365 x 26 in Under a Second

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Myself, being a person of forgetful nature, am inclined to lose track of many things. It can then be no surprise that more often than not I forget that it's my birthday. In fact I only remembered last year when my brother called me and wished me well. Even then there was a small argument on when my birthday was (not the day itself but wether it indeed actually was that day). I like to think of myself not so much as absent minded and forgetful but as possessing an endearing lack of recollection. Still, this year I did well and was actually aware of June 2nd's personal importance ahead of time.

Now I'm very proud of myself for surviving yet another 365 days on Earth and was willing to celebrate it. Being highly accident prone to the point of being a general hazard to myself and others I think it's worth a little reward. (I didn't do something foolish and kill myself, let's celebrate!) So I took the day off from work intent on not doing a goddamn lick of work, studying, or anything that one could call even remotely productive.

After Eat Beast woke me up at 5:30 per his usual schedule to feed him I got back into bed and slept in. When I woke up 4 hours later I had a simple breakfast of oatmeal with blackberries that the BF and I picked at Mike Madison's farm over the weekend. I stretched out on the couch in the pair of boxer briefs I slept in and sipped down a steamy over-steeped cup of chai tea as I read the New York Times and my favorite web comics. It was a successful and deserved start to my day.

Come noon we went to Dad's Kitchen to meet up with the BF's sister, a baker at the neighboring Freeport Bakery, and her girlfriend for lunch. We laughed and traded stories, I flipped off the offensive table umbrella that called me an asshole (another story), and sighed a deep sigh after failing to finish off a Dad's Burger - a burger covered in cheese and seared in a blanket of bacon served on a roll with pickeled onions, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce all homemade and/or grown by staff - and a side of garlic Parmesan fries.

As we settled over the bill I was in a small state of nirvana. A state which hardly ever lasts.

For just a second I stop and reflect on where I am. Am I where I thought I would be at twenty-six?

At times I feel I should be a bit further along than I am now. I haven't had my Grand Adventure in life. I haven't published a book yet. I haven't even thought of starting a family or settling down, though the thoughts are beginning to niggle at the back of my head. I haven't sky dived. I haven't learned how to make a macaron. I haven't tasted a squash blossom or a truffle. I haven't been to Alinea, French Laundry, Manressa, Contigo, Zuni Cafe or Chez Pannise. I haven't finished my Masters. And I'm still not quite one hundred percent sure what I want to do with my life. I'm twenty-six. Aren't I supposed to have done a bit more by now?

But then again, I'm twenty-six. I've done a lot I'm proud of. The blog. My education. My writing. My recipes. My relationships. My travels. My small apartment that I've made into a quaint home of sorts. My cats, annoying as they are. I'm proud of all of that.

My mood on all this depends on the day, if I've eaten, what I've recently read, my stress level and the position of heavenly bodies in relation to me.

The worry subsides quickly. All these thoughts have occurred in my own slowed perception of time. In less than a second I'm snapped out of reflecting about the last 26 years and if I spent them right. I know I have. I'm with people I care about and who make me laugh. I join the others in laughing over erectile dysfunction of the extra greasy fries (which are the tastiest ones by far) and they limp over shyly in your fingers.

This moment sort of defines where I am - surrounded by good people and good food. A good birthday to be sure.


  1. Great post Garrett! Happy Birthday! Happy you have your better half to help you celebrate!

  2. Happy Birthday, glad you had a good day!

  3. Happy Birthday. Hun (I can say that to you because I am an old woman of 50), you've done a lot and you've got a lot of living left to do. My recommendations:
    Have a family.
    Vist Nice.
    Laugh a lot.

    From reading your blog for the past year, I think you have accomplished a lot for someone so wet behind the ears. You are where you should be. Are you happy?

  4. Happpy birthday! I think you've accomplished quite a bit for 26. (And when I was 26 I was a college dropout who was working in a bar, so it's never too late to accomplish more if you want to!)

  5. You always make me laugh. Never worry about how old you are; only how happy you are. You can only change one of the two.

  6. Happy Birthday, and congrats on making it through another round of 365 days. It sounds like you had a wonderful day.

  7. Hey, we're almost exactly the same age! (You're 3 days older than me.) I too am worrying a little bit about turning 26 and what that means and how to reconcile it with the fact that I still feel like a kid who hasn't done much with her life. Even though, like you, I'm in a perfectly respectable place for a 26 year old. Anyway, I can only hope my Friday is half as good as your day sounds! Happy birthday!!

  8. Garrett!! Happy Birthday!! If nothing else, you're 26 and you have formulated the most AMAZING cupcake recipes in the world as far as I am concerned!! For the record, your Russian Roulette, or as we call them in NJ, those killer Kahlua cupcakes, are legendary!! You are absolutely the coolest person I truly wished lived next door to me. Sit back, have some unpretentious wine and enjoy the day, I insist!

  9. Happy belated birthday Garret! Sounds like it was a wonderful day!!!

  10. Cool your birthday is the day after mine!


  11. Tartlette: MEEE TOO!

    Leendaluu: Very. =)

    Kalyn: Why are there not more cocktail recipes on your site? ;)

    Daria: Sweet. Glad you like Kahlua as much as I do. ;)

  12. Happy birthday! My 27th was the third. I went through a similar thought process yesterday.

  13. Anytime you want to try parenting, you can borrow my kids for a day. They fit our family, but I've never met anyone else on the planet who wants to keep them for more than a few hours.

    But I might be able to fix the squash blossom problem in a few months. I've planted several rows of seeds in the big garden out back. I think, at last count, we'll have 20 odd squash plants of varying kinds popping up in the next week or two.

    I'll let you know when blossoms are in season (probably the same time as peaches) and you can swing by and grab some. :o)

    Happy Birthday!!!

    Now, call your Mom and say thank you!

  14. Happy Birthday Garrett!...I guess all of us go through that thought process...but you have done far better at 26 surely!..:)

  15. Hi Garrett, happy belated birthday to you. Being an avid reader here and love the way you write...

  16. Aaah - another Gemini :) Happy Birthday! Mine was on the 5th and kiddo celebrated her 4th birthday on the 7th.
    If its any consolation, the questions just keep changing - at 35 I am asking myself other questions but still wonder what I have managed to achieve!


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