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Not about, as it turns out, my birthday

2003-10-10 - 10:29 a.m.

Yesterday was a low-key birthday, but not an unpleasant one. Though most people didnít manage to reach me directly, I got messages from most of my family, including my new outlaws, I went over to my friend Artyís house to watch Survivor and he and J served me flaming doughnuts in lieu of a cake. This might not suit everyone for birthday celebrations, but with Thanksgiving taking Arty out of town to his familyís this weekend, it was my only chance to get together with him. I have a few friends that wonít be making it out to dinner tonight actually, though a few of them are going to weddings instead of to see family.

Fortunately there will be a few people left in town who are stoked about going for Chinese tonight and Iím looking forward to it. My friends are a motley crew in that they lead very different lives and most of them donít know each other very well. They would probably never have met each other if they didnít know me. After all, where would, for example, a Lesbian Artist, a Military Exercise Junkie, a Vegetarian Birkenstock-wearing Environmentalist, and a Salsa Dancing Techie cross paths with each other and with my local friend from university or my homebody friend from high school or my ultra-conservative Nixon-fan friend from work? Despite that, they come together very well when I manage to engineer a group outing. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that they are all fabulous, kind, friendly, accepting, interesting people. Thatís why theyíre my friends and many of them have been around long enough to see me through good times and bad.

At my wedding two months and one day ago, J and I asked people, instead of clinking glasses to make the bride and groom kiss, to get up and share a story about one or both of us; stories that would help the friends and relatives that didnít know one of us that well to understand what it was about that one that made the other one want to marry them. And I have to tell you, it was amazing the stories that came out, though I have to confess that the bulk of the more colourful ones were about me (I dare say because Iíve probably done more colourful things while J is, and always has been, the steady, dependable rock). Iím not going to repeat any of them verbatim but the ones about me ranged from my oldest friend illustrating my love of interesting words through a hilarious quiz, to having Jís 70-something uncle announce to the crowd that Iíve ďgot ballsĒ. We all spent the whole meal laughing. I donít understand all those people and wedding magazines strategizing to keep the speeches to a minimum.

My friends are so cool.

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