Happy birthday to me.
And I was proper happy on my birthday. The day I turned 35 is a serious contender for the happiest day of my life. Wanna hear all about it?
The day started with struggle...
I arrived home at 7.30am after a shoeless walk of shame. Three pairs of shoes I’ve lost in three weeks. My flipflop abandon is getting out of hand it seems. I crawled into bed and waited to vomit and die. And vomit again.
Dear wine. I hate you. I love you more though.
‘No more booze’ I told myself. ‘EVER.’
Two hours later there was a knock. I swallowed down bile and staggered out of bed, topless, in just my pants. “Who are you?”
“Haaaaaapppy biiiiirthday!” Shouted Yiota through my window. I opened the door. She held a bottle of chilled champagne in each hand which she pressed straight onto my naked boobies as I squealed with shock and delight.
And so my birthday had begun.
All my favourites had turned up for a surprise breakfast. They bought gifts and flowers and champagne and love. I struggled down an omelette, two paracetamol, three glasses of champagne and a whole packet of antacid for breakfast.
Dear Gin. I hate you too.
Now a sensible girl might have gone back to bed for a few hours, but a braggy girl like me makes the most of her first birthday in India. There were people to show off at, old men to flirt with, puppies to play with. Mainly though there were cocktails that needed dealing with, and I dealt with those like a pro. Well maybe a semi-pro. I burped my way through the whole day with acid indigestion, but I wasn’t gonna let that get in the way of my birthday plans.
After an afternoon of beach bumming and playing with the pups at the animal sanctuary, I was ready for my getting ready. I arrived home to the most beautifully decorated bedroom. “HAPPY BRIHDAY” read a flowery message across my bed. Happy brihday indeed. “I love you” written in petals across my toilet seat. I almost cried. All I want is to live in a world where someone spells out I ‘love you’ on my toilet seat with flowers everyday. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for though, right?
Rupa and Sunil are the owners of the guesthouse I live in. They’re my Indian family. This season they were open for an entire month without any customers. I arrived on the 10th December and everyone else followed shortly after. They’ve been fully booked ever since. Of course, I played no part in that. Someone had to be the first customer and pure coincidence meant that was me. Who am I to tell them that I haven’t been sent to them by Shiva? “You are a gift sent to us by god. You bring us such fortune.” I think they’re referring to my bar tab. So I’ve been enjoying my princess status ever since, and no more so than on my birthday. champagne cocktail dresses
After a lot more cocktails and a little more showing off Rupa dressed me in one of her saris. Over dressed is my favourite way to be, so I strutted that sari good and proper.
I’d been panicking all week that I’d ordered too much food for the buffet, but the panic was misplaced. We ate everything. I think about 60 people came. Isn’t that mad? I thought I knew about seven people in real life. As my friends arrived with gifts, and love, and beautiful words I had to choke down tears. I spent most of my evening dancing on my own to avoid conversation that might turn me into a blubbering mess.
Popularity. It’s a funny game. And whilst I’ve been popular online since the day I got Facebook and started talking about fannies, tinder traumas and dog rescuing, I’ve never really been popular in person. Or maybe I’ve just never seen it before? Too busy hiding behind my bones? The whole evening was overwhelming. I kept telling myself they were all just here for the free buffet, but I’m over that now, making food related justifications is so 2017. Instead I’m going to own all those friendships.
Dear Agonda. I fucking love you guys.
At some point during the evening I woke up in the resort next door on a sofa. I don’t know how I got there, but one of the waiters walked me back to my party. Apparently Sunil had been searching the beach for me with a torch and everyone was panicking. By midnight the neighbours had started complaining about the noise, so my party was shut down and moved to Leopard Valley. It’s a dirty club full of stinking people, but as I was pretty dirty and stinking myself I decided to join the fun.
From there things get even blurrier. After several hours of bad dancing and gin drinking, Yiota made this boy take me home, sadly the boy was as smashed as I was. It took us twenty minutes of stumbling and falling over before we found a rickshaw. I woke up at the boys house at 9am and swallowed down a vomit. The good news is that I found a pair of my shoes there. The bad news is that I had the do another walk of shame.
My birthday has carried on all weekend. It’s been bonkers and perfect. I feel so loved that I might explode. BANG! And I feel so much love for this community in return.
I really am the luckiest girl who ever lived.