An Aries sob story: Celebrating my 20th birthday in quarantine
As I woke up on my 20th birthday and willed myself out of bed, I prepared myself for a very different day than I had originally planned.
The week before my birthday, I had my outfit all picked out: my new leather joggers from Zara, a cropped black tank from Zara, and a white cheetah print jacket, also from Zara (I know, I have a problem). Yes, this outfit was extra, but it would be my birthday after all.
Instead, I found myself that Friday morning in the same pajamas I had worn for two days, unwashed hair (don’t judge me!) and less than fabulous pink crocs.
While I do think astrology is mostly BS, I will agree with the stereotype that Aries guys and gals like attention–and I was about to be in very short supply of this, celebrating away from my boyfriend and closest friends.
I was determined to have a good day, but I couldn’t help but think about what I would have been doing on my birthday if coronavirus hadn’t uprooted our lives.
First, I would have gone to breakfast at Madruga with my boyfriend, a ritual. We would have sat by the window playing cards and sipping oat milk lattes while we ate fresh porridge and quiche.
Next, I planned to have lunch with all my friends at my favorite local Miami restaurant Sage, the same thing I had done last year for my birthday dinner. I would have raved about the menu to my friends, said hello to Chef Hector and ordered my favorite meal: hibiscus tea, lemony garlic shrimp pasta and decadent chocolate cake with raspberry sauce to finish.
That afternoon, my friends and I had planned a special road trip to Orlando to see Milky Chance in concert. We had thought of maybe going to Disney or Universal the day after, brunch on Sunday in Winter Park, Florida and then driving back.
My actual birthday looked a little different. While my friends couldn’t be there, I was able to have Sage for lunch. I drove up to the restaurant and picked up food for takeout, waving to the staff through the window.
My niece and nephews came over to play in the pool, and best of all, my dad bought me a Nintendo Switch to lift my spirits during quarantine. Although this may have been a blessing and a curse–while my island on “Animal Crossing” is really coming along, I must admit I’m a bit behind on some school projects.
And even if from afar, I was able to share my birthday with my friends in some capacity. I received a surprise Zoom invite and all my friends sang me “Happy Birthday” at midnight.
I guess my quarantine birthday was as good as it could have been, and I’m thankful for everyone who kept me company and lifted my spirits.
I do realize that missing a birthday celebration is not nearly as bad as what some are dealing with during the coronavirus pandemic. Health workers like my brother and sister are at risk every day. People are losing their loved ones and will continue to. But I hope we can all continue to find a way to make the most of it, while doing our part to stay at home and protect both our families and strangers that we don’t know from sickness.
I know I am not alone in the quarantine birthday struggle. To all my fellow Aries, rest assured, next year will be the best birthday yet.
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