Why is a birthday so different when you live abroad? Back home you seem to be just like everybody else whose birthday is celebrated every year; they can hear or see you every day anyway, if they want. But when you are far away and missed, -even though they can still contact you everyday, even see you through video phone- things change and a birthday is a good reason to contact you.
A week before, my friends started to ask me what my plans for my birthday were. Maybe the fact that my husband is now on a trip to Belgium, and my son has moved back there (probably for ever), has something to do with their interest. Concerned I might be alone (with my daughter) and lonely. Or maybe they were just sad because they can’t share this day with me.
I hadn’t planned anything. I was going to have a quiet night with my daughter. I didn’t like the fuss, the running around, that goes with organising a party, just for me. Too much trouble on a day I should be supposed –or at least allowed- to be lazy. What’s so special about birthdays anyway?
But then, less then 48h before the big day, I realised, just for a second, that I had to do something. Right at that second I was with a friend and I asked her, without thinking, if she was free on Saturday. She was, and thus the ball started rolling…
I decided to organise a girls’ night out. Just like I did last year when I was in Belgium for 1 week to celebrate 2 communion parties and a wedding, where I managed to fit in a birthday party. In Belgium style I had invited all my girlfriends, 2 months ahead. They all came and it was grand.
In Belgium style it would be impossible to organise a party just the day before the actual day, especially if it is a Saturday : Belgian agendas are fully booked about a month (or more) ahead. Fortunately for me, this isn’t Belgium….
I text all my friends on Thursday night, and on Friday they had all confirmed. The party’s on!
Around midnight European time, the calls, messages, Facebook notes started to come in. On my X’th Birthday (a number I knew after I had asked my daughter how old I am-I have come at that age where age does not matter anymore and/or I would just rather forget the number), I woke up with my phone full of messages and mails. About all my plans for the day were postponed; as the phone didn’t stop ringing, the messages kept on coming in, ALL DAY! I didn’t realise I knew so many people and it was absolutely amazing!
It is great to have so many friends, to not be forgotten just yet, and to have so many (rather new) Argentine friends. And of course, I should not forget to thank the husbands who let their wives go out without them, on a Saturday, ‘last minute’, altough they are probably not staying home either, being sad alone, in front of the TV.
I love Argentina, I love birthdays, and I love my friends!!