Celebrating my birthday, as an adult, has become a mixed bag affair. Sometimes I think as we mature, the birthday partying and whooping it up gets a bit tired. We’re not kids anymore and all that fussing about birthday cake ain’t grown-n-sexy unless you’re talking about blowing out the kind of candles Rihanna sings about in her current hit. But it is the day on which we were born and not to go all Chucky Cheese or even 4-layer buttercream cake crazy, it should be celebrated, no?
I’ll never forget the year I decided to try to play it on the humble and not declare to everyone within earshot that it was my birthday. I was going to let the love and best wishes come organically. By 4pm I was on the phone with my mom sobbing that besides family and my three BFF’s everyone else had forgotten my birthday and that I didn’t have any plans for dinner or anything of merriment because no one loved me, blah, blah, blah. Of course this was all pre-Facebook before one’s bday was on blast to all 1,809 of our closest friends. Anyway being the righteous Aquarian humanitarian that my mother is, she jumped in her Accord, met me in Harlem and took me out to dinner and saved the day. Ever since that bday my mom will usually ask if I have lunch or dinner plans on my day to make sure I’m not in some corner, crying my grown-n-sexy eyes out, on the humble.
Last year, even after confirming dinner plans with someone, I was actually stood up… ON.MY.BIRTHDAY! That tumultuous disaster, however, was quickly neutralized by the major love I got at the party I threw myself a week later where friends from as far as Bed Stuy, Chicago, DC, Bridgeport & Baltimore all came out in the pouring rain to Harlem to celebrate me. I’m realizing birthdays are like life, it’s what you make of it and like life, where the squeaky wheels get the oil, declarations of one’s earth day begets well wishes, gifts and lovely treats. So this year, feeling quite festive yet introspective, I’ve taken my birthday bravada to the next level and created a birthday Wish List. If candles are going to be blown and wishes fulfilled then let me put my Top 10 out there so folks know exactly what I want. Yeah, I’m an Aries so I left ‘humble’ in the corner to organically maturate. Happy Birthday to me!
1. Justice For Trayvon Martin: Today was supposed to be the day the grand jury was to convene to make a decision with regard to the arrest of George Zimmerman, but the special prosecutor decided to not use a grand jury. I’m so scared to turn on the TV now because there’s only one decision that can be made as far as I am concerned and that is for Zimmerman to be arrested and prosecuted. This is TOPS on my Birthday List. If I only get this one thing I’d be the happiest grrrl in the world.
2. This Elizabeth Catlett print.
3. Mumia Abu-Jamal Released From Prison: Now that Mumia has been removed from death row, my birthday wish is to have him freed. He didn’t receive a fair trial, has already served almost 30 years and deserves to be free! I need President Barack Obama to pardon him for my birthday.
4. Salsa Dance Lessons: Learn salsa so that I can’t stop embarrassing myself with my crazy Hip Hop meets Djimbe two-step, usually on my partner’s toes, every time I want to get my dance on to “Suavemente.” And while I’m learning a dance I really need for my home-slice, Karen Hurst, to teach me Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” booty dance. I don’t care how old that song is, every time it comes on, regardless of where I am, everyone starts doing the “Uh-oh” and Karen did it so well she became one of Bey’s back-up dancers for MTV’s VMAs. I need to be a pro at this Karen, HELP!
5. This juicer.
6. Please BET, for my birthday bring back Med School Melanie on “The Game” and get rid of snobby, argumentative, dishonest, designer label fiend Melanie. If I wanted to watch an athlete’s wife talk about herself, demean her homegrrrls and be a wanna be socialite I’d watch “Basketball Wives” because Evelyn Lozado has way more drama in her pinky toe than Tia Mowry has displayed all season.
7. More Serious, Non-Celebrity Influenced Journalists: As a writer and aspiring journalist, I wish that this profession in which I still have high regard will regain the tough, seriously intellectually stripes it once had. With the recent passing of news greats– Gil Noble and Mike Wallace, I am acutely aware of how much journalism and reporting has devolved into rumors, gossip and celebrity masturbation. I love Melissa Perry Harris’ new show and feel like this may be a sign that the tide is changing. But since it’s my birthday I’m asking for more than a change in tide, I’m asking for new bodies of water.
8. These shoes!
9. My TV Pilot Picked-Up By OWN: I wish my idea for a pilot talk show would somehow make it’s way to Oprah’s desk as OWN programming could use a jolt of hotness to stir up it’s audience and pick-up ratings. Oprah’s an Aquarian like my mom so I know, regardless of the odds, she refuses to fail at anything especially developing her own cable network. So c’mon O, I’m not asking for a car or a trip to Australia for my birthday, like Iyanla, I just want my own show. I’m ready.
10. Remember Their Names: Last but certainly not least on my birthday wish list, I hope that we remember all of those who have died as a result of racism. We remember Emmett Till and Martin Luther King because they are in our history books, but it’s my wish, my request, for all of us to remember Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, Trayvon Martin, Ramarley Graham, Danroy Henry, Kenneth Chamberlain, James Byrd, Eleanor Bumpers and all others killed because they looked “suspicious,” “dangerous,” or “up to no good.”
Thanks for the love. Glad I could share my day, via theHotness, with you.