Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To

I obviously hate myself.

How else to explain my 9 am appointment at Dr. Low's office, on this sunny yet chilly late autumn morning, my 48th birthday?

Sylvia the dental hygienist was perfectly nice... as nice as one could be while sadistically scraping off plaque from the 18 months that had lapsed between today and my last dental appointment.

When I wryly remarked that this was a helluva way to spend my birthday, she praised me for doing something positive for my teeth as I was nearing 50 -- the age when people's teeth evidently start rotting or falling out.

And suggested that I buy myself the new Oral B electric toothbrush as a birthday gift.

As Little Babe might say: Oh Joy.

So, yeah, it's my birthday and good wishes have come from near and far.

Middle Babe, in the final stretch of her semester at Rhodes University in South Africa sent me a BBM advising me to go for a birthday mani-pedi, massage and two-hour workout. SOBB (Sister of Bungalow Babe) in Jerusalem said she hoped I would enjoy some recreational shopping, seconding the suggestion of some personal grooming in honor of this special day.

POBB (parents of Bungalow Babe), whom I will see for dinner later today, called to express shock that their eldest child had reached such an advanced age. FOBB (father of Bungalow Babe), an ordained rabbi, informed me that his only association with the number 48 was a Midrashic rendering of the metaphysical 48 Gates of Impurity that the People of Israel had to pass through on their way to the Holy Land.

Big Babe, newly home from Berlin, regaled me with his LOUD rendition of Happy Birthday on the trumpet he taught himself to play while I attempted not to spill my coffee on myself. Little Babe sleepily wished me a "Happy Birthday" when I roused him from sleep, throwing warm arms around my neck and kissing me on my hair before I yelled at him to get dressed and downstairs in five minutes flat.

Alfie and Nala the Pomeranians gave me special birthday barks and licks. At least, they sounded like special birthday barks. And the licks felt celebratory.

BOBB and SILOBOB (brother and sister-in-law of Bungalow Babe) sent text messages of love and good wishes.

And HOBB presented me with the birthday gift he thoughtfully bought me this morning while out walking Alfie and Nala: a pound bag of Oren's Beowulf Blend coffee and a melange of celebrity and fashion magazines.

I tried to recall the taste of the Beowulf Blend, the blare of Big Babe's trumpet, the warmth of Little Babe's sleepy arms, the sweetness of Middle Babe's text messages and the relaxation of a pedicure as I lay helplessly in Dr. Low's chair, held hostage by a woman named Sylvia who hacked at my sensitive teeth, wielding instruments of gum destruction while a steady stream of my blood and saliva got slurped up by a loud vacuum device stuck into the side of my mouth.

My efforts were in vain. Every nerve of my being was marinating in a stew of misery.

It is now nearly 2:30 in the afternoon. Starting at 3:00, I've got two interviews to conduct and an hour-long phone conference at 4:00.

At 5:10, I need to leave to pick up Little Babe from Afterschool and then the Bungalow Family heads out to Queens to join POBB for my birthday dinner at an Israeli restaurant. It doesn't look like a mani-pedi, recreational shopping trip or massage is in the cards for today.

However, if I run out to Duane Reade in the next half hour, I'll be able to pick myself up a new Oral B electric toothbrush. Sylvia gave me a coupon for a $10 rebate for the Triumph model.

Oh Joy.

1 comment:

rosetry845 said...

Oh BB happy happy belated bday from MBFOBB-- Monroe Bungalow Friend of...
48 & 49 can be challenging bdays, but being 50 is well worth the wait. Hang in w/toothbrush, family, friends & your wise words.