Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sixteen Candles

Yes. It has finally happened. And the sad thing? I don't feel any different, not at all. I don't know what I expected though, birthdays are more of a symbolic change than a literal one, but as far as they go, mine was a pretty great one.

I feel like the fates were conspiring to make it great. Which is good news really, because due to a series of unfortunate seating arrangements in sixth grade I've been convinced that they hated me. Turns out they don't, the first evidence of this is:

Eyjafjallajökull. Yes, that is a real word--well supposedly. Pronounced as “ay-yah-FYAH’-plah-yer-kuh-duhl”. Like I said, this really is a real word, I didn't make it up out of my head. Eyjafjallajökull is the name of the Icelandic volcano which has been "causing a hellacious mess all over the world". I didn't make up that statement either, it was a real headline. So what could be good about a volcano that is stranding hundreds of thousands of people including my sister and all of our students? The answer: as long as they're stranded, they're stranded HERE. Lucky that an act of God allowed my friends to stay for my birthday, right? This is why we love Eyjafjallajökull.

The second reason I know the fates love me is because of my leg. Every birthday I hurt myself without fail. In second grade I got whacked in the mouth with a tennis racket during P.E., I spent the rest of the day changing my gauze and drinking various milkshakes courtesy of my dad. Last year, I fell subject to the worst sunburn of my life. This year, I tripped. That's all. I tripped walking up the escalator at Charing Cross underground station, and was caught by a very nice man (presumably a stranded tourist) before anything was caught in the escaltor. It was very, very fortunate. I mean, I still had to walk away with various underground patrons laughing at me, but I was fine. Michelle Erickson and I laughed it off and I got my injury out of the way very early this year, probably without scarring.

Evidence no. 3 the great day I proceeded to have from that point on. We met up with Anna, Arrin, Jake, Karalyn, and Karli at Trafalgar Square for the Holland Festival. We had no idea what it was, but it wasn't quite what we expected, even so I had a great time, just the atmosphere, and ambience. There were giant orange clogs to take pictures in, free beer, children's crafts, an outdoor concert by a pretty okay band called Go Back to the Zoo, old men dressed like Elvis creepily dancing, pole vaulting, and orange merchandise. Over all it was tremendous. We ended up watching pole vaulting for probably close to an hour, and I'm pretty sure that the pole vaulters thought we were in love with them, which a little bit we were. They all had very attractive figures, seeing as they were very strong. We even learned some of their names like Nick, who as Anna put it was the best one. Or Andy, who needed to go ProActiv.

General ambience

Andy pole vaulting

We left the festival after Nick failed us by pulling the standard down with him, and we proceeded on a very long walk to Borough Market which was excellent per usual. I got a pork, applesauce & stuffing sandwich on a baguette and a freshly pressed apple cranberry juice. Anna bought an evil veggie burger that gave her food poisoning--the low point of the day.

Next highlight was presents. Cliche I know, but I really got everything I wanted this year. I got a great new notebook from Arrin, Jemimah Puddleduck stuff from my parents and Leslie, £5 to Ben's from the Coopers and lotion, a Cath Kidston purse, a Longchamp Le Pliage bag, and a care package full of "American" things from my grandma--skittles, starbursts, girlscout cookies, sour patch, the works, absolutely great.

I finished the day with cake with the students, and went blissfully to bed happy and loved.

And that was it, no "Super Sweet Sixteen" party, no car, no dating... and I am fine with all of that. I may even prefer it... weird I know.


  1. This is lots of fun Caroline. Thanks for writing. Any philosophical realizations about turning 16?

    I think you should put "Eyjafjallajökull" above the door of your room and hit it on the way out every morning for good luck. I read an article on Iceland's feelings about the volcano's problem causing in Europe. The joke is that Iceland (who was the worst offender in the European financial crisis) misheard Europe when they said, "Send the cash!"

    Another joke claims it was the Icelandic economy's last wish to have its ashes scattered across Europe.

  2. I hate that you didn't even care that I didn't come visit you. In fact, Sarah is ready to dismantle you when you return for your lack of sissy love.