“Sleep soundly in the darkness but wake in the light” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Annie Dufresne by © Mélissa Pelchat

“When I think about Annie… I can just close my eyes and what I see is that cute little dimple in her left cheek that is absolutely her trademark, that twinkle in her eyes like she’s always smiling about some sort of private joke and, also, that eternal sense of wonder, that explosion of emotion in every word she speaks, and that attracts me like a moth to a flame to this girl I’ve known since we were teenage girls talking about boys sitting in front of lockers and listening to Green Day on the “student radio” (if such a thing exists in a high school run by nuns). Today, she juggles ideas for one of the biggest publicity firms in Montreal, she still has dinner every Sunday night with her family, and she is very happily married to the guy she was telling us about when we were 17.” – Mélissa P

Image  © Mélissa Pelchat

An Interview with Annie

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. What I love to do most in life is travelling so I always try to be in a foreign country for my birthday. Two years ago I was in Thailand and I had booked a visit to an Elephant rehabilitation center on my birthday. It was one incredible to celebrate a new year in my life with those magnificent animals

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I think my 18th birthday. I had such high hopes for this important number and I think I spent it alone in my room. I think it taught me that if I wanted something, I better organize it myself and also not have too many expectations from the people around me. 

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?

A. When I was in University, my friends organized a dinner for my birthday and at some point, after the dessert, a male stripteaser came in and danced. I was so surprised and touched that they organized that for me on top of cooking the dinner. It was truly a great birthday present! We laughed a lot and we still do think about it. 

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. I think something sweet at the end of the dinner is mandatory. As long as you can stick a candle in the dessert, it’s fine. Doesn’t have to be cake but it has to be sweet!

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Doing something that you truly enjoy with the people you love the most in your life.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. A family dinner happens each time there is a birthday. And we have a new tradition; we use the same musical candle on top of the dessert. It’s electronic and it plays the Birthday song. It’s super cheezy but everyone requests it for their birthday now.