearly very french. We have a cat named Buddy who we are pretty sure is Russian or Polish or some combination of the two, based strickly on his love for perogi. Happy Birthday by the way. We share the same date, and year. I also have commemorated my 26th this year. Apparently word has it that Feb 8th is The Day of Precognition. I knew that I was going to post this post to you. hehe. take care.

Feb 13, 2006

I love French Trickster Charlie. And that he got Sean to think Bat Mitzvah was French for Happy Birthday. That crazy cat!

Feb 13, 2006

Happy Birthday! It sounds as though it was divine, particularly the printer and the shoes.

Our cats do not have nationalities, but we've pretty much established that one is straight and a slut, one is gay, and one bats for both teams. So yeah, it's not just you. Then again, we are tremendous geeks, so...

Ali G
Feb 14, 2006

happy birthday - and continue to enjoy! you won't be sick of it... unless you get horribly hungover, which i wouldn't recommend. must pace yourself to fully enjoy your birthday time!

my boyfriend and i are completely, totally geeky in other ways (which i shall not tell the internet b/c it's even more embarassing than the cat thing)... good to know such a handsome couple as yourselves are not always as magazine ad-y as you seem!

Feb 14, 2006

Hey Holly, I know I'm a little late to the party but I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I saw something on the internet today and immediately thought it would make a perfect present for you (since I know your addiction to The Bachelor).