“Life itself may be only a series of illusions—why not pick those which brings us the most enjoyment?” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Madeline Monaco by © Camila Gargantini

“Pink. Madeline loves pink. As I walked into her home, I could see pink things throughout her apartment. She was so welcoming and nice, and I felt gratitude for being allowed to capture her in her safe space, where she has the things she loves and calls it home. So much character and so much thought put into all the little things that decorate her space. I left with a smile on my face.”

Image by © Camila Gargantini

An Interview with Madeline

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

A. On my 7th or 8th birthday my parents threw me a “Little Mermaid” party and all guests were instructed to come dressed as a character from the movie. Of course, I was Ariel. My mom was Ursula and my dad, King Triton. For some reason one of my friends came dressed in a red M&M costume trying to pass for Sebastian.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. On my 22nd birthday, I fell asleep at 8:30 PM, missing the event I had already purchased tickets for. I woke up at 2:30 AM very confused.

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

A. One time I received a card shaped like an eyeball. I love eyeballs, so it was a nice surprise.

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

A. Carrot Cake and meatballs (separately)

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

A. Celebrating the past year and getting excited for the next.

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

A. My sister’s birthday is on the 25th of October (the day after mine) and every year we celebrate together with my parents. It wouldn’t be a birthday without my Mom recounting the story of my sister’s birth and how she ‘held her legs together’ just long enough so we wouldn’t have the same birthday.