I Won't Share My Oreos

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As you get older, birthdays get...complicated. It used to be so easy. Cake and candles, invite your friends over, a pile of presents, rinse, repeat. But now that I'm older, it's more of an annoying obligation that anything else at times. It feels as if I'm expected to have a party, expected to go out, when often all I want to do is stay home with a pizza.

This year is the first of those big, round number they put on greeting cards: 25 years old. I'm in a new age bracket on forms, no longer relegated to the 18-24s. In honor of making it halfway to when I can start being an eccentric aunt, I decided to celebrate this birthday in my own way. Instead of doing all the things I felt expected to do, I promised myself that I would only do what I wanted. 

My actual birthday was Monday, but I figured, why not take the whole weekend. Treat yo self, right? Saturday was amazing, though from the outside, very boring. I managed to roll out of bed around 11. After a couple weeks sleeping in a nest of blankets, a chance to really enjoy my new bed was really the only birthday present I wanted. My bedroom faces south, so the sun really lights it up during the day. 

The rest of the day was basically just...hardcore puttering? Is that a thing? If it isn't, it should be, because I puttered in a big way. I've been so busy that it feels like I live at school rather than in my apartment. As it turns out, moving to a bigger apartment means a great deal of work. To put it in perspective, my current bedroom is about the size of my old apartment, and my bedroom isn't exactly a cathedral. I'm pretty sure my new place is about 2-3 times the size of my old place, so even after a couple weeks, I'm still working on getting everything in order. Step by step.

I tried to bring the landlord's dog, Sunjin, with me on a walk, but I think he's still a bit too young and skittish to go off on an adventure with a non-family person. Honestly it was adorable. As I was leaving, his main owner said we should go together, and I was totally board, and so was Sunjin-- at first. We made it about 3 blocks before he abruptly decided that nope, nope, this was was not happening. I tried to reassure him but he was having none of it. Hopefully once he gets to know me better I can start taking him on my walks down by the river. I miss having dogs.

On Sunday I was ambushed. I was hanging out with some friends, with no particular plans. As I came back into the room after using the restroom, I could tell something fishy was going on. I was made to sit in a particular place. Everyone was acting a bit dodgy. By the time I realized the truth, it was too late: the cake was already entering the room, a lovely green tea cake with fruit on top from Tous Les Jours, so I honestly can't complain.

Monday should have been horrible. I had the worst schedule in the history of school schedules: 6 out of 7 class periods, mostly 3rd grade, plus debate club during lunch. Normally I only teach 4-5 classes, so 6 plus debate was just...horrible to imagine. However, thanks to some kind of ~birthday magic~ all of my classes went smoothly, or at least didn't make me want to hide under my desk and cry,

About once a month the old office crew, basically my work family, meets up for a meal and coffee. It's a great time to actually talk and catch up, since we're all in different schools and offices now. This time it lined up perfectly with my birthday, so they took me out for shabu shabu. It was so delicious, but I ate waaaay too much. Mushrooms, noodles, vegetables, meat, more mushrooms, wrap it up in some rice paper, dip it in sauce, enjoy, repeat until uncomfortably full.

There was too much food to fit into the shot.

However, apparently just eating way too much food was not enough, because we braved the rain to visit a bakery that I think belongs to my supervisor's...sister in law? Something like that. Anyways, the place renovated recently and started baking things. Really delicious and pretty things. Things that include super adorable cakes with fruit on top AND inside. Magical! It was also apparently the first cake ever made in the new place! I felt so honored!

So many delicious breads!

Too cute to eat.

Clever decorations.

Birthdays may be getting more difficult as time goes by, but this has been the best birthday I've had in a long time. What stands out the most is how...thoughtful people have been. Two of my students gave me oreos because they remembered an off-hand comment I'd made about loving them. They also told me I wasn't allowed to share them with anyone- these oreos are mine and mine alone, which was such a cute sentiment. Other new friends remembered that I'd chosen the green tea ice cream one time, so they chose a green tea cake. Elly gave me a lamp because she knows I read in bed. Hyeonji gave me candles to cheer up my new home.

I'm terrible at asking for what I want or need, but this time it worked out even without my help. If this birthday is an omen for this year, I've got a great time to look forward to.

 As a bonus, here's a video that Hyeonji took on the sly. We all thought she was just taking pictures! The sneaky monkey.

Teacher Pretty
Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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