Pretend Interviewer (PI): We hear it is a special day?
Me (EP): It is that day of the year when one counts the grey in the hair and realizes that to fit all those candles, the cake needs to be really large. You rue the fact that every year the cake circumference needs to increase in proportion to the waistline. Conversely (the Guy upstairs does love a good joke) your metabolic rate has long since begun their downward slide and with every passing birthday the dessert takes up permanent residence around your middle with increasing speed and determination. The cruel facts of life.
PI: Oh! Is that so? Wishing you a very happy birthday! We did not know..
EP: No worries, mate. It is not like I have dreaded people forgetting my birthday ever since I was a foot high. That is not at all the reason I remind every single person I know, practically every day in the month before the big day, of the impending event. No, not at all.
PI: Then, why does SG still managed to look surprised year after year, when you demand to be wished?
EP: Oh the poor thing has an autoimmune condition called ‘Despite-having-an-IQ-of-144-I-shall-remain-clueless-about-all-important-dates.’
PI: *giggle* so amongst all the best wishes – for travel, reading, cooking, baking, eating, going on adventures and the likes – that are pouring in, which question are you being frequently asked?
EP: “What’s baking?”
PI: *giggle again* What’s baking then? May we sample some?
EP: Let’s settle this once and for all. The oven’s cold, and the backside is nicely warming the couch while I watch baking shows on TV. Why, Rachel Allen has made 6 cakes, all for me, in the last hour or so, and I have not spent or consumed a single sugary calorie. She is making a teddy bear cake as I speak to you, to be followed by cake pops.
PI: How very age appropriate. If you could, which cake would you bake?
PI: Promise you will call us if when you get around to it? In the absence of rose water flavored goodies, what will you settle for?
EP: The birthday dessert from last year. SG and I were in Ireland – and the trip easily tops as one of my favorite ones EVER. You see Oscar Wilde and I share a birthday (I was born exactly 125 years later, and yes it took me a while to do the math) and as serendipity would have it, I found myself at the door step of his house, on our birthday, paying homage to one of the wittiest people the world has known. I digress. The day before, we drove from Dingle to Kilkenny and stopped at Arches in County Limerick to have lunch. I ordered the apple pie. Excuse me while I drool at the memory.
EP gazes into outer space for a bit.
PI: Earth to EP! Hello! Come back! EP! Knock knock *waits for EP to return to 2015* Our research reveals that you gift yourself a birthday gift every year. What’s the deal with that?
EP: You know how the Greeks exhorted us to ‘know thyself’. Since no one knows better than me what I would like as a present, I oblige.
PI: That’s a great concept. What did you get yourself this year?
EP: I gifted me *drumroll* professional cleaning services!
PI *puzzled* explain to us what that means by narrating a conversation you had later during the evening with your best-friend who is also the best housekeeper you know. Let’s call her Monica Geller Bing (MGB)
EP: Okay. Here goes…
MGB: Hey, what’s up?
EP: I had cleaners over *in a smug and important voice*
BF/BH: What do you mean?
EP: I engaged professional services – and today, a team of six people showed up armed with industrial vacuum cleaners and floor scrubbers.
MGB: Cm’mon! You are joking, right?! You paid someone to do your favorite job?!
EP: No, no. They are really good. They are really professional and kick ass. My cobweb collection – Miss Havisham’s envy – is all miraculously gone.
MGB *really startled* you mean you have spiders?
EP: *dismissed memories of the tete a tetes with the more friendly spiders* You should see the bathrooms! They did a fine job of weeding the organic flora away!
MGB: Organic flora! Is not your bathroom floor clean enough to eat off organic food from?!
EP *not liking the route the conversation was taking* The taps are now sparkling, like new!
MGB: One should wipe down the taps and clean the sink after every use
EP *increasingly desperate* They vacummed the curtains! I can see the original color!
MGB: I hand wash my curtains every 3 months.
EP *will do anything for a single brownie point* Oh, they tore down the place completely, built a new one up from scratch, gifted me new self-replenishing kitchen cabinets, got me a magic stove-top which not only auto-cleans but also auto-cooks, planted a garden with golden apples and silver flowers, named a star after me and lit up the house up with silvery star light. So there!
PI: What are your final words, on this special occasion?
EP: “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.” Oscar Wilde