So, the above stash is what ended up being the sum of all my beautiful birthday gifts last week. My birthday was Wednesday, the 27th, and I am now officially 27 years old. (Or, 28 if you count it the Korean way, which still doesn't make sense to me because 9 months does NOT equal a year. No matter what kind of math you do.)
My students gave me a number of unexpected gifts and sweet cards. But the best card I got was from my new friend, GeumOk 금옥, who works at the front desk at school. She is kind, thoughtful, gentle, and encouraging. And her card was so perfect. I wasn't sure if you could read her writing, so I typed the text below:
On my birthday, all day, I walked around in a daze of feeling loved. It was one of the most dreamy birthdays I've ever had, but I'm going to blame that on the four cakes I had. (No, Mom, it doesn't top any of your surprise parties or amazingly orchestrated birthdays.)
Yep, four cakes. And that's not bad Danielle Math, either. Right, so I'll tell you how to get four cakes on your birthday just in case you wanna try to pull the massive sugar high and then sleepless stomach ache of a night I had.
First, you should promise your incredibly fluent, bright, and intelligent high school students who have signed up for a daily English class DURING THEIR HOLIDAY before they go to university- you should promise them that you will buy them an ice cream cake. Then you should proceed to meet them at Baskin Robbins and buy a ridiculously expensive ice cream cake, which shouldn't even be called a cake, because there's no cake. You heard me, people. Ice cream cake in Korea is a SHAM! It's just a cake-shaped lump of ice cream frosted and decorated to make you want cake. So, you should eat only a few bites of this cake because it is before lunch time, y'all.
After you eat a bit of Ice Cream Just Kidding There's No Cake Number 1, you should head to your favorite restaurant for Shindukk Ddeokbokki. You shouldn't order the fried mandu, because you will get 6 of them on the house because it's your birthday. While you are there, you will be called by one of your coworkers who will tell you, "Hey, there's a meeting in 10 minutes. You know that, right?" And you will say, "What the crap?" And it will be totally appropriate because your birthday was on a Wednesday! Imagine that. So, you eat your free mandu in a hurry and rush to school for some "meeting." But it's not a meeting. No! It's a surprise party with, you guessed it, Ice Cream Masquerading as Cake Number 2! You should eat some of this
cake ice cream, which was accompanied by another gift of a caramel macchiato from Sandra and her baby Sophia (squee-worthy pictures coming soon!) because it's after lunch now.
Then, after work is over, you should head to a new Italian restaurant to meet your husband and dear friends. Your husband should call the restaurant ahead of time and when they ask if they should make a cake for the occassion, he should tell them that his wife generally doesn't like Korean cake because it's not cake, it's like bread. Also, that she really likes chocolate. He should also buy another Ice Cream Minus Real Cake Number 3 to take to the dinner because he thinks there should be cake and is unaware of the amount of Ice Cream Not Cake formerly consumed by his wife and also because he thinks he told the restaurant no cake.
At the end of the dinner, the restaurant should present you with REAL CAKE (Number 4 if you're still counting), that they especially made for you with EXTRA SERIOUS AMOUNTS OF CHOCOLATE in the SHAPE OF A HEART! And although you are already full of half of your own entree and half of another person's entree, you should try this cake. It is awesome and you should eat it because they made it just for you! But when they bring the chocolate heart cake that you share with everybody because you're stuffed, they will follow that with already cut slices of the Ice Cream Minus Real Cake Number 3. Because apparently, we eat a lot of cake. Or Ice Cream with a Cake Complex. Whatever. And because the Not Really Cake has already been cut and served so nicely with cute little dessert forks, once again you shove some down because, well, I mean, it's ice cream.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get 4 cakes on your birthday, 3 for free.
I whined all the way home in the taxi and had the hardest time falling asleep. I had a terrible stomachache. But my heart was more full than my stomach and aching a bit, too. Because I had no expectations for my birthday and it ended up being so sweet. I felt special, cared for, and of worth. What more could a girl ask for on her birthday?
Thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday on Facebook, as well. I know amazing people all over the world. I am grateful for everyone who constantly shows me love and support, even though I rarely deserve it.
[P.S. The Internet has been down at our place. It's infuriating. I never realized how many things I looked up on the Internet in a day. Or a weekend. Goodness. I sometimes choose to take a break from blogging, or get busy and don't have enough time for everything I'd like to do, but involuntary breaks are the worst! I've msised you guys. Also, if you're reading this in your Google Reader or other feed, pop on over here to check out the new February design! Inspired by one of my lovely birthday presents! And make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page to see Kenny's new thief illustration!]