so i turned 32 the other day

i received a really strange e-mail yesterday from some dude who works for a hydrotherapy equipment company. he said he had stumbled across some entry i wrote about taking a water aerobics class, & after ensuring me that water aerobics is 100% punk, he asked to write a guest entry on “the public perception of water aerobics”. he said he would be sure to maintain “the high quality writing standards that [my] readers have come to expect.” i have not taken him up on the offer. it has never occurred to me to bring in guest posters, & if i was going to do that, i probably wouldn’t start with a hydrotherapy equipment salesperson who wants to discuss the public perceptions of water aerobics.

so, i’m 32 now! i went to boston this past weekend to spend my birthday with jared. probably the weirdest thing that happened is that the ticketing agent at the kansas city airport didn’t ask to see my ID when i got my boarding pass. when i asked if she needed to see it, she said, “not if you’re under 18.” i told her i was 31. she said, “oh! then i do need to see your ID! & you look great for your age!” um, i really don’t. i think maybe i could pass for 27 or 28, but anyone who is standing right in front of me & thinking that i am seventeen years old needs to see an optometrist.

on another flight, a fellow passenger overheard me say something about wanting to smoke a cigarette after the plane landed. she started lecturing me about how terrible this is & was like, “you really shouldn’t smoke! you’ll regret it when you’re older!” i conceded that i probably would–hell, i regret it now! she said, “you’re in college, right? what are you, twenty?” my jaw dropped. i told her i was 31. she did a double take & said, “oh. well. i guess you’re an adult. i was going to say that smoking could hurt your job prospects down the road.” i told her my job prospects were not really a big concern, without elaborating that i am disabled. she said, “& smoking can prematurely age you. but i guess you’re okay.” i guess. it turned out that she was 38. she looked about 72, so she was speaking from experience.

my visit to boston was kind of awesome, & kind of annoying. it was really fantastic to see jared & get to spend some quality time with him. spinster summer is going swimmingly, but i do miss jared. he arranged to take me to salisbury beach for my birthday, where we stood around in the surf & played a gazillion games of skeeball. we accrued enough tickets to get a rubbery hot pink toy lizard, an awesome plastic shark, & an over-sized glittery pink ring.

me standing next to the world's most amazing hamburger sign, at salisbury beach.
jared at the soda shop, at salisbury beach.
me & the ocean! (clearly i am not a teenager.)

when we got back to the city, we went to see the outdoor seal exhibit at the new england aquarium.

me bonding with a seal lying on its back.
OMG so cute

& then we went out for dinner at trattoria di monica in the north end. jared & i ordered the bruschetta special appetizer, which was topped with mozzarella, plum tomatoes, figs, basil, & i don’t know what else. fucking. delicious. as an entree, i ordered the four cheese ravioli. i nearly lost my mind because it was so amazing. after i finished devouring it, i said, “i just want to do something to memorialize how unbelievably delicious this meal was.” but i couldn’t actually think of anything to do–maybe get a plate of ravioli tattooed on me?–so i did nothing. allow me to state for the record that not all italian food is created equal, & if you have a large selection of italian restaurants to choose from, doing a little research is a really good idea. i picked trattoria di monica because it featured a very simple, traditional menu, but had excellent reviews. i guess this advice works for pretty much anything, but there are few things i care about as much as i care about italian food, so. yes.

the annoying part is that, in the days leading up to my birthday, bart kept saying that he needed to do laundry. bart was letting us stay with him, & he was letting us use his car pretty much as needed, which was really generous of him, so i’m reluctant to complain too much about small inconveniences or whatever. but the point is that he did not follow through & do laundry until the morning of my birthday. & of course he needed his car in order to do laundry–the same car that we had been openly planning to drive to salisbury beach in order to celebrate my birthday. had we known about this crimp in the plans, we could have arranged to rent a car of our own or something, but we didn’t know, so we had to wait until he was finished with his laundry, & then we had to drive him to work before we could get on the road.

me outside the laundromat, just barely holding it together & not going on a killing spree.
jared, & bart in the background, slowly ruining my birthday one load of wash at a time.

i make a big deal about my birthdays. & i make a big deal about other people’s birthdays. a person’s birthday should be the one day a year when no one does anything to inconvenience them. i really did feel a little bit bad about being even a little bit upset, because hello. i was turning 32, not five. i acknowledge that it’s possibly a little bit childish for me to want my birthday to seriously be all about me & not at all about one of my friends washing his laundry. but still! i took the photo & warned him that i was going to post it on the internet with a bunch of complaining about how he ruined my birthday, so here it is.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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