Let us eat cake!

What have I to show for the past year, other than a few hospital admissions, more grey hair (I call them “highlights”), and my new flossing addiction? Well, I have my burgeoning collection of age spots on both hands. Who’d have thought I’d live long enough to develop age spots?

I’m thrilled to report I’m getting old, folks. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s happy birthday to me, tomorrow. I’ll be turning 52. In honour of this day, would you indulge me in a story about my glorious 50th? Ah, the illusion of choice; you know I’m going to tell you.

The actual birthday had passed without fanfare, which irked me since I was in hospital over my 40th. But I’d had so much attention since my leukemia diagnosis a year prior that I couldn’t rightfully complain about the nonevent.

On my birthday, our friend W., J., and I attended our favourite yoga class. At the end of class, Kathy, the teacher extraordinaire, told us she had a few extra spots in a small class the following evening. I was touched by the invitation, and we all planned to attend.

J. spent the next day whining about feeling sick, so I anticipated her bailing on yoga. She completely skipped dinner of leftover tofu stir fry. Despite her kvetching, when time came for class, J. joined W. and me. Upon arriving, J. and W. went ahead because, if you must know, I needed a moment to expel a little flatulence. (If you aren’t a meat-eating vegetarian like me, you may be unaware that tofu is very effective at increasing gut motility. Try it next time you get a little high on the Bristol Poop Scale.) No one wants to toot during yoga, especially not socially anxious me.

When I walked in, I saw a group of women with yoga mats. As I looked around, I slowly realized I knew each of these women. My first thought: Why they hadn’t informed me they were two-timing me with my yoga teacher? (This cancer thing really slows down the cognitive processing.) A friend finally yelled “Surprise!” and I realized J. had finagled the perfect party. She had been deviously planning this gathering for 6 months and I was utterly clueless.

Everyone had arrived early with food, beer, and yoga mats. Remember J.’s loss of appetite over dinner? She was just saving up for later. Even my dear friend M., who couldn’t attend, had contributed her renowned chocolate cake with mocha icing. What could be more perfect than a surprise yoga party for my 50th, complete with my favourite cake? The night is a blur–my shock didn’t dissipate for days–but I hope everyone had fun.

Later, I learned that my tarrying outside before class prompted questions of whether I’d figured out the surprise. J. quickly set everyone straight: “No, of course not, she’s just farting.” You know how open I am about matters of the gut. Evidently, so is J. Laugh if you must, but, thanks to my stalling, I remained gasless all class.

I’m grateful to be able to celebrate again this year. Start saving for the group trip to Hawaii for my 60th. In the meantime, make sure you have a piece of cake on me this weekend. Any chance to eat cake, remember?

Basset hound hanging over birthday cake with fork and knife


12 thoughts on “Let us eat cake!

  1. What a beautiful story! That was a brilliant move on J’s part. I’m so happy to hear about the wonderful community you had supporting you. Happy birthday from N, S, and K!!! You should be receiving a little something from us tomorrow. Let us know if you get it!


  2. Mines in the snail mail too Annie! Hugs and kisses on your day of celebrating ‘ old-woman ‘ time. 60 is just around the corner! 😘😘



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