As my friend put it in a text message this morning, today is my escape from the womb day. I am now old enough to vote and then some.
As it happens, my birthening fell on a Friday this year and I have two days off that reach their expiration date on my hire date in August, so I took a long weekend.
It’s a tradition that not only do I have birthdays of suck, but I write something on my birthday and have since I was about 10, so even though I don’t feel like writing anything, I am, because tradition. It’s also a tradition that I go to the ocean on my birthday.
Obviously, since I grew up in Michigan, the whole ocean thing didn’t apply until I moved to Boston, but I have a great love of large bodies of water. I think it’s because I grew up in a state surrounded by them on three sides.
Since my birthday is in the summer, we were usually up at my family’s cottage then, which was not only on a lake itself, but also a short bike ride away from Lake Huron, which is as close to ocean as you can get in the Midwest. If you stand on the shore of Lake Huron, you could swear you were standing in front of an ocean. You can’t see across it by a long shot and far away ships move across it exactly like they move across the ocean proper; slowly and seemingly without movement.
So, yeah, large bodies of water are a thing with me and they seem somehow linked with birthdays. And now that I have a dog that loves bodies of water as much as me, the dog beach seems a natural event on my birthday.
My plan was to go to the dog beach with, you know, the dog. But then, my sister ended up having the day off, too. I like as little hooplah as possible on my birthday and generally, with the exception of said dog, I prefer to be alone. My sister, having known me my entire life, knows this about me, but she wanted to come along. Fine, I guess you can come, too.
We had breakfast at a restaurant that allows dogs, and the dog got some bacon and love. I didn’t want to go to this particular restaurant, because it was one that Male and I frequented when he was alive and I haven’t been there since. My sister insisted that we go somewhere nicer than the usual because it’s my birthday, so there you have it. It made me sad to be there, but then, everything about my boyfriend’s death makes me sad, so what’s the difference?
Then we set off to the ocean. My sister is a huge fan of gizmos and gadgets, so of course, she had to find the shortest possible route with them.
“Avoid the 101. It’s all red.” Fine. So we went on the 5.
“It’s all red here, too. Ways is telling us to get off and take surface streets.”
“I’m not taking surface streets all the way to the ocean. It will take forever.”
“Well, Ways says it’s 5-10 miles an hour for the next five miles and then there’s a patch of red after this one.”
And so it continued. Personally, I think all of these time-saving gizmos that are supposed to make our lives easier end up just making us more painfully aware of how terrible Los Angeles traffic really is. I don’t think they actually save us anything.
This “Ways says…” business escalated to the point where I got annoyed. “Look, it’s my goddamn birthday and all I want to do was go to the dog beach, but I don’t want to go with someone who’s not into it and it seems like you’re passive aggressively telling me you’re not into it.”
Long story short, after sitting in traffic for at least a half an hour and not getting even anywhere close to the beach, I turned the damn car around in an, admittedly, childish huff. The most infuriating thing about the whole traffic experience was backtracking through those hard-earned miles I had just inched through to absolutely no effect.
“Well, maybe we can go tomorrow instead.”
“Yeah, because the beach is always so much less crowded on a goddamn Saturday.” At which point, I turned to my dog and said, “Sorry, dog, no beach today since everyone fucking sucks including your aunt.” The dog didn’t seem to care either way. I’m not very much fun when I’m pissy.
To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t into going to the beach today either. I have a headache and I didn’t feel like going with my sister, which is why I turned the car around. I love my sister and all, but nobody gets on your nerves like family.
I came home and took a nap instead, so at least there was that. I am a huge fan of napping while one should be at work. It is now 5 pm and I would just be clocking out of work for the weekend, whereas, I’ve already taken a nap, so that’s a win, though I still have the headache.
Now, I’m going to the dog park. Even though we couldn’t go to the beach, we can at least do that… without my sister. Sigh.
As far as birthdays go, this wasn’t one of the worst. There were no black eyes or police reports. Still, all I wanted to do was go to the dog beach and the entire city of LA and fucking Ways conspired against me. C’est la vie.