The 18th March Project – Post 24

To my younger brother

A year ago, you asked me for a birthday present – I was to write every day, and publish something on my blog twice a month.

Because of you, I’ve spent time on hammering sentences together, more time in fact than I had in previous years. And I don’t plan on stopping now that I’ve begun (also, there’s our new agreement that basically means I can’t stop). Shows the power of a social contract, huh?

You often say that you belong to the Dark Side, that you are an ass, that you are not a good person. Honestly, I don’t understand that, and I sure as helvede don’t believe it. Yes, you have your moments when I want to smack you because you are taunting someone more than necessary. That hardly makes you a bad person. Perhaps that’s just the façade you throw up because you don’t want people to see you for the big softie you are (oh no, the secret’s out!).

I’m not going to praise you, because I know it will go to your head. Just know that I’m glad to be your big sister, whether the difference between us is 4 months, or 4 years, or 40 million light years. You are one of the reasons I don’t believe that men and women mature mentally at different rates – you’re almost on par with me, haha!

Here’s to many more years of educating each other, of helping each other be better, of forcing society to see the possibility and worth of platonic relationships between men and women, of being part of the fight to make the world a better place.

Here’s also to secrets – the keeping and revealing of them, to social gatherings that we may or may not remember, to exploring whatever we can of our surroundings while we still can.

Here’s to adding decades to the half decade we’ve known each other, to dancing at all the big functions (they don’t only have to be weddings), to synchronously rolling our eyes at other people’s stupidity, to more chivda, and chakna, and bibimbap, to funny misunderstandings about shower gel, fingers, and haste-haste, to assembling furniture, to giving credit –sparingly – when it is due, to paying for each other’s food and drinks, to long walks, and to arguments about presents.

Happy 30th birthday, Bhai.

May all your dreams come true, and all your plans be fulfilled, and may you find your pot of gold.

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The 18th March Project – Post 16

To a number of people I currently interact with regularly, my excitement leading up to my birthday was hard for them to understand.

It’s childish or childlike, depending on who you’re speaking to, and possibly also on how much they want to protect my feelings.

It’s not even a question of age – some of these people are younger than I am. Their apathy isn’t justified.

I just don’t understand why people don’t want to celebrate their birthdays.

Maybe they just aren’t doing it right.

A good birthday celebration to me has:

  • People: ones I like. I’ll take a sprinkling of the ones I don’t like, only because their remembering to wish me is a form of validation. It upsets me when people I love forget to wish me (but I’m getting better at dealing with that as I get older)
  • Cake: the more cake, the merrier I am. Chocolate, carrot, fresh fruit – any kind. Candles, a knife, and the perfect combination of cake and icing = bliss (and, possibly, a sugar high). I’ve sung for myself too, though it’s obviously nicer when you have other people to sing for you
  • Presents: If you’re getting me something, it doesn’t need to be expensive or large. It does need to be heartfelt and useful.
  • Peace: I will not entertain arguments on my birthday. It’s a day that is all mine – if you want to fight, let’s reschedule that to another day. Don’t even try to make the day about you, because it’s anything but.
  • Activity: I don’t think any of the birthdays I classify as good had me sitting at home by myself all day. I need some social interaction, I need the stimuli of different environments. Maybe this will change as I get older, though I doubt it.

Happy birthday, khuxall zolmdis, joyeux anniversaire, janamdin pe shubhkamnayein, parabens, tillykke med fodselsdagen, eid mawlid saeed to all those who share the 17th of November with me, especially Second-Cousin-Once-Removed, K.

Day 82 100words100days: Write a story for a younger cousin (0-10)

Happy birthday, little cousin Kevin. I hope your first birthday was a lovely, happy, comfortable day.

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Today is Little Boy’s birthday.

Do you know what he’s going to do?

His Mama and Papa and Big Brother are going to dress him up in new clothes.

They are going to kiss him and tickle him and make him laugh.

The whole family is going to come over with presents and food, and they are all going to sing for him.

Mama and Papa, and maybe Big Brother too, will cut a cake and put a little taste of it in Little Boy’s mouth.

Big Brother is going to get cake all over his face, because that is fun. Little Boy will smile and gurgle at his funny Big Brother.

Later, after the food has been eaten, and the cake has been polished off, Mama and Papa will put both their sons to bed with a silent blessing and heartfelt prayer.

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Day 83: A series of limericks about expat life