It's my birthday in June. As I shared in January, I try to handle the sweeping/all encompassing self reflection on March 4th, which saves June for fun stuff. (Well, for the most part - I sort of walk around in a state of self assessment & reflection, but that's another blog post, isn't it?)
I choose to celebrate my birthday month - and I do the same for friends, family & anyone else who deserves celebration. I don't expect balloons & champagne all month, I just like a little more room to fit in all the fun. Your big day is in mid-August? Cool! We've got 31 days to fit in drinks, trips, lunches or whatever, and make it about you - and make it special. Smoothies after yoga? It's your birthday! Opened a bottle of wine? Cheers, it's your birthday! Making cupcakes with the kiddos? Let's put a candle on one, 'cause it's your birthday! Gotta work on your actual birthday? Not a problem, we'll make up for it the weekend after or before. We've got four weeks. Handled.
I spent last weekend in San Francisco with a couple of friends, and we talked about all our "Embraced Traditions" - like Birthday Month, Friend's Thanksgiving and marking every single life event with a Mix Tape (you might call them playlists, but we started this long before iTunes. They're Mix Tapes, and they're required. The good ones get burned to discs & distributed.)
We also covered a few of our other quirky little life-isms, and decided they're still as necessary or fabulous (or both) as the day we created them. In no particular order:
Obligatory Moments: Small yet life-enhancing tasks that must be completed when a pre-determined situation arises. Such as: a toast with Fatboy Zin in the Tobin James Tasting room at least once on trips that include California's Highway 46, consuming a Meat Cone at Boccalone and/or and Blue Bottle latte when entering the Ferry Building, stopping anytime we pass a Bass Pro Shop (see photo above) to contemplate life as a professional fisherman, hit the shooting gallery & ask ourselves questions like: "Why is it that so few people tolerate damaging the flag in protest using Freedom of Speech, but it's OK to fashion Old Glory into a camping chair with a can holder & sell it for $12.99?" or "Who is coming here to buy all this fudge?"
Simple Truths: Basic pieces of knowledge that allow us to function successfully as a unit. Such as: Certain friends cannot function during a blood sugar drop, resulting in all kinds of chaos: keep snacks on hand for them. Everyone has an equivalent to Kryptonite - causing uncontrolled shuddering & loss of reasonability in otherwise nearly-invulnerable humans: best to know your friends' weaknesses so you're prepared (mine: cherry pie, stargazer lilies & big bugs that jump). Some situations can only be addressed with movie quotes. Certain songs require a full stop of life or conversation for singing and/or car dancing. Everybody has obsessions that we should tolerate (mine: tulips, authentic foods & "different" experiences) because if we ever need to know anything about Cross Fit, Baseball Trivia, Spartacus, Colin Powell, Vampires, Competitive Fishing or the sanitation practices of African Bone Cutters, we have a friend who knows all about it.
Minimum Standards: The floor used to aid in decision making. Some are permanent: We've made it this far without getting arrested or shot, we're making it the rest of the way. If you've attempted to fix something 3 times and it's still broken, call a professional or get a new one. Some are short term or goal-oriented: No more dating non-Giants fans this season. No more buying furniture until after you move. S'mores doesn't count as dinner, but Nutella sandwiches does. No buying new golf clubs until you break 100 with the ones you have, or buying a Vespa until you've ridden one for at least 3 hours, or installing a 6-head shower until the backyard is finished.
Happy Birthday to those of you in June - this serves as my obligatory birthday post, the minimum standard for food bloggers.