One of the highlights of my birthday is giving what has been named by my friends as THE Birthday Speech. It is basically an overview of the past year, what I wish for the next year, and a special individual thank you to any friends present for the speech. I ponder and revise the speech for weeks prior to the big day occasionally giving hints of what this year's speech might entail. I have also been known to email the birthday speech if friends aren't around to hear it. I use my Birthday as an excuse to do many things, but this is one of favorites- telling those around me how much they mean to me. The Birthday Speech started on my 24th birthday. My 23rd year was a hell of a doozey. I'm surprised I am still alive really. I consider it the worst year of my life, thus far. Seriously, it sucked. bad. A post will eventually be devoted to the shenanigans of 2004, but for now It involved deaths, suicides, obesity, cancer, family disputes, bankruptcy, unemployment, homelessness and abuse. I think that just about covers it. And yes, I learned from all the shitty experiences and grew as a person, blah, blah, blah. More than anything I look at it as the year I lost my youth. I looked at my 24th birthday as a fresh start, and have continued to have that point of view ever since (which would be 7 years if I counted right). My 24th birthday started out at brunch at one of my favorite spots in NYC, Jane in Soho (delicious cheese grits). I was living in NYC at the time. I sat at brunch with very special friends who without them, I wouldn't have made it through the year. After a few mimosas, I felt like giving a toast. I raised my glass, giving a gloomy overview of the year, thanking them for their support, and wondering what the hell I was going to do now. I starred at their faces as I finished my toast. Crickets and tumbleweeds. Didn't go quite as I had planned. Somehow tears were pouring down my face and I was suddenly aware of the two tables next to us listening in on THE Birthday Speech. One of these tables included Minnie Driver. Yes, the Minnie Driver.
As my friends reached out with comforting words and hugs of encouragement, Minnie's friend (I realize Minnie passing along the tissue would make a better story, but he contribution was a sweet smile) passed over her napkin to use as a tissue for the tears (paper of course, not cloth).
I will once again be spending the big day in NYC. So, prepare yourselves folks for this year's speech.