“Irritation is something you do to yourself” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Laura Clendening by © Lori Maloney

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Laura

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

A. This last year I decided to do a paint night. Some friends of mine took the idea and planned and organized the whole thing on my behalf, which I was so grateful for. There were a lot of people meeting for the first time and everyone really got to know each other well while working on this project and we all had a wonderful time. 

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. It was kind of the worst/best. I had been dating someone for about a month and we had reserved a big table at a bar for my birthday. I had invited about 10 people and the person I was dating was the only person who showed up. I felt humiliated and really hurt. But my new girlfriend took the opportunity to make the evening really special. We changed restaurants and she turned it into a really romantic date. 

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

A. I had decided last minute to use the money saved for university to go to Europe instead. My mom said she would get the tickets booked for me. My mom’s friend invited me over to their place after my birthday dinner and they gave me a birthday card. In the card, they wrote that they had booked my flight for me which blew me away! I was so surprised to have this ticket in my hand (this was back when you needed tickets), I couldn’t read it very well, and they kept saying “Read it!” but I was in such shock, nothing was being absorbed. They finally had to tell me that the flight they booked for me was first class. I was blown away that they would do something like that for me. It was AMAZING!!!

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

A. My mom always makes really good puffed wheat cake. It’s not fancy, but it’s my favourite. 

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

A. Spending time with those you love.

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

A. Not really :( … lol