Tonight was the golden-haired girl's twenty-first birthday. I stepped into her house and was greeted by her mother, who threw her arms around me and made me feel so welcome. Then I was met by my surrogate father, who laughingly expressed his joy at seeing me. I was made to feel like I was her sister, welcomed back into the family fold. She was wearing this beautiful red pin that lights up and says "Kiss Me, It's My Birthday." So I did.
We went outside for the barbecue, which was absolutely beautiful. Her mother had slaved away cooking and buying and creating this marvelously fun atmosphere; all these people placed together in one house, at one place and time, dancing to the mix created by my friend Taz (where he laughingly remarked that he thinks none of the songs are explicit but one) or sitting at the table and eating the meatballs, ribs, chicken wings, potato kugel, coleslaw and other excellent delicacies.
I had my first taste of beer tonight. Strange that I have tasted champagne before tasting beer; I do not find beer to be excellent at all. I did enjoy the far rarer beverage my surrogate father pressed on me. I found it amusing that I caused my friend to lose a bet because he claimed I wouldn't even sip at the beer...
But how to describe the party? How to describe the ambiance? First, it is colorful. We are outside and it is dark and there is a man tending to the grill, smiling and turning about, a wonderful birthday hat with candles and a cake, the golden-haired girl wearing beautiful clothes and beautifully made up; her mother with golden eye shadow lining her eyes, making her look mysterious and lovely. There is the keg of beer on a side table and her father laughingly apportioning it out and saying, "Olivia!" in his commanding tone as a challenge but knowing that I will willingly taste it.
How to describe the feeling? This intense feeling of love and acceptance and the absolute joy that comes of seeing all my friends again, friends I have wanted to meet up with and share time with for a long while now. It is wonderful to just relax and be silly, to watch my one friend swinging in the red hammock, my other friend laughed at because of his goatee. I cannot help but relax and take in everything with joy. There is so much fun here and it is wonderful to be in a place that is nothing but fun. I am teased, but it is the good kind of teasing, and I laugh to know that I am accepted and that all is warm.
Then my friends start dancing and it's the silly kind of dancing, so I am called over and challenge one of the other guests, the same one who has been preparing our steaks, because I can see him tapping his feet; "Get up and dance!" I urge, assuming he will do so. He surprises me by completely sweeping me off my feet and engaging in some very stylish moves, most including elaborate twists I cannot accomplish without his guidance. I was laughing the whole time, mostly because he got such pleasure out of it. He's a friend of the family, a father, doctor and a neighbor; everyone was laughing and I felt like a little girl again, treading on my father's slippers as we danced around the living room. That's just his way and I enjoy being treated like a family member; he then attempted to teach me a "line dance" but I can't say that he succeeded. Everyone was having far too much fun snapping pictures of me and threatening to blackmail me. I laughed, of course. "I'm not ashamed of what I do," I said, and reclined in the chair under the night sky.
We had three different cakes for dessert. Two were bought for the occasion and one was actually brought by a guest, made out of a Duncan Hines mix but very beautifully presented. Afterwards I ordered everyone to compose little speeches for the birthday girl, so we went around the table and presented her with our words. I love her very much and she is very special to me so I am glad that everyone had such beautiful things to say about her. Her parents are so proud of her and they should be, because she is one of the most inspiring, positive, optimistic people upon this green earth.
She is the kind of considerate, caring person who would not open her gifts in front of her guests lest she cause someone embarrassment because one person might have bought her a more elaborate or expensive gift than the other. She laughed so much tonight and to see her laugh was a pleasure, and I was so pleased that our company and our joy pleased her. She was the one who made us happy tonight, her presence is the magic that sets our joy alight.
A golden-haired girl with a laugh and smile who doesn't mind being silly and having fun, who is an absolute beauty, whose gorgeous eyes flecked with gold smile up at me and whose house I am sitting in right now, at the dining room table, though she doesn't know I am writing this for her.
How can I ever thank her? How can I thank them all for coming into my life and being willing to include me in everything? This is a blessing far beyond my imagining.
Happy 21st birthday, my golden-haired girl.
I wish you health, happiness and much luck in all your future endeavors.
When you are around, people light up; you are able to make them glow. That is your power and your skill and I hope that you will always retain it and use it, because it was you who caused such joy today.
That is your skill, joy-bringer. I bless you with that ability; may you always bring joy to all you meet. I love you, I love you, I love you...