So, its Canada Day and somewhere not too far away the streets are probably full of revellers but I'm at home cleaning house.
There's something so indulgent in letting oneself Stay Home rather then going out to be baked in the hot sun.
(Plus, I'm broke.)
Elliot's birthday was on Wednesday and we did... absolutely nothing. Which was just according to plan.
See, coming from our background, birthdays are always going to be hard to remember. So when we do remember someone's - as a group, I mean - and decide to hold celebrations, its quite special. Over the last four years, things have gone something like this...
First year: Celebrate everyone's birthday! Spend oodles on presents and sit back aghast and amazed with how 'worldly people' have been doing this all of their lives.
Second year: Celebrate two or three birthdays but dodge as many as you can.
Third year: The number drops to one. I think Colin was the only lucky duck last year. We actually organized a fairly nice outing - by our standards. We even had cake!
Fourth year: Birthdays are a thing of the past. We are mature adults now who have no money to waste on such frivolties (i.e. we are depressingly sunken in student loans, mortgages, and car payments).]
So the plan *was* to shun all birthdays this year, but then I realized that we hadn't all hung out in a group for a long time. Plus, I had this great conversation with Colin a few weeks ago when we were out walking at night at the Forks. We covered a variety of topics but one thing I started rambling on about was how you have to build memories and how my theory is that events can sometimes taken on even greater significance/importance/joy in retrospect. Which is a good thing. Its what gives friends things to look back on and laugh about. And so since Elliot had been dropping hints about his birthday coming round, Colin and I started brainstorming ideas and one of the first I came up with was Tinkertown. If you know Elliot you'll understand why the idea was a bit hilarious.
Skip ahead to today - Elliot's birthday has passed. He probably thinks we're all terrible friends because none of us have said so much as happy Birthday. There has been not even a whisper of presents or festivities.
Part of me feels bad about making him think that his birthday is nothing to us, but part of me is gleefully rubbing her hands together anticipating the expression on his face when Melissa drives him out towards her parents' place in Steinbach on a ruse. They'll be driving along the highway - which conveniently passes right next to the Tinkertown turn off, Eliot will (hopefully) be looking glumly out the window, when suddenly he spots all of us standing on the highway holding up a big sign. (With balloons, of course. You can't have a birthday sign with out balloons. Jan & Paul are in charge of the sign, hopefully they remember the balloons...)
Tears start to run down his face, he leaps out of the car, and runs towards us with his arms outstretched. The song "Lean on Me" starts to play, everything goes to slow motion...
Well, you get the general idea.