on turning 21.

today was the best birthday i’ve had in a long time.

not simply because it was my 21st-big-deal birthday, or because anything especially exciting happened; this was the best birthday because i wasn’t depressed all day, and i didn’t cry. for the past three years, since i turned eighteen, i get inexplicably morose and depressed on my birthday, and i usually spend the first part of my day in seclusion and in tears, until one of my friends comes and gets me and takes me out and cheers me up (usually this is achieved with expensive food and casinos). and because i’m in georgia, with no friends in sight that aren’t of blood relation to me, i had valid concerns that i may become suicidal. not so!

my day began with one of the most drastic haircuts i’ve ever had. behold:

when i got my hairs cut six months ago, i cried for hours afterward… and that was a pretty haircut. as joel (the most fabulous hairdresser ever) was cutting all of my hair off, i had a moment where i thought “this is too short and i’m going to look like a dude… and i could definitely cry about it if i tried,” but really, i couldn’t bring myself to cry over hair again. for one, my hair grows incredibly fast and could be easily be a bob by spring break; two, i am never entirely happy with my hair, no matter what it looks like; three (and maybe most importantly), i know that my hair doesn’t change who i am, and that i don’t need to have super-long-super-feminine hair for people (and namely the gentlemen) to like me. there’s a lot more to me than my good hair (that joel said was “competition hair”…!). i’m not sure if i love this haircut yet, but i am able to shrug my shoulders and say “meh,” which is nice.

later in the day, i went out to a bar with judson and my parents. (sidenote: on the drive over, i got teary-eyed listening to a dashboard confessional song… seriously. which is ironic, because the song, “hands down,” was one of my favorite songs in eighth grade; strange that something i valued when i was so much younger still had an emotional impact on me seven years later as an “adult.” anyway, i hadn’t heard the song in forever and had kind of forgotten what it was about, so as i was listening very closely to the lyrics and remembering that it was about one perfect day in the lives of two young people in love, it came to a part where he sang “and you stood at your door with your hands on my waist / and you kissed me like you meant it / and i knew that you meant it.” it was such a tender and beautiful line, and it made me realize that no one has kissed me like they meant it in a long time, and i miss having that kind of assurance. but i blocked my tear ducts with my index finger and moved on.) such a good time: all of us but judson had two drinks each, and we took turns tasting each others’, because none of us are mixed drink connoisseurs. dean had a beer and a 7 and 7 (which didn’t taste too bad), my mom had a lemon drop (which was nearly all vodka) and a vodka tonic with peach schnapps, and i had a g&t and a long island iced tea, which was a killer. by the time i finished these two drinks, i was mostly wasted, but the four of us had great conversations about traffic violations, karaoke and dressing in drag. i even drew a diagram of my new apartment for my parents, so that they could see how little space i actually have to live in, and why i need another bookshelf. it was infinitely more fun than i thought it would be… my parents are some of the best and most fun people in the world, and they’re very good to me. shame on me for ever thinking otherwise.

then i came home, skyped with my favorite bro, and ended my evening by watching keith olbermann’s ‘favorite people of 2008’ special. i was #1. no, seriously.

happy birthday to me.


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