Thursday, November 8, 2012


Ideas for a skater birthday cake
I stopped waiting for Cary to throw me a surprise birthday party.

He knows all my favorite people. Just get them in a room, and have them yell surprise, and feed me cake fit for a six-year-old. That's all I ask to celebrate 30 years of Aly on planet Earth. The thing is, I told myself it was time to grow up.

It was hard to not celebrate all month. And given the decade milestone, it was hard not to celebrate all year. But as I Googled "ways to celebrate your 30th", I realized I'd either done it or couldn't afford it (although, I'm still planning on sampling all 31 favors at Baskin-Robbins).

And then it dawned on me: Maybe I should just chill. Treat the big day like a proper 30-year-old and bashfully dip my head like, darn it, you found out it was my 3-0, saying no, no, no party, no presents, please.

Ha! Who am I kidding... I'm a childless female who married at 23 and still can't seem to let go of Friday evenings alone with my husband or hours spent burying my nose against the screen of a Kindle. I can discuss 30 Rock jokes any day of the week, and I still try to pull off the "skater" look. (Wow.)

So how did I think I could possibly pass up the chance to have an immature fete? ... Well, I sulked until November hit, then decided to go hunt down some cake to shove in Cary's face.

At work we were on deadline the week of October 22. This means everyone was nose to the grindstone to get a glorified PennySaver to the printer on time. Then they finish and throw a party while I get passed the baton and have to push all those Groupon-wannabe offers online. Then pretend I'm excited about them while posting deals to Facebook and tweeting them to our 55 followers.

Love ya, MBA. OXO. But this is what happens when you relocate every couple years. And I'll take it.

Here's why:
  • Having a job in this economy is like getting one of the last tickets before a movie sells out. Whew.
  • We can squirrel away the extra cash and enjoy a social security-free retirement in Tampa - unless we have 15-year-olds living with us at that point.
  • A space away from home, and a purpose away from your spouse, is like the endorphins from exercise; there's pain, but it's an oh-so-sweet experience overall, and your heart will thank you for it.
  • Insta-friends who always seem to turn out to be the salt of the earth.
  • Whether I'm copywriting a coupon or a story that will eventually be turned down, writing's writing. (Thanks, Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious.)
  • Rich Kids of Instagram
  • The goal of where I work is to save people money. That's something you can believe in.

Cary's Uncle Greg drew us a diagram one time that illustrated how we all just wanna move up. Up in life. Up in income. Up in glory. But the key to going up is going down. Because in this drawing, there's a ceiling - just like there's a limit to almost every get rich quick scheme. So if you don't buckle down and swim down in this case, you won't find the path out - the one that's likely not the least resistant.

If you do this, you will surface on the other side of life's barriers, very likely contentedly bobbing around and sunning yourself, telling the rest of the world who so badly wanted change yet were afraid to change it themselves:

"let them eat cake."

*Terraplane was a car brand and model build by the Hudson Motor Car Company in Detroit between 1932 and 1938.  They were inexpensive yet powerful vehicles. Car enthusiast and 1934 Ford Falcon owner Uncle Greg did more than give me a cool blog post title, he gave me a metaphor for life.

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