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  • I didn't sleep well the night before. My birthday fell on the same day as Election Day and I tossed and turned, anxious about the direction the country would decide to go in. I was awake for a while before I left the comfort of my bed. Today I wanted to feel pretty, I showered and put on makeup, left my hair down. It's unseasonably warm for November, I selected a black tank top to go with my jeans. There's a bakery/cafe that I frequent across the street from my apartment, I walked there for my birthday breakfast, the Los Angeles Times tucked under my arm. My favorite waitress is working this morning, Cindy grins when I walk to her section, gives me a big hug, and wishes me a happy birthday. She is apologetic that I am alone, but I am not. She tells me to order what ever I'd like, my meal is on the house today. It's my only official birthday present. I order my favorite, Huevos Rancheros. When I am finished eating, reading, and have had my fill of coffee I am surprised at my table by the staff singing the birthday song to me, presenting me with a chocolate mousse,and a brown paper bag with "Happy Birthday, Kerry!" written in pink ink on it. I blew out the candle, and even though I was full, demolished that dessert. Peeking inside the bag I see an assortment of muffins and cookies and a barrette encrusted with rhinestones. It's a thoughtful gift, and I am thankful that I have touched these people, whom I see on such casual terms, that they went to such measures to make me feel happy today. The sun is out, and I walked directly to my polling place next. The line is short, I cast my votes, and wear my "I Voted!" sticker with pride for the rest of my birthday. I went for a long walk, and decided that tonight I was going to treat myself to a special dinner. I made a trip to my favorite local wine shop and the proprietor helped me select a Cabernet Sauvignon to drink with my meal, and a Garnacha to deglaze the pan with after I prepare it. My next stop is to Whole Foods, at the butcher shop I ask for two steaks, a treat for this mostly-vegetarian. Even though I already purchased my wine, I head to the wine section and have a long conversation with their specialist and end up going home with a Prosecco to finish my night off with. There's a Farmer's Market that takes place on Tuesdays down the street, so with the wines and steaks stowed away at home, I walked over to find the final parts to my meal. A shallot and Italian parsley for the sauce, a squash for the side dish that will roast nicely with a balsamic and brown sugar glaze, and a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. I began to craft my birthday dinner and tuned in to the BBC news coverage of the Presidential Election. I sip on the Garnacha while my Cabernet rests in a decanter. This meal seems too special to enjoy alone, I text a friend, ask her to come by for a glass of wine later. She shows up just as I'm plating the steaks. We eat and drink and talk about writing and politics and men and wine. The election is over now, our 44th President of the United States of America is Barack Obama. Kecia and I are both pleased with this news, and the Prosecco is uncorked. We toasted and got toasty. I couldn't think of a better end to a day that was simple, and marvelous, and all about me.
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