Thursday, October 06, 2011

Birthday Review: 30

Yesterday was one of the best birthdays I've had in recent years. I worked extra hard on Tuesday (and played catch-up today) so I could take the day off from all duties that allow such a thing. Sadly, this did not include laundry, general tidying up, and routine childcare tasks. However, my kids are juuuust old enough that they are starting to understand, "It's mama's birthday today so you need to be on your best behavior."

I pampered myself with 30 whole minutes of pilates in the morning, then got myself over to the campus ladies' salon to spend the gift money from my MIL on my annual pedicure, as well as my first manicure in 11.5 years. It was a glorious and cheap hour, and there is something about salons in Arabia that I just love. The windows are all shuttered, the women go in, the hijabs come off, everyone's chatting in their own dialect, and we see each other in all our raw, unpolished, unplucked, unstyled beauty. I have to confess, though, that having to carry on small talk with the manicurist/pedicurist falls under my personal definition of hell, so I risked offending them (it was two separate people) by reading a book the whole time (The Count of Monte Cristo).

I was lulled by the tender attention to my nails into a curious state of bravery, and decided to get my face threaded. I wrote that sentence in an email to my mom and she replied, "what is 'face threaded'?" as if it were some bizarre unit of language that defied comprehension. I'll tell you what 'face threaded' is: it's where they remove hair from your face using a thread. Really! It's a traditional method of hair removal in the Middle East and although I have marveled at it for years, I have never had it done. And wow, is it painful/amazing. And thorough. And a great cultural experience.

I spent some time in the kitchen making this beauty: Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars, and the best part is that I only had to make a couple of ingredient substitutions.

Then the kids came home from school and we oohed and aahed together over a few small gifts - a new office chair, an Amazon gift certificate, a pretty bookmark, a spa gift certificate (can you tell living in Dubai has changed me?), and a bag of frozen onions that saved me at dinnertime. The best gift of all was the array of thoughtful emails from old and new friends collected by Jeremy and shared with me. It goes against my nature to just sit down and read nice things people say about me, and I actually put off reading the document for a while. Then I read it once and put it away again. I think I'll revisit it from time to time when I need a little boost to my sense of self. To all those who participated, thank you. I have to say I was surprised and amused at how many people mentioned my singular and ready way of laughing. I do love to laugh, so I'm glad people notice when I do...I guess?

Here's me at age 30, holding the pan of Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars, minus the portion that I ate ALL BY MYSELF, thank you very much. No makeup, I didn't fix my hair all day, and my garments are hanging out of my shirt. It's as genuine as it gets.

Sometimes the day after a birthday can be a bit of a let down, but I woke up this morning ready to be 30 years old and feeling good about 5 October 2011. It didn't hurt that first thing this morning, a co-worker mistook me for a (freshman!) student as I left my office. Yep, still got it.


Britney said...

Hello again! Glad you had a nice, relaxing day. I'll be turning 30 soon, too, of course, so it was fun to read your thoughts and feelings in your previous post regarding saying goodbye to the twenties.

And I'm not surprised you were mistaken for a student. You look great!

Anonymous said...

Those treats look heavenly!I 'm glad you had a nice relaxing day.

Crys said...

Sounds like an awesome birthday. I've always wondered about threading but I'll admit I was worried it would hurt. I think I'll stick with wax. Something about the warmth makes it actually feel kind of good to me. I ignore my spa ladies as well, but that's because they are speak Vietnamese and are too busy chatting with each other to even care. To be honest, I prefer it. I went to some American girls in Utah with my sisters and their attempts to keep conversations going with us were kind of annoying. I'd rather just sit and veg. What does that say about me? Anyway I just wanted to say your jeans are cute! Are those new additions to the wardrobe? Well whatever, I like the color :)

Katie said...

Happy Birthday! sounds like a wonderful day. I also have done the eyebrow/face threading and share your thoughts. It was super painful, but truly amazing how much hair they can grab with a thread! It was fun to just watch her work. I wish I could learn the art to save me some money!! Anyway, glad you had a good b-day. Welcome to the 30's!

Jeanerbee said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I don't think I said it but I love your laugh too =). Oh and we have eyebrow threading available in our local mall! I've been tempted to try it... maybe I'll have to!

Lark said...

Happy late Birthday! Sounds like you had a great day. I have never tried threading, but its quite popular in Vegas (not surprising...anything having to do with pampering yourself is popular here...).
30 looks good on you!

Susanne said...

Loved this post! I laughed at the frozen onion thing. And really wish I could hear you laugh now that so many of your friends mentioned it as kind of a trademark. Knowing you only online I've never experienced that.

You look like an angel in the picture. So glad you had a wonderful birthday and shared about it! :)

Liz Johnson said...

Happy Birthday! Conversely, I realized that I have approximately 16 wrinkles when I raise my eyebrows. And yet I strangely love it. Look at my freak-ness! It's awesome.

Rob and Sara said...

Happy Birthday, a few days late! Glad to hear you had a great day. I, too, always bring a book when getting my nails done. To me that adds to the pampering!

I wish I looked that great without make-up on!

Mimi a Houston said...

Happy birthday Bridget, sounds likke you had a good day. And you look fantastic !!

Operadaki Lamba Cini said...

Happy happy happy very happy birthday Dear BriDget :)


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