because: birthday

I’ve never really been one to enjoy any kind of art and crafts activity but like most other kids who grew up in the 90s, I did really enjoy watching Art Attack. Neil always made it look so easy even if you did need the help of a fire truck to launch balloons filled with paint to achieve the desired outcome. It has also been recently brought to my attention that perhaps I liked hearing the host’s British accent more than learning how to make a paper mache dinosaur out of a balloon, 15 different shades of green paint and toilet rolls.
As a kid, every year before my birthday I would make a paper chain out of coloured paper and then each day cut off one off the chains until it was finally cake day. I even took it on school camp with me once and sticky taped it to the bus window.
Then one year my Mum had this great idea to recreate one of the Art Attack ideas and handmade a birthday invitation using one of those huge square permanent markers (this was before Sharpies were cool) and a custom cut piece of 750 gsm cardboard! I think it was for maybe my 8th birthday and I was inviting just one friend to my house for a sleep over. I discreetly came to school one day with a bright red giant cardboard invitation that was, I’m not even joking, bigger than me. I remember walking into school awkwardly carrying the invitation and not being able to see where I was going and then on presenting the invitation to my friend in front of the rest of the class, realising that maybe this wasn’t the best ‘arts and crafts’ idea. I should have just stuck to the paper chain! I wasn’t inviting anyone else to my sleep over I had probably just created this horrible jealousy between my peers and also how was my friend going to get the giant red cardboard birthday invitation home? On her bike?! But more importantly everyone knew that this was hardly an original idea because everyone had seen that episode of Art Attack during the September school holidays! Sigh.
I turned 31 last Tuesday and like most of my birthdays I really try to stretch it out and make the celebration last at least a week. I started on Saturday with drinks at the pub but luckily I had Facebook to help me out with the invitation and there were no paper chains to count down the sleeps until cake day. I did however have all my favourite things: wine, cheeseburgers and a trip to the theatre… I really wish I could highlight some kind of poetic symmetry between Kinky Boots the musical, birthdays and arts and crafts but nothing is coming to me.
I’ve spent the past two years being 30, mainly because I was nervous about turning 30 so I started telling people I was 30 when I turned 29. Just so I could ease myself into it. But I’m more than happy to finally be 31. The main changes I’ve noticed are that I really cannot be out past midnight – it’s almost like I might turn into a pumpkin if I do. Sometimes I put my phone on aeroplane mode before I got to bed so I don’t get woken up by a text or a call from some inconsiderate person who doesn’t check the international time difference (Christopher Page). And, I can bake scones now. I’ll probably never be the kind of person that sends out handmade invitations but I am definitely adding to my skill set and am hoping by next year I might even be the kind of person that can cook a roast or be able to fill out a loan application without calling my Dad for help.
Recipe for a top birthday
*Start celebrating 4 days early
*Wake up on cake day to birthday wishes email from Parkhound App and aunty
*Consume coffee with bacon and egg roll
*Receive Kinky Boots tickets from boyfriend
*Receive chocolate caramel popcorn cupcake from girls at work
*Consume another coffee and chocolate covered fruit muffin that is pretending to be healthy
*Go to post office and on the way back to work get a cheeseburger (…it’s 11am)
*Confess to work colleague about consuming cheeseburger
*Reluctantly open gift picked up from post office at workplace – breathe sigh of relief when it’s two bags of Twizzlers and an unflattering picture of sender
*Have lunch with a friend, her shout so get the good Bento Box
*Consume Pesto Pasta… on the tram
*Open bottle of bubbles and have for dinner, leave half a glass for boyfriend (I don’t care if I’m allergic, it’s my birthday!)
*Get Uber Black to theatre – because: we’re fancy
*Consume 2 more glasses of bubbles (still don’t care about being allergic)
*Scream on the inside when 6ft 8″ male kicks his face and does back flip into splits
*Consume 2 kinds of Japanese salad, lamb ribs and Gyoza
*Roll eyes at restaurant’s $40 eftpos minimum policy (nod to boyfriend as he goes to the ATM and says: ‘$40 minimum?! Put that in your blog’)

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