...It's almost 25 which is almost mid-twenties. "
- Jessica Simpson
Kurt Cobain, Cindy Crawford, French Stewart, Charles Barkley, Patty Hearst, Ivana Trump, Gloria Vanderbilt. What do these people have in common with me? We share the same birthday!!
Yes, folks, for those who hadn't noticed, yesterday was my 23rd birthday. And, being in Germany, I didn't get to celebrate it with my family. But I did celebrate it with exactly one half of my social circle! Jessica and Steffi came over to my place where we spent the afternoon and evening creating absolute mayhem in the kitchen. We baked an "authentic American chocolate cake" - recipe courtesy Jessica's internet - and Steffi was amazed at the amount of sugar (two whole cups - whoa!) needed to make a cake from scratch. So she counteracted it by accidentally dumping in way more cocoa than was actually needed, heheh. The oven experiement ensued, as my oven is from the GDR-era and only has one temperature: on. Approximately 40 minutes later, we had slightly-burnt-on-top-but-still-delicious chocolate cake. We remedied the burnt problem by standing around the cake and eating off the burnt bits. Yum!
Randomly, while we were playing cards and waiting for the cake to finish baking, the door buzzer rang. It was Frau Just, a host mom from when I was here before (but not my host mom). She wished me a happy birthday and all the best for the new year and handed me a small package. I opened it when I got back inside and it was a pair of hand-knitted socks! The card explained that she was in touch with Lori, one of my bosses at the library at Witt, and that Lori told her how it was my birthday and asked her to send a card, or something. But she totally went above-and-beyond and knitted me socks! It was a very pleasant surprise :) Thanks Lori, thanks Frau Just!
Dinner consisted of super delicious hamburgers and macaroni salad. (Clearly our theme was "American picnic chic.") Then came the greatest test. Jess and I dyed our hair red. It's the washable kind, but it was also a bright magenta on the package. Putting it in our hair, it looked like blood. Rinsing it out, it looked like blood. If I hadn't known better, I'd have said that I got my head sliced open. But, while Jessica's hair is a fairly bright red color, mine is only slightly tinted. I think it looks darker, but it's not a horribly noticeable difference. I like it though. Maybe next time I'll go permanent!
The hair-dyeing experiement was followed by some Rotkäppchen sekt (still 1/3 of a bottle in my fridge -- guess I'm drinking that with my leftovers for dinner!) and a bit more cake. All in all, it was a delightful day, filled with phone calls from loved ones (thanks, Bridget, Jen, Pamela and Aunt Julie!), visits from friends (thanks Jess and Steffi!) and lovely gifts (a sweet hyacinth plant and invitation to dinner from Steffi, a free trip to the movies from Jess, new socks from Frau Just).
Then this morning when I got into work, I had a plethora of birthday emails from more friends (including two from people at a message board I frequent!). I feel so loved! I also got a lovely flower arrangement (Gerber daisies and some really pretty purple flowers, but I don't know what they're called) and a card from my coworkers, and then my boss got me a new coffee mug and a card with €20! I am so lucky to be surrounded by such caring and loving people. It's hard to be away from home sometimes, but it is a lot easier to stand when you know that there are those who truly care for your well-being. I hope that each of you are equally as blessed :)
Other random birthday trivia: Gene Siskel and Frederick Douglass both passed away on my birthday. And David Carradine, Pat Benetar, Arthur Ashe, John Cleese, Hugh Downs, and King Ludwig III from Bavaria were all married on my birthday. But not to each other.