27 Candles

Every year between the ages of about 10 to 16, I would obnoxiously set an alarm for 4:36am every December 20th and excitedly wake the entire household up when it went off, reminding them at this exact moment, years and years ago, I entered the world, premature, bald, and screaming. I’d like to retroactively apologize for my enthusiasm and sleep torture, because I couldn’t muster that sort of enthusiasm today, on the 27th anniversary of my birth, if I tried.

That isn’t to say I’m not excited about my birthday in general. Presents! Dinner at Parc! Everyone is nice to you! What could be wrong with that equation? No, my lack of joy comes from the number this time: 27. WHEN DID I GET SO OLD? I was just 20 a second ago. Sure, I couldn’t drink, but I also didn’t need to spend $50 every two months on night moisturizers and eye creams. Heck, I barely washed my face every night (okay, I was stupid, but so young! oh, so young!). I also couldn’t drink, was broke as a joke, and pretty miserable. There needs to be a mandatory college course that tells 18-22 year olds over and over, every day for the entire semester, that you will not always be as broke as you are in college, and that one day you will be able to buy sushi and maybe take a nice trip somewhere. That would have been way more useful than the Geology course I scraped by in, but I digress.


Last year, I made a list of 26 really lofty, ambitious goals to undertake in the 12 months I would be 26. Some of them were outrageous and impossible, apparently. Also I’m lazy and resentful of lists now.

26 in 26 – A Year in Review

1. Go to Paris, twice –nope, just once.

2. Become fluent in French (join conversation groups and keep taking classes) – not fluent, but still taking classes and ever so in love with the language!

3. Finish the first draft of my book – ahahahahaha. no.

4. Rescue another dog (somewhere Boyfriend and Fitz are going, “WHAT?!”) – ahahahahahaha. no.

5. Read 26 books – YES! I did this. I snuck in just under the deadline this week, thanks to my friend Herbie who suggested I read some plays to up my count. Full re-cap next week.

6. Start doing Pilates again – half yes? I did Pilates over the summer but then dropped the habit once I hit my weight loss goal. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work.

7. Eat a new food (oysters?) – I accidentally ate veal, so we’re calling this a ‘yes.’

8. See 2 plays – I saw one play in Paris and the ballet this fall, so I’m giving myself full credit because it’s my birthday and I can.

9. Run a mile (a whole mile! that doesn’t involve catching a bus!) – I managed 0.65 miles the first and only time I attempted running and I honestly thought I was going to die or that my head was going to fall off. 

10. Enjoy a day at the beach (emphasis on the word ‘enjoy‘ not just ‘go to’) – no, beaches are terrible and I don’t need to like them. Beaches, like running, are for crazy people. 

11. Take my nieces to the zoo – no, I am a terrible aunt.

12. Go ice-skating – no, but that would have been fun.

13. Go one month without buying anything (this is my Everest) – ahahahahaha. no.

14. Travel overseas somewhere new – nope.

15. Call my grandmother once a week – YES.

16. Attempt my 365 Project again (ahem) – I don’t want to talk about it.

17. Blog everyday for a year – I missed the day after Thanksgiving and a random Thursday two weeks ago. 

18. Visit at least 5 museums – I went to the same museum at least 10 times, does that count?

19. See 2 movies in the theater by myself – nope, not even “Paranoia“! :(

20. Cook one meal a month (an upgrade from the current 0) – I will have you know I am now an expert at microwaving Boca Chik’n patties, thankyouverymuch.

21. Curse less – fuck no.


23. Attend Synagogue services at least once (23a. find out what the actual name of Synagogue services is, you awful Jew) – no, but thank goodness Jews don’t believe in hell!

24. Volunteer at a women’s shelter – okay, so I tried. But given the nature of women’s shelters, any volunteers need a plethora of background checks before being even shortlisted to volunteer, and then there’s an entire approval process. This year, I was able to serve dinner to cancer patients at UPenn Hospital, help raise $1000 for Programs Employing People, and participated in several donation drives for homeless veterans. That has to count, right?

25. Attend a writer’s conference – no. 

26. Land my dream job – with all this newfound wisdom that comes with age, I’ve learned there is no such thing as a ‘dream job,’ unless a career exists wherein I can hold hands with Gary Oldman all day every day. 

I’ve learned my lesson this year, and will therefore not hold myself to 27 unachievable tasks. Except for #5, only I’m upping it to 27. I could have read many more books than I did this year if I hadn’t decided to start in like June. Oh, and #3. That needs to happen.

I leave you today with this video, which is so appropriate and accurate I can’t believe no one made it sooner. Happy birthday to me, and to all the other holiday babies (Roothers! my best friend Aidan!).

28 thoughts on “27 Candles

  1. Well. Reading your list recap makes me glad I never go back and look at my New Year’s goal lists. I get tempted, but, ahem. No. Rules were meant to be broken. Lists were meant to be guidelines, right? RIGHT?????

    But I digress from the important part of this comment, which is to wish you the happiest of birthdays (your last as a single woman!). I won’t even say that I hope you get pampered, because somehow, I know you will! Happiest of days and years to you, dear. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a good one.

    1. Gahh my last as a single woman! That makes it sound SO MUCH MORE INTENSE, haha. Like I have to be EXTRA efficient this year and do lots of crazy things before he puts a ring on it ;) Haha. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! And the ecard! You are the sweetest. Lists are dumb, I’ve learned my lesson. I should have known better considering there was one New Year’s Even in high school when I made a resolution to not gossip and lasted literally until 12:07am. Oops. xo

  2. Hooray happy birthday sweetie pie!
    I think that’s a pretty good effort actually. What about ‘get engaged’. why wasn’t that on the list, you missed a trick for a big fat cross-off.
    I’m sooo not buying into this ‘I’m so old’. Yeah whatevs, try being 40!
    27 is a fantastic age. People take you seriously because you aren’t a kid anymore and don’t spout naive nonsense. And you have no wrinkles so enjoy!
    Have a fab time in Parc, wish I could come too! x

    1. Oh, thank you darling!! I know, I should watch myself with all the “old” talk, haha. I had no idea we were going to get engaged this year, otherwise I would have put it on there just to be able to feel like I accomplished something! He was sneaky, that one. I wish you could have come to Parc with us, too! It was delicious. xo

  3. happiest of birthdays erin… i recently re-read my 3*6*5 for 2013 & all i can say is ‘to do’ lists are a load of hooey! here’s to freeing ourselves of the burden & living it up regardless! enjoy!!!

    1. Hahaha, they ARE a load of hooey! What was I thinking?? I might as well have put “Go to the moon” on the list for as much as I was able to accomplish this year ;) Thanks doll! xo

  4. Happy birthday again Erin! And 27 is NOT old. Your 26 at 26 was a pretty daunting list and my fave one on there was calling your grandmother every week. This next year is going to be the best one yet – I can feel it in my bones :)

    1. Thank you, Rooth!! I’m encouraged by your optimism! I bet 27 will kick some serious ass, too. xoxo

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY my twinsy! 27 old?! psshhh. Pah Leeze. Just wait, until like me, you are starring down 38 and saying “i swear i don’t feel 38, can’t i just be between 30 and 32 forever pleeeeasssse. i promise i haven’t evolved at all since then.”

    but back to you. i love that you set your alarm, which this did not surprise me one bit, i completely agree about running and that probably never should been on your list but the revisiting commentary was hilarious on every single one so it was all worth it. but really you accomplished so much! And this year is going to be even more exciting for you. i really do think this year is going to be a good one in general too. happy birthday, you are just one of my favorite people. xoxoxo

    1. Ohh, thank you my twinsy! I think my biggest problem with 27 is that I don’t FEEL 27! I feel 17! I still feel like a clueless teenager and it throws me off every time I have to do something “adult” like write a check or file my taxes. Siiigh. Haha, I’m glad the commentary was entertaining, I tried to be silly about it so no one would think I was a total failure ;). YOU are one of my favorite people too! What are the odds??! haha xoxoxoxoxo

  6. Happy Birthday Erin you old bag! (ahem, kidding)
    The resolutions you did complete are extremely admirable – anyone who can make the time for volunteer/ charity work is doing a good thing.
    Fortunately, the older you get, the shorter your lists get, out of sheer practicality (who has time to do 36 things? that’s like one new thing every 10 days)
    Hope you have a lovely day and get spoiled rotten!

    1. Ahaha, thanks Emma!! I’m only partially facetious about feeling old, I swear ;) I never even thought about the math involved with upping my “to do” list every year with age. That would be insane! I like the way you think though, and for that reason I’m sticking to a small list of three or four things this year haha. xoxo

  7. I was wondering how you are doing with this! Happy Birthday. You’re still kicking ass and taking names, even if it’s not with regard to the things on your list. :)

    1. Aw, thanks Samantha!! It makes me feel better to hear you say that, haha, because I kind of felt like a total boob accomplishing so little of this list! Too lofty, right? xo

  8. Happy Birthday lovely girl! I think you did pretty well to get as many of your list done as you did.

    That video is brilliant, I’ve forwarded it on to my sister, she was born in December too.

    Enjoy yourself, hope you get thoroughly spoilt :)


    1. Thank you so much, Kelly! Share that video! We December babies have it rough sometimes, but I definitely got spoiled rotten so I can’t complain one bit. ;) xoxo

  9. ha, I like running and beaches. no what does that make me. super-crazy :) happy birthday. may all your wishes comes true. and you better make this a birthday week. let them spoil you rotten xoxo

    1. Haha, you are just crazy awesome! I am crazy lazy and just plain crazy and have a sad aversion to sand (it makes me so uncomfortable!!) so I knew it was ambitious to put the beach on the list. Thanks Petra, I had a great weekend of celebrations. xo

  10. Happiest of birthdays! I do hope that you enjoyed your day and I absolutely love the accomplishment of calling your grandmother once a week. That is the sweetest thing!

    1. Thank you so much, Yelle! I had a great birthday, and of course talked to my mommom that morning! She’s my favorite. xo

  11. Happy Belated Birthday my dear! Sorry I’m a bit late.
    Ah yes, the list!
    Next year you should make it bigger, as Annie has pointed out, there’s some crucial items missing. You clearly didn’t set your sights high enough ;-)

    I hope you had a lovely time and was totally spoilt. And as it’s now Christmas this week, double spoiling bubble


    1. Oh, thank you Sam! And don’t even worry, as Jamal will tell you, this is the birthday that never ends (he’s always so impressed that I can squeeze out 5 days worth of celebrations for a single birthday, haha) so you’re right on time! You and Annie crack me up. Next year I should put “get married” on the list and then feel like a rockstar once I do it! ;)
      I did get sufficiently spoiled and would you look at that! Christmas! More presents! Hahah. xoxo

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