About a month ago it was my birthday. On this most grievous of days, I wore the outfit featured in the photographs above. In an attempt to ease the anxiety I was feeling about turning 36 my mother asked me, "What would make you happy on that day?" My response was, "I would like to take blog pictures, quaff a pizza, and, "drop a bunch of clams," on vinyl albums at Barnes & Noble." Guess what folks, that's exactly what I did!
Upon answering her question, I realized how much my definition of the, "perfect birthday," has changed over the years. Celebrating my birthday in July, I remember as a child having several, "pool," parties spent running through sprinklers and skidding off the end of a slip n' slide. One particularly memorable childhood birthday included a trip to the park where my thumbnail was ripped off by a rusty swing in the shape of a rather ominous looking swan. Damn swan. That birthday all I remember is blood, copious amounts of blood. Of course I've always been prone to exaggeration, especially if it makes a good story, so God only know's what the real crime scene looked like. All I can say is never trust a fishing story that comes from me.
Interestingly enough, I remember absolutely no birthday parties from my teen years. I must have had them, right? However, I think I was so, "anti," everything at the time I probably refused to acknowledge my birthday at all. Besides, I was busy doing things like declaring my love to Eddie Vedder, writing lyrics to songs from The Cure all over my Converse, and trying my hardest to learn to actually LIKE coffee to partake in silly kid games like birthday parties.
In my twenties I had several rather memorable birthday swarays. One of my favorite memories took place while in college at MSUM in Moorhead, MN. At this time I was rooming in a duplex over the summer with my now ex-boyfriend and two of our male friends. I remember being the only female of that bunch could sometimes be challenging and there were several occasions I would loiter at local parks reading novels in order to finally enjoy some peace and quiet. Despite the several disagreements I had with those roommates, I will never forget the surprise birthday shindig they threw me. That night it seemed like over half the student body at Moorhead State filled our tiny house and yard in search of ridiculously cheap beer and ice cream cake. The best part was my roommates demanded that all men in attendance wore a suit or sport coat and tie in order to enter! I guess those dudes just figured they owed me for all the shit I put up with from them. Whatever the reason, to this day I can't hear a song by The Cars without thinking about Miller High Life, Dairy Queen cake, and thrift store suits.
During my early thirties, birthday celebrations had started to slow down a bit. There was no more drunken yard ornament stealing, (I was fond of plastic flamingos), or cops being called to shut the party down. There was however one rather ridiculous birthday at a club where several friends and I hit the dance floor to bust some serious moves to Daft Punk with a concrete garden gnome. Wait, it seems yard tchotchkes have played a pretty large role during my birthdays over the years. I guess I was simply born to be in the horticulture industry!
Anyway, reminiscing about all of these past birthday events made me realize how much I've changed over the years. Now, a party to me means a trip to the bookstore and a decaf latte. Likewise, at the age of 36 I now wear things like cream colored paisley skirts, instead of hot pink snakeskin pleather pants. No really, I had those pants in college. I bought them to celebrate my twenty first birthday, and celebrate I did! However, even if I still had those pants, (Which, I don't. I ask you how does somebody loose their pants? Seriously, I don't know the answer.) I would still opt for the boring old calf length skirt. Because, when one turns 36 they don't want it documented they ever wore pleather. At 36 it's time to face the fact that pleather no longer suits me physically, or mentally for that matter. Plus, I'm pretty sure it would squeak while sliding into the cafe booths at Barnes.
Purse: Lucky Brand
Earrings: Sundance (Birthday gift from my parents)
Necklace: Free People
* All photographs taken by Clark.