“Falling in love too easily and too often may in fact be an expression of disaffection with oneself” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Self Portrait by Mélissa Pelchat

Self Portrait © Mélissa Pelchat

An Interview with Mélissa

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

A. When I was 8, my parents invited my whole class for lunch at home (I was living right next to the school). It was a lot of fun and my dog peed on my teacher’s shoe. I guess he decided she was his.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I would say my 18th birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise party but the day just went wrong all over, and the weather got so bad (Canada in March, enough said) barely anyone could make it, so it was pretty much a flop. But I lived to tell and even sang some obscure Savage Garden song on a stage in front of strangers. How’s that for a majestic entrance into adulthood!

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

A. Well, cake, obviously. *long awkward silence*. But besides that, I believe birthdays are the perfect milestone to evaluate where we stand in life at that precise time in our life. Who surrounds us, what have we accomplished in the last year, how have we evolved and grown, where are we headed?  Admittedly, it’s a bit heavy. But hey, what about just celebrating the fact that we are there to celebrate life, our life! 

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

A. Again: cake, the answer to everything. *crickets chirp as I try to think of a more scientific and elaborate answer*. I know my parents have always made it a point for me to have a cake on my birthday, no matter if I was going to eat it with my hands as a baby, be in awe over a pink bunny shaped cake lovingly made by mom when I was four, grab a slice in a hurry before going out with my friends as a teen, or even, last year, on my 33rd birthday, my parents (who are not together anymore, but dad snuck in next to mom in the kitchen as I was getting ready) sang happy birthday over a cake before I left for work in the morning. They are adorable and never hold it against me if I am having a harder time blowing aaall the candles year after year.