a 35-year-old is strangely over-excited about her birthday

i just realized i’ve been 35 for more than a week already & i never wrote about my birthday! it was really nice. way too hot, but i guess that’s the problem with being born in july. jared, ramona, & i went to first watch for breakfast. it’s a chain that jared had apparently known about for years, but i had never heard of it until i was in the hospital, on bed rest with ramona. one day jared was like, “i went to first watch this morning before i came to the hospital,” & i was like, “YOU ATE PROFESSIONALLY PREPARED BACON WITHOUT ME?” even though i was eating bacon & fried chicken everyday in the hospital. (still not sure why they wouldn’t put a woman with pre-eclampsia on some kind of sodium-restricted diet, but hey. i am not complaining.)

it’s kind of a grandpa-type place, but i like that sort of thing.cute bistros annoy me. i had waffles with caramelized bananas & bacon-infused maple syrup. it was delicious. ramona managed to drink from a cup with a straw & not spill anything. then jared took her to the playground while i went to hancock fabrics & went buck wild. i got some more railroad stripe denim to make shorts, some black denim to make a jacket, several patterns because there was a $1.99 sale happening, various notions & trims & such forth. i like hancock because they have the notions the indie shop doesn’t have, & their apparel fabric is okay-ish. & they have a nice selection of kona solids. they also have weird shit like sparkle organza by the bolt. you know, if you’re into that sort of thing. but i always make a list to go there. it’s not really fun to browse because their fabric selection is pretty uninspiring.

ramona took her nap & i decided to pull the trigger & buy a serger. i’ve been wanting one for months, & as long as my reconsideration goes okay, i can afford it. i’ve been wasting like an hour a day looking at sergers online. i figured, you only turn 35 once, fall is coming & it will be nice to be able to sew up some knits, i think the past year has proven that sewing is more than a passing fancy for me, etc.

after ramona woke up, we went out & got coffee. we also got her a new pair of sunglasses that somehow exactly matches the sunglasses jared got for himself at a thrift store last week. she threw her previous sunglasses out of her stroller & jared ran them over & broke them. how annoyed was i by that, on a scale of 1 to 10? like maybe a 12. it’s not that hard not to run shit over with the stroller. but i digress.

we placed a take-out order with the basil leaf cafe, which i rather like. jared’s review: “too salty”. that is exactly the sort of thing i am looking for if i eat restaurant food! i had lasagna & jared had spaghetti & meatballs. even though we could easily have made lasagna &/or spaghetti & meatballs at home…in fact, jared just made spaghetti & meatballs last night. oh well. jared also made me a flourless chocolate cake.

we put ramona to bed & then we watched “the grand budapest hotel”. it’s a real testament to how little i keep up with most pop culture now that i have a kid that i didn’t know jeff goldblum was in that movie. i don’t consider myself a huge jeff goldblum fan, but he does somehow elevate everything he’s in. so that was a pleasant surprise, even though i can’t decide if i am willing to accept wes anderson’s shtick at face value or if i am starting to feel kind of annoyed by it. i wonder if he ever feels hemmed in by his own aesthetic. i do know that right after “the fantastic mr. fox” came out (which isn’t even a live-action movie), i went to a halloween party & like a third of the people there were dressed as wes anderson film characters. the same thing happened after “moonrise kingdom”. come on, guys.

i don’t want to speak too soon, but i am thinking about challenging myself to sew one new thing every week. because i can never let a birthday or a new year or a monday pass without setting myself some kind of obsessive-compulsive challenge. (i’m not trying to joke by saying that–i mean that it actually some kind of compulsive behavior that i am powerless to control.) so for my first week of being 35, i made that messenger bag. what will this week bring? i now have the serger, a pattern for a cute knit dress, & a few yards of weird floral print jersey. a dress? i’m going to try it, even though the jersey is tormenting me by sticking to itself & forming wrinkles & ridges every time i fold it in half. i’m supposed to cut some of the pattern pieces on the fold, but i am struggling to achieve an even fold. i even enlisted jared’s help, which is always a bad idea. not that this is some moral failing on his part, but it is kind of amazing that he has never once successfully helped me fold a bolt of fabric properly. maybe i just set him impossible challenges by making him work with difficult-to-fold fabrics. even once i get the cutting done, i’m a bit concerned about the fact that the jersey is so thin. i might be making myself a transparent dress. we’ll see what happens.

i’m also worried about the fact that apparently i totally do have carpal tunnel. i wasn’t able to wear my braces for a few nights because ramona was being such a velcro-obsessed terror baby, & yesterday after i cut out my dress pattern, i realized that my right hand had no feeling in it. i was like, “oh well, it’ll probably be okay in a few minutes.” fast forward several hours & my hand was still numb & excruciating bolts of pain were emanating from my wrist. so. my left hand seems to be relatively okay, but i can’t use scissors or a rotary cutter or thread a needle with my left hand. i did sleep with the brace all night last night & my hand is feeling better today.

also, jared leaves for boston tomorrow. then it will be the all-ciara-&-ramona-all-the-time comedy hour. i feel both excited & terrified. lately she has been really into saying “daddy” instead of “mama”. all day long, all i hear is, “daddy daddy daddy.” i pondered to jared last night, “i wonder if she’ll start saying mama more while you’re gone, since only mama will be around to hang out with her. or if she will just double down on her daddies, trying to conjure you ‘beetlejuice’-style.”

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.

2 thoughts on “a 35-year-old is strangely over-excited about her birthday

  1. Happy belated birthday! I know I said it on FB, but I kinda think FB birthday wishes only half count.

    That sounds like a perfect day to me. 🙂

    It sounds like the serger will get a lot of use! I just stress-bought a sewing machine that I really shouldn’t have. I have a bit of buyer’s remorse in terms of spending that kind of cash. And some guilt because I think my husband is annoyed about it. But, mostly, I just want to lock myself up in the attic and sew all the things!

    1. the serger has been getting quite a bit of use! but the weird part is that it has also helped me get over my fear of sewing knits on my regular machine. i still have a lot more experimenting to do with the serger (haven’t yet tried all the stitch options or feet) & with getting the results i want with knits from my regular machine, but…fall is coming! & i am slowly building a knit fabric stockpile.

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