Thom’s Thursday Thoughts on 34

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Tom makes his own birthday cake.

Last Wednesday, Tom turned 34. Unlike my mother and Chinese women everywhere who believe your real age is two plus whatever age you’re at, Tom believes you aren’t 34 until you’re 34. 

“You’re basically 34,” I said, the entire year he was 33.

“Naw Bruh, I’m 33,” he’d say, “You’re basically 30.”

For the past two years, when our relationship was younger, I planned large group dinners and get-togethers with our friends to celebrate Tom’s big day. But I felt bad this year since my days leading up to his birthday were plagued by interviews with zero call backs and a generally glum feeling. I was not particularly down as the kids say.

But I tried.

I made dinner reservations for the night of his birthday and asked him what he wanted to do for the weekend before.

“We could get everyone together at a bar,” I suggested. I was feeling really creative.

Tom, bless his old heart, does not like to plan ahead.

“I don’t want to plan ahead,” he said, “I want to have a last minute birthday.”

The weekend went by and we didn’t do much: read the FT Weekend and watched some TV. On Sunday, Tom woke up with energy stored up from not having gone anywhere. He wanted a birthday cake.

“That’s fine,” I said, “I can go and buy you one from downstairs.”

“I don’t want that store bought shit,” he said, “It’s my birthday. I want a homemade cake.”

That sounded like a lot of work.

“How about I just buy you one.”

“No, from scratch. I want it from scratch.”

Being a really good girlfriend and entirely aware that last year, Tom spent hours baking me a surprise cake for my birthday before taking me to Eleven Madison, I shook my head.

“You can bake it. I’ll hang around for moral support then help you eat it.”

“You’re a moose,” Tom said.

Maybe I am, but Tom is a meticulous baker. The cake was delicious.

Anyway, the rest of Tom’s Thoughts this Thursday:

  1. Tom’s birthday cake recipe: Devil’s Food Cake Cockaigne from (surprise!) the Joy of Cooking. “The best chocolate cake we know…it is wonderfully light, but rich and moist.” 
  2. On his actual birthday, we went to Tuome, a lovely little place in the East Village recommended by our foodie friends Minh and Paul. American cuisine with Asian influences. They have a bomb 90’s soundtrack and at one point everyone sang along to Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.”
  3. After dinner we walked to the West Village and hopped from Mr. Dennehy’s to Daddy O, Tom’s two favorite bars.
  4. And one would think, as it’s been a month since I’ve last posted about Thom’s Thursday Thoughts, that I’d have an arsenal of Tom-isms, but just these:
    • On what character I’d be from “Sex and the City”: “I don’t know if you’re a Carrie. I think you’re more of a Costanza.”
    • On learning that Paris Hilton has size 11 feet: “She probably has size 11 herpes.”
    • On my entertaining the thought of taking online classes to pad my resume: “Like at DeVry? I don’t think even Devry is hiring DeVry graduates.”
    • On good parenting: “You gotta let your kid be himself. You can’t force him. He’s a person. But you also can’t let him study creative writing and become homeless.”
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