Tuesday, June 15

Do you want to have a semi-closed celebration that is not entirely terrible? Here’s how | Hadley freeman

Badvertising news, Aryans and Taurus, or, as people who don’t believe in fairy tales know them, people who have birthdays between March and May. You just had your second fucking birthday in a row. Without a doubt, the planets predicted everything. Now that I have declared myself the first Guardian astrologer, I must add that all Pisceans should avoid buying a dishwasher this week and Scorpios should stay away from anyone wearing a Moncler jacket. (The latter is not in the stars, it’s just a good rule of thumb to avoid people with too much money and no taste.)

So it was my birthday the other week. I always liked that my birthday was in May, because it really is the perfect month to party – late spring, so warm, but not, crucially, summer, so people are generally not on vacation. Also, I share my day with some really cool people: L Frank Baum! Madeleine Albright! Andy Murray! This may not say anything important about me, but it definitely doesn’t say anything bad, so I’ll take it. Smart for being born on such a great day! At this point, you should be imagining Leonardo DiCaprio at the beginning of Titanic, grabbing his ticket and screaming: “We are the luckiest motherfuckers in the world!” Except it’s me instead of Leo, my birthday instead of a ticket, and the coronavirus instead of the Titanic.

Okay, not being able to have a birthday party for the second year in a row might not be as bad as drowning in the icy North Atlantic because Kate Winslet wouldn’t share it. solid wood board with you. But let’s face it, having a double lockdown birthday isn’t cool. And before anyone starts, yeah I know it wasn’t proper lock Two weeks ago, but it might as well have been, given that I was not allowed to dine inside a restaurant and all the outdoor tables are reserved until August, probably by people sorting their books by color.

I was really dreading my birthday this year, to the point that I tried to ignore it, which is very little mine. I love my birthday, and not just because I share it with Andy Murray. It’s a better excuse to start with than, say, Tuesday to have a party, and I really don’t understand people who don’t like to party, because why wouldn’t you want all your favorite people in one room? Also, I have no problem with the aging process, because I was such an idiot when I was young that I have to believe that I can only get better. My birthday last year was fine, because there was a certain novelty in not seeing my friends or my parents in it. But twice in a row it was not a prospect that filled me with joy. In the end, it was okay. More than good – it was really lovely, thanks entirely to my partner who stepped in and took control of the proceedings rather than letting me sit in a self-pity funk.

As I write, it is highly up in the air whether all the restrictions will be lifted next month (or indeed, ever), so perhaps the rest of the astrological chart has a blocking second birthday as well. Just in case, here’s what I’ve learned about how to have a not-entirely-terrible semi-closed celebration:

1 No Zoom parties Whatever initial appeal they once had (“It’s like the The Brady Bunch Opening Credits They are talking to me! ”) Has long been overcome by the irritation that no one can speak and that someone’s Wi-Fi always freezes. It’s like trying to have an underwater party and unless it’s related to The little Mermaid, this is a stupid idea. Tell the people you see in person every day, your neighbors, the newsstand, that it is your birthday and enjoy your well wishes, and if you must do Zoom, leave it for one person, maximum two. In fact, you can talk and you will see everyone else later. Someday. Maybe.

2 Don’t plan anything that depends on nothing Picnics, gatherings that require an outdoor table, gatherings that depend on restrictions being lifted when promised … depend, respectively, on the weather, luck, and integrity of Boris Johnson, all of which are so reliable like the others. Don’t make your birthday stressful; instead, stay with unshakable certainties. I eat food. My birthday lunch, on my kitchen table, included all of my favorite foods and, let me tell you, neither age nor Covid can wilt spaghetti with tomato sauce and homemade chocolate cake.

3 Treat yourself The best lesson in Parks and Recreation is the importance of a Treat yourself on Yo ‘Self day – a day in which the only rule is to indulge yourself, and that day is a birthday of confinement. Stay in bed and watch Parks And Rec all day! Enjoy the largest bubble bath in the world! Or just look at a double bill for High society Y Heather, because it’s your birthday and you can. Maybe the outside world is overrated after all.


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