Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 2 years away from my quarter-life crisis. I spent the birthday elated to have internet access in the mountains of West Virginia, while my brother slept on the floor of my Grandparent’s guest room, counting down the minutes until I was officially “scarily old.” I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment of the aging-situation. This conversation about birthday wishes took place:
Me: I wish Gazebo (my dog) was immortal. Maybe I’ll wish that if I blow out a candle today. Funny how my wishes get more realistic over the years…
Paul: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I used to wish for true love and all that stuff. This year I’m wishing for Gazebo to be immortal.
Paul: Well, he is the glue that holds this family together. And yeah, those other things were a little far-fetched. It’s good that you’re more realistic now.
Sadly, I did not blow out any candles yesterday to make such a wish. And even if I had, I wouldn’t tell you all, because obviously then it wouldn’t come true. Being not at all superstitious, I surprisingly put a lot of stake in my birthday wish each year. I know wishes don’t come true, but for some reason, I wish anyways just in case. My sister and I celebrated our birthdays together a few weeks ago (the hazards of being December birthdays and family members. Parents, time your children better. No kid wants a December birthday. Or to celebrate it on her sister’s actual birthday…). When the candles were ready to be blown out (on her favorite kind of cake, might I add) I was fairly confident about my wishing power. Why, you ask? I had hijacked my sister’s wish. Prior to the candle-blowing-out-ritual, which is actually kind of gross because the birthday girl(s) literally blow all over everyone’s dessert—I asked if I could have her wish this year. She was initially offended and wanted to selfishly keep her birthday wish for herself. The conversation went like this:
Me: I have a propostion. I would like to have your birthday wish this year. I need two.
Lindsey: What?? You can’t have my wish!
Me: This past year was a good year for you. You don’t need wishes anymore.
Lindsey: What?? You think since I got married, I don’t have anything to wish for anymore?
Me: Uh, it’s called ‘happily-ever-after’ for a reason. Are you not living the dream? Do we need to talk about your marriage??
Lindsey: Fine. You can have it. How does this work?
How does this wish exchange work, you might ask? It’s tricky, because as the wisher, you might think that you simply now get to wish twice. Nay. You need to get the other person to wish your wish for you when they blow out their candles (or toss a penny in a fountain, blow on an eyelash, rub a rabbit’s foot, ride a unicorn, whatever). This is done on the honor system, so it’s not foolproof. Additionally, this process involves saying your wish aloud, which some may think is risky. However, a wish will only fail to come true, if it is told after the fact. The risk is worth the potential reward. I told my sister that if my wish doesn’t come true by my next birthday, I’ll know that she didn’t make good on her end of the deal. Her head goes in the family birthday cake if this be the case. But I’m hopeful.