Birthday Blog: Hands on Acceptance


Happy b-day to me, happy b-day to me…

My very cute physiotherapist who I’m really trying to not think about kissing told me I should throw a little party. I said there’s nothing sadder than a birthday party that no one comes to, and since I don’t know many people and those I do know I don’t know well, I’m scared that’s exactly what would happen. Birthday parties don’t go that well for me. I’m better with the ‘it’s Friday night so I’m having a party’ type of things. Those parties are legendary. Well, if I’m honest, my 21st was a legendary party. The first, last and only legendary b-day party. Huge house party, cops came three times, I never saw them because I was playing ditzy party girl and indulging in lines of cocaine upstairs. Legendary. But since then, b-days fall kind of flat for me. Sometimes downright disappointing. Which is why my birthday became my birthweek during my thirties – because time after time the actual day sucked, so my brother kept suggesting do-overs. It got so sucky around my birthday that I needed that entire week to be Queen and Do As I Pleased.

I’m living in a better place now  – yeesh! just made it sound like I died! But there’s far less to annoy me, far more to do and see, and I find having one (or two) birthdays a year works just fine.

The weather is supposed to cooperate; that’s always a good start. I’m pretty certain I’ll be blowing off my language lesson this morning. It’s not that learning the language isn’t important. It is. It’s very important. But today is my day, and I may no longer be Queen for a Week but I sure as hell am Queen for Today (at least in my little life circle), so Queenie says we’re not working today at all, just playing and having fun, and I say ‘yes, ma’am’ and jump to it. My brother suggested we go out for something to eat. That way I have fabulous food and he’s not slaving away in the kitchen to make it. We can both have fun. Queenie has declared we’re having Greek today, down at Markt Hall. It’s a good choice. For less than thirty euro, the two of us will get plied with incredible fresh Greek delicacies and feel more than satisfied. Plus, there’s no clean up tomorrow. What could be better? From there, it’s a delightful short jaunt to shopping supreme street. Shop after shop. What do you want to look at? It’s there. I want to get into the cheap shops. The bargain shops. Walk out with an armful (or two armfuls) of brightly coloured fun things for a tenner. Be silly. Buy a silly toy or two. Buy something that makes me smile. Doesn’t have to cost much. I just want a little frivolity today. Then maybe stop for a joint in the cool place around the corner from the library. They’ve got the inside done up like you’re underwater. Another wander around in fresh air, and take the metro back home. Cut into my b-day cake, which I baked and frosted yesterday. I finally went with a confetti cake, like my mom made for me when I was very small. What can I say? The age thing has been bothering me, so I’m giving myself a little bit of nostalgia today, too. Then it’s camp down for another night of Gotham, one of the two b-day gifts I’ve received from my bro. The other is a set of books telling Dutch history in Dutch – and in comic book form. Fun and educational. I got ALL my bases covered this year!

I think, too, I’ve come to some sort of acceptance with my age. Can’t say I’m thrilled about it, but I do think I can live with it.

….Because I was right when I said judgement comes from outside. Leave a person alone and they don’t deride themselves for their weight, the way they dress, their hairstyle (or lack of). But put that same person in a room full of other people and suddenly all that becomes important – or, at least, it can become important. I’m not saying everyone does that. I’m just saying it happens. Quite a bit.

And maybe I’m mistaken here; maybe I’m way off the mark. But I feel like I’ve found at least one person who’s accepted me fully. One person I haven’t hidden parts of myself from, one person I’ve been blatantly honest and forthright with. The strange thing is, it’s my physiotherapist. Something about taking my shirt off in front of a guy (and with all the lights on) within 30 seconds of meeting him just disarms me from any subterfuge. What’s there to hide? All the flab I disparage, all the wrinkles and sagging that make me feel old are out in the open before the first minute has passed. There’s nothing left to hide. So I am myself with him, fully. He’s seen me sad, angry, jovial, thoughtful. He’s heard my life views, my political views, even some of my spiritual views. I’ve heard him laugh at my jokes. He’s remembered our conversations visit to visit, and asked follow up questions. He’s revealed quite a bit about himself, too. In short, I feel I can say anything to him. Complete honesty at a level I’d never even contemplate with a sit-behind-the-desk therapist.

*sigh* No wonder I’m crushing so hard.

But crush aside, I do have a strange easiness with him I rarely experience. Maybe it’s all his professionalism. Maybe he’s just a nice guy. Maybe he treats all his patients this way. I don’t know. What I do know is I can stand in front of him next to naked, look him straight in the eye, and not feel one bit of discomfort or embarrassment. I like to make him laugh. I like to discuss world views with him.

And boy, do I like the feel of his hands on my body.


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