Bonne Anniversaire Ma Meilleure Amie

As far as cruelty goes April has nothing on January.  Back in the day when I was a teaching assistant January wasn’t so bad.  You could always count on student loans to get you through the drought between December 20th and January 31st.  Now that I just work for a university, and there are no loans to be had as I try to stretch a check that barely makes it 4 weeks into something that will last 6.  I can’t think of an adjective to describe how poor we are – skint seems to come the closest.

As you can imagine anyone in my life with a January birthday pretty much gets the shaft.  Sorry folks.  Couple that with the fact that January is a busy, busy month for me at work, and everyone is pretty lucky just to get a text on the day.  Oddly enough before grad school January was just a prep month for me.  A respite between holiday shopping and the horror of February’s birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries.  Seriously, in February it’s easier for me to count the days that don’t involve celebrating.

The assault on January began with Poppa G, my brother-in-law.  One birthday in the whole month.  It wasn’t bad.  Then my sister-in-law got married, whoops there’s another one.  My brother got married, and suddenly the month is getting down right crowded.  Suddenly, the poorest month of the year is also the one rivaling February for gifting obligations.

There is, however, really only one birthday in January that matters enough to make me regret my inability to lavish my friends with tokens of my love – January 21st is the day to celebrate ma fille, the Ouiser to my Claree, the Cajun Princess.

Born on the opposite ends of the Mississippi – literally, yet I can honestly say her people are my people, and if I could ever get her north of the Mason-Dixon I know she’d feel just as at home in Frostbite Falls.  It is strange and remarkable to think that I’ve only known her seven years; and, can in fact, remember seeing her for the first time at orientation, sitting in that stifling hot room looking around trying to figure out who to hang with.  As in most social situations by break time I ended up outside with the smokers, and I’m pretty sure that from their our fates were sealed, not by ease of conversation, but by easy silence.  It’s unbelievably difficult to find someone you can just sit with.

It is even more difficult to find someone willing to find your husbands car, visit you in the hospital every day, learn to be your “gentleman caller” as you go up and down stairs.  There is no way I would have made it through the last three years without her.  There are not enough words in English or French to describe how our lives have become entwined, or how much it blows that I can’t throw her a costume partyor bake her a bleeding armadillo groom’s cake.

Since we are stuck in separate cities today, and I suck at actually putting cards in the mail, I thought the least I could do was publicly declare my undying love and devotion for a woman who has been a sister to me.

Bénédictions et la joie de vous aujourd’hui et toujours.

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