That Thing About Birthdays

As of last Friday, I’m another year older. In two days, I’ll be one year and a week older. I feel older, but I don’t know that I feel wiser. Birthdays are funny in that way. As a kid, I treated my birthday as a social event. Naturally, back then I couldn’t flex my type-A planning talent, and my parents took the reins on planning. When I hit high school, I placed equal – albeit more controlled – importance on my day. My grandparents also contributed to my annual one-day sense of entitlement. They treated us, each of their 10 grandchildren, to “special days” – daylong shopping trips with lunch. I remember one year (4th grade, if I remember correctly) I opted for a Barbie (the FAO Schwarz Barbie) instead of a more mature option: pearl earrings.

This year, I did the 26-year-old equivalent of a Barbie trade. Adam offered to throw me a happy hour. He lives to surprise me. He even made a Facebook event (in my world – a world that’s dictated by social media engagement and activity – that’s a big deal). And, in classic Kirsch form, I decided that because it was out of my control, I didn’t want it. Even with a wedding on the way, the idea of being the center of attention is far less appealing in my personal life versus my professional life. We’ve had so many milestones in the past year, that I’m kind of celebrated out. So, instead of a happy hour, we did something that removed us far from the center. We attended a Knicks game, along with hundreds (maybe thousands, I’m not good at guessing these sorts of things) of other New Yorkers and the like. Hank Azaria was there, too. So that was something.

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I spent my birthday exactly how I wanted. I feel like that’s how it should be. I should be able to control my day, after all. I took the day off of work (which is hard when you love your job as much as I love mine), ate a solo lunch at Il Bambino (their crostini are delectable – get the olive spread, and you’ll have no regrets), hopped over for a mani/pedi at Kiki’s (it turns out that a spa pedicure is totally worth the up-charge), and perused the newly opened Lockwood Style, sister shop to Lockwood on 33rd Street in Astoria.

Maybe I’ll feel different in 2015. I don’t know. Until then, I’m grateful for the well-wishes, the macarons from my colleagues, the perfume from a dear friend, the cards and all other tchotchkes. Would I be deemed ungrateful if I said I could have done without the cold?

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An Oldie But a Goodie

Zaydie & Me

One of the only assignments I remember from the first grade — besides the spelling test I failed — was the MVP report. Each student had to write a paragraph about the most valuable person in their lives, accompanied by an illustration. My MVP was none other than my Zaydie Sam.

No disrespect to my parents, but living in New York, I miss my Zaydie most of all. I over-dedicate posts to him on

Years Later xoxo

Facebook, call him, text him, and Skype with him, but nothing will replace having him as my neighbor and being able to see him daily.

He is the warmest person on the planet, and delivers one-liners that I’m not sure he realizes are funny. He makes the worlds best scrambled eggs (2 eggs, scrambled, not separated, and served slightly runny), and is one of few people I allow to text me in shorthand (he signs his name “Z”).

Today, my Zaydie Sam turns 83. I am so beyond grateful to have such a lovely grandfather in my life. He made my grandmother happy, he raised three children who still look up to him, and has 5 grandchildren (and two GREAT grandchildren) who love him dearly.

From the Big Apple to the Little Mitten, I wish my Zaydie the happiest, healthiest birthday with much love and admiration. You’re simply the best, Sam Cooper.

Bouquet Residence, Lady of the House Speaking

My roommate is creative, and knows me all too well. I returned from a short trip to Long Island to find a card on our front table. The card itself was very thoughtful, and complete with a nice long inscription, but it was the envelope that really made me laugh. She adorned it with a tiny stamp that was a picture of one of my favorite Brit Com characters, Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet), from Keeping Up Appearances.

And One for Good Luck [my birthday in review]

I’ve always been a birthday person. I’m not sure that I believe that there’s a limit to how often you should celebrate yourself, but I’m certain it’s more than once per year. It’s for that very reason that I tend to stretch my birthday for a full weekend of festivities.

I was worried that this year might be different. New place, new job, new friends. What if New York wasn’t prepared to accommodate my  birthday wish — small and simple in comparison to many a New Yorker — and what if I was left to celebrate in solitude?

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