Relationships

What Was Your Birthday Like This Year?

birthday broad city

My birthday is this weekend, and I’m feeling…

…a little sad. My birthday usually means I’m on the dance floor with friends until the wee hours of the morning, or at the very least, having dinner at a favorite hole-in-the-wall with twinkly lights and tiramisu. We talk loudly and laugh, eating joyfully — swapping dishes, insisting everyone taste what’s on our plates, ordering bottles of wine, and sharing desserts until the place is almost closed.

This birthday will look nothing like that.

Just like everything else this year, celebrations are viewed through a lens of unfamiliarity. Nothing looks the way we expected it to look, and it can make you really sad when you think about it. Then it occurred to me that this year almost all of us have had quarantine birthdays. Whether solo, with roommates, or with families, we’ve figured out a way to make it okay, despite our worlds turning upside down.

My favorite celebration this year was my friend Emily’s birthday picnic in the park. Everyone brought a blanket and Prosecco to cheers with, six feet apart. It also happened to be the day Biden won the election, so spontaneous dancing and cheering followed, and the whole city partied together day and night.

As much as I would love to be dancing in the street, or close talking with friends, I’ll settle for a really good cake, and a slow dance. Perhaps 33 will be an “elegant older lady” year. It will definitely be one to remember.

What did your birthday look like this year? I’d love to hear!

P.S. 14 birthday traditions from around the world and which birthday cake do you like?

(Photo from Broad City.)

  1. Kinsey says...

    I gave birth to my second baby girl two days before my birthday in April this year. I had already planned on having a simple birthday because I knew I wouldn’t be up for much. My husband ordered my favorite cake (a chocolate and Nutella layered cheese cake with chocolate ganache on top! So good!) and I got to spend the day with my mom who was watching my two year old, my husband, and both of my daughters. :)

    • Caitlin says...

      that cake sounds bonkers delicious! whyyyy did i get a carrot cake???

  2. Mags Snow says...

    I loved my Covid birthday. It ended up lasting over a month because each get together could only be me + one or two friends in order to socially distance and celebrate. That meant that the little mini visits and get-togethers spread over four weeks. Felt very lucky and spoiled.

  3. Oneida Christensen says...

    Happy birthday, Kim!

    I am turning 40 this weekend. I have been looking forward to this day since I was…33 haha. For some reason 33 was a big one and 40 was the next one I was excited for. I love being older and wiser. I feel like I have so much more to offer people the more I have learned being on this planet, learning from mistakes and just having perspective. I was SO excited to turn 40.

    My husband’s birthday is the day after mine. We usually just go to lunch and spend time together for our collective birthday because 1) my younger daughter’s birthday is the 21st and we usually have her party a week or two early so it’s not too close to Christmas. 2) I LOVE Christmas and all the little things in it – cookie-baking, advent, looking at lights, etc – but they take up time 3) we are just low-key people. We enjoy each others company and don’t want a big to-do. We don’t really do big vacations or big parties or anything anyway. We like our little life.

    BUT. For my 40th, ladies, I had plannnns. I wanted to take a big trip. In my 30s I finally found the friend group I thought only existed in the cinematic universe. Girlfriends who were fierce about their loyalty but told me the truth when I needed it, whom I could do nothing and everything with, who had the same passions and yet were each unique, who were willing to drive up to my city when I moved away, who didn’t see me as someone to compare themselves to and who knew we were all the better for each other, who were willing to be so so flexible when we had kids and got married just so we could be in each other’s company. We were going to fly to PEI and buy t-shirts with puffed sleeves and have a grand time with our books in hand. I was willing to buy their plane tickets and they were willing to take time off of work AND pay for the vacation just to be together. It was just a dream, I don’t even know if it would’ve happened, but here I am 5 days before my birthday and I know for sure it’s not happening.

    My husband has something planned. It’s a surprise and I know I’m going to love it. I know that afterwards I’m going to think “this was perfect and exactly as it should be.” I’m going to feel so grateful that we are safe, healthy, and still have our incredible jobs, that our kids can go to online school and are loving it. That I have the most amazing family and friends in the world. But for a bit beforehand I’m going to let myself be sad a little.

  4. AndreaJane says...

    I turned 60 on April 1st this year and I just…couldn’t. Normally I love my birthday and celebrate that I am so very blessed to be getting another year older. But with Covid-19 and all the uncertainty and fear those first days brought I just couldn’t celebrate. I feel stuck back in mid-March before everything proverbially hit the fan. So, in my mind, I’m still actually 59 and plan on a major celebration when we can all get together and hug and blow out candles (lord – will we EVER do that again?) and unabashedly enjoy the day. All of us deserve that kind of celebration

  5. Liz says...

    My birthday is this weekend, too, Kim! I’ll be with my parents. I’ve had to be very strict about quarantining because of medical issues, and feel so grateful that I’ve been able be home for most of this with my folks, hunkering down together.

    Wishing you, Kim, and all of us, blessings, love, and hope for the year ahead. xoxo

  6. E.Lorraine says...

    Actually, my 40th birthday is coming up and I’ve been debating what to do given January is typically cold and post-Christmas, the city could be in another shutdown if Anthony Fauci’s predictions are correct. I’ve tossed around: have my friends choreograph a kickline online together, writing a song and hiring someone to perform it, doing a polar bear plunge and drinking hot toddies on the boardwalk after, or running a half marathon through NYC by myself. But I will probably end up drinking champagne on zoom with friends;) Here’s to Mexico in 2022!

  7. Gretch says...

    This year my birthday was horrible. We had been living in Vietnam, but had flights booked to leave the country 3 days after my birthday. Three days before my birthday there had been an outbreak in the city where we lived and they had begin lockdown. They had closed all restaurants two days before, and closed the airport, train station and public beach on my birthday. Plus I woke up puking from stress. I was even afraid to go see friends nearby because no one knew the new rules for the newest round of social isolation.

    • Gretch says...

      And how could I forget – Happiest of Birthdays, Kim. I hope you are with people you love, where you want to be, that everyone is healthy and the food is good.

  8. Alix says...

    I turned 30 in September. I was lucky to be on a very remote beach in Florida with my boyfriend and parents (it also happened to be the beach I grew up going to, so very nostalgic). But it wasn’t what I envisioned for 30. My sweet boo coordinated with all of my friends and family to send handwritten letters (my favorite thing in the whole world!), and to include photos or quotes or funny stories of our years together. He had them send them all to my parents house and they brought them down to the beach, so I had no idea any of this was happening! He and my dad put them all on a beautiful display for me, surrounded by candles, while my mom and I were on a walk. I spent the entire next month opening all of the cards, savoring each one as I went. For me, this was way better for my introverted heart than a Zoom call. I could open them at my own pace and bask in the love over time. It was magical and unexpected and one I will never ever forget.

  9. Brooke says...

    Much joy to you Kim! Raising my glass to you.

    I turned 39 this September and it is already my ritual to spread my celebrations out over the week and I just added {outdoors pandemic} style. The day of, I went on a few hour walk along the river with a very dear friend, we collected beautiful river stones and laughed and talked so deeply and even swam. Also did a little outdoor distance gathering with tiramisu and wine with two other friends. I felt deeply loved and alive.

    I know it’s harder with winter colder weather, but I could do really beautiful ceremony – you could light beautiful beeswax candles, eat super fancy French dessert or a childhood favorite, you could have friends send you poetry or a splurgy wine, and I do highly recommend walking the morning of somewhere beautiful!

    Hope it’s a smashing one. 🥂

  10. Mel says...

    My 30th birthday was just a couple days after George Floyd was murdered down the street from my house. Our city was filled with immense sadness and distress, on top of the pandemic fears. My family gathered to celebrate, but it was hard to celebrate while we–my friends, neighbors, and community– were feeling such immense pain.

    It was a birthday to give me pause–to make me thankful and really think about how short life can be, and to give me perspective about the privilege I have to have not even a doubt in my mind that I’ll live a long and full life. Certainly not a woe is me (and trying not to be the typical “focus on me as a white women and how it made me feel”), but I’m appreciative of this and my family willing to have hard conversations, and hope that it fuels a reminder to me each year to ACT for the future I want to see for my community and world.

  11. Kerri says...

    I celebrated my 30th birthday at my in-law’s beach house with my husband and our almost-1-year old (he turned one 5 days after my birthday- that was a much harder birthday to be okay with not having a big party). It was actually kind of perfect. I was sad not to celebrate with friends and family, but we celebrated just the three of us.

    My sister-in-law and her boyfriend came down for a few days before my birthday and made sure I got a cake. We had cake and toasted a new decade.

    On my actual birthday, my husband, baby, and I spent the morning together, and then my husband drove me to the beach after lunch. He and the baby went home for a nap and I read on the beach for a solid 2 hours. Then I walked the 2.5 miles back to the beach house, took a cool bath, and had delicious take-out from one of the tiny restaurants. It definitely wasn’t what I pictured in January, but it was really wonderful nonetheless.

  12. Lindsey says...

    I am an extrovert, who loves to throw parties. I’d had ideas about what my 30th would look like for at least a year before it happened.
    Not only was it a milestone birthday in lockdown, but it was during the 1 week in June when NYC had a completely unnecessary curfew because of the protests.
    My sweet husband gathered 6 or so friends in prospect park in the late afternoon, and then once it hit 7, everyone had to leave to be home by curfew.
    I think I cried ( like real, heavy cries) 4 times that day.
    Not what I expected. But the next week, I took to the streets and joined in the protests, and am so glad a revolution started.
    Hoping for a big party for 31.

  13. CK says...

    My sweet husband made my birthday (which occurred deep in the middle of Melbourne lockdown) simple & perfect. It was the little things that made it so:
    1) A covert gift mission – a jumper I’d had my eye on for ages that he had procured from a favourite little store of ours (that was shut down at the time) by personally corresponding with the store’s owner over email. She went above & beyond to get it to him (even trying it on & sending a pic to ensure it was the right one) & hand delivering it under the cover of darkness beautifully wrapped. She said she was happy to deliver it as “it gave her an excuse to escape her kids” haha
    2) Remote park hangs with our nieces
    3) Burritos & beers for dinner
    4) Late Night Surprise Birthday Pie…I mean what is better than birthday pie being brought to your door? Answer: Nothing

    All in all it was the lovely birthday & an excellent illustration of what it is like to be loved by someone who gets you :)

    • Kim says...

      Wow this is lovely!

  14. Emily says...

    My birthday was last week. I went…. bra shopping with my best friend (masked, etc, etc). It was actually exactly what I needed- a little break from the work at home / kids schooling at home loop we’ve been stuck in for 9 months. I took care of my girls (dramatically new size after finishing BF my youngest + a few extra COVID lbs) and have been so comfortable ever since. Nothing is worse than a bra that doesn’t fit!

    Winter bdays are hard these days!

  15. Heather says...

    My 40th birthday was in August. My partner had Covid-19 at the time, so we were both quarantined. Two dear coworkers dropped a cake at my doorstep and then ran like hell…haha.

  16. Hannah says...

    My 33rd birthday was in November—I truly don’t remember what food/wine we ordered in (pizza? Meatloaf? Thai? no idea). It was my second birthday as a mom and I sleep poorly next to the baby monitor; what I do remember/appreciate is sleeping in the cool, dark basement guest room, for as late as I could. A “getaway” without the hotel was surprisingly nice!

  17. Nicole says...

    My birthday is on or around Thanksgiving, so it’s always a little weird! This year, though, I turned 40 and felt lucky to just have a mini Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

  18. Wen W. says...

    Happiest of birthdays to you! Despite everything, I hope it’s magical even in the smallest ways. Lots of love!

  19. VP says...

    My past birthday celebrations included gathering friends at an outdoor dance party in Queens or a boat ride on the Hudson River, but for my 36th birthday in August, I hosted a hot sauce tasting party over Zoom! I chose 3 hot sauces of increasing heat and sent them to some friends. We tried them all while I asked the group questions like, “If you had to make out with any Disney character, who would it be?” It was so fun! Then I put a cute dress on and some make-up and my husband and I had socially distanced cocktails at one of our favorite outdoor bars in Brooklyn. It was different and I missed hugging my friends, but it was a great pandemic birthday :)

  20. Eliza says...

    September birthday – First day of class for myself and my kids.
    Birthday high: I got a text from Ashton Kutcher for my birthday! (I assume it was a stock video that gets automatically sent on people’s birthdays to the people who text his public #, but it still really made my day!)
    Birthday low: Had an argument with a vocally anti-mask mom at first day of school drop off exclaiming dramatically to her 8-yr-old daughter “i KNOW, everyone looks SO SCARY in their masks! I don’t blame you for not wanting to go to school!” (I did not argue with her about masks; I argued with her about not loudly creating any more anxiety around an already anxious and unusual day for all the other students). Weird birthday times.

    • Eliza says...

      And also, I have happy birthday wishes for you (Kim!) and anyone else who has a birthday in these weird times. I hope you feel love and warmth and that any weirdness is minimal and short lived.

  21. Janine says...

    I totally get it! My 34th is coming up in January, and I bc was hoping by now I’d be able to have a game night with friends, but, alas.

    I think we’ll get some nice takeout, have a movie night, and practice gratitude that my loved ones are healthy and safe.

  22. Jenna R says...

    My birthday is this weekend too! I had nothing planned, but I ran into a friend a few days ago who is teaching a virtual holiday wreath-making class and invited me as her guest. Combined with a special takeout order, I think it’ll be the perfect 2020 birthday! Hoping all the other December babies find ways to bring joy to their birthdays, too.

  23. Lorraine says...

    My birthday is February 11, so my “pandemic birthday” will actually be in 2021. Wow, will some people have two pandemic birthdays? Sadly, I guess so.
    This year, I had cake with my mom (who I share a birthday with!) and my husband & kids, and also had a series of birthday dinners with various friends the following week. Remember those days? Feb 2021 will look very different.
    Kim, I’m sorry you’re feeling blue about your birthday this year. But I do have to say, 33 is a GREAT age (11 is my lucky number, so I love all its multiples)! And during 33 you’ll get to witness the world re-awaken and change in a phenomenal way. I hope it’s awe-inspiring and that we all get to see a shift towards greater gratitude and kindness. I hope you have the most joyful reunions this coming year. Happy early birthday!

  24. Darby McAsey says...

    My birthday was last weekend and it was perfect. I made my husband do an outdoor scavenger hunt with me that was organized by a local running store. It was incredibly warm and we ran in t-shirts and shorts (unusual at this time of year in my neck of the woods). Because of Covid, they spaced out the participants d had everyone start in 10 min time slots so it was just me and my husband and occasionally we would cross paths with other walkers and runners. In the afternoon I had my hair cut (lucky because we are about to have a shut-down in my area and hair salons will be closed). In the evening, we ordered way too much food from a nearby Indian restaurant for 4 of us. Throughout the weekend I had sweet messages and brief visits from friends and family (always outside and distanced of course). I’m really a homebody and an introvert so a quiet birthday with the people in my bubble was perfect

  25. Jessca says...

    My birthday sucked and I am not over it, even though I haven’t really talked to anyone about it and there’s too much going on for me to realistically expect sympathy for my petty gripes.
    My husband is Not Good at planning events – he has that thing where he assumes people are rejecting us when he hasn’t heard from them, instead of assuming people are busy and bad at getting back to small social invitations. But he wanted me to have a thing, because I put a LOT OF WORK into making sure he had an awesome Covid-times birthday, so he reached out to friends to see if they *might* want to get together want to get together for a socially distanced picnic.
    My two best friends got back to him with polite no’s because one was working and the other was out of town, and most of my just-nice-friends didn’t get back to him right away because there was no definiteness or urgency in his request – as one would expect. But when he told me about it he said, “I’m not sure if I should tell you this, because I don’t want you to feel bad, but I heard from a couple of my friends, but none of your friends got back to me.”
    Of course I felt bad. It wasn’t true (my best friends *did* respond right away) and it was framed in such a “No one really cares about you” way that I started to wonder whether I actually had friends. Covid distance + social anxiety + my husband made things really bad. I contemplated skipping our friend camping trip a week later because clearly people didn’t care about having me around.
    A couple weeks later, he mentioned he finally heard from a couple of my friends and did I still want to do something? I said no, because he hadn’t heard from my best friends. He then told me he had heard from them, right away! I broke out crying and it became clear that he imposed his social anxiety narrative/insecurities on MY friends and, in the process, had made me feel like total crap. By that point it was too late, and I didn’t really trust him to organize anything without making me feel more bad (He is really, really not good at social organizing). So I kinda just skipped it and said, “Hey, we’ll celebrate on the camping trip – all my friends will be there! And it’s an easy place to celebrate with distance! The great outdoors!”
    Then two days before the camping trip, my kid got a fever (Not Covid! Just a restarting preschool kid crud normal situation) and we had to cancel the camping trip until we got a negative Covid test.
    So, basically, it sucked and we never did anything to make up for it and I still feel sad.
    But everyone is alive and healthy and hopefully I make it to 46 without contracting any scary diseases and I can make up for it next year.
    There, now I have it off my chest.
    Can someone please be sympathetic?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Ana D. says...

      That sucks so much. It’s a compound suck, like being stuck out in the cold for an hour and then stubbing your toe when you get inside on the way to find out your heater’s broken. I’m sorry.

    • Allison says...

      I’m sorry it was a rough birthday – that sounds really lonely and hard. Miscommunications like that are so hard, especially when we’re already feeling so anxious. I hope you can find some space to celebrate, and maybe talk with your friends about it, if you feel up for it? Sending you a big hug!

    • S says...

      Hey Jessica – I’m so sorry that all happened in such an unfortunate way! This year (and that situation) sucks! But we have next year, and all the years after, and I hope your best friends REALLY make up for it next year! Happy Birthday anyway!

    • J says...

      Jessca you absolutely have my sympathies !! I’m an extrovert married to an introvert and have learned to take sole responsibility for my social life. May 2021 be as full of fun with your friends as it possibly can be :-)

    • Mei says...

      I’m sorry your birthday was crappy on top of this year being crappy! Being a mom can make it feel like you have to plan everything. I was really disappointed in my husband’s (lack of) planning this past Mother’s Day and we have agreed that I will buy my own gifts (or tell him exactly what I want) and be more clear about my wants re: plans for the day. I’ve been reading more into enneagram and it’s sooo eye-opening with this sort of stuff. Perhaps look into love languages and enneagram types to see if that could help future planning & communication snafus?

    • Sonja says...

      I see you, this sucks, I’m so sorry!

    • Andie says...

      Hi Jessca (no i?), ask and ye shall receive! I totally feel you. My birthday in October also sucked this year, partly because my city was under semi-lockdown due to a recent spike in Covid cases. Authorities still allowed socially distanced indoor dining at restaurants but limited to 2 pax per table/party, so I decided to do the responsible thing and not go out to dinner with my husband and potentially expose us to the virus. I thought I’d just postpone it to when cases eased up a bit but 2 whole months later, the situation still hasn’t improved much, and I didn’t want to put it off any longer or it’d be the new year and making a fuss about my 2020 birthday would become completely meaningless in 2021. What sucked worse was that the other birthday celebration I usually have, with my 2 older sisters, has completely fallen through because they don’t want to cross county lines to celebrate with me for fear of getting slapped with a fine. The thing is the Covid-19 SOP was revised this week to allow for more than 2 pax to dine together, but they still think it’s too risky to eat out. But I know for a fact that one of them recently went out to a belated wedding anniversary dinner with her husband in a different county, so I guess that was somehow not risky?! To say I’m frustrated with them would be an understatement. It seems petty to feel this way with everything that’s going on in the world pandemic-wise, not to mention there’s increasing pressure to not feel this need to celebrate birthdays the older we get, but I love birthdays! Mine, other ppl’s — always have. I hate this implication that the very reasonable desire to be celebrated for one’s birthday is somehow childish or immature. What’s childish about wanting to get together with loved ones for a good time? I’m not even talking about month- or week-long blow out celebrations, just a quiet lunch/dinner or two with the people I love best. I do have other family members (who sometimes buy me a birthday cake but usually don’t), but these 2 sets of ppl are the only ones to reliably celebrate with me annually, or at least they were until recently. Given that it’s not exactly an obligation as such (you can’t exactly compel ppl to celebrate you unless you’re some kind of monarch, right) I can’t exactly hold it against them, but I still can’t help but feel let down by my sisters. At least my husband happily had a lovely lunch with me this week before things got crazy for Christmas (which I set up because he also sucks at organising social events), and I just met up with my BFF for our annual lunch, so that’s something.

      Like you said, hopefully by next year we’ll be able to make up for this year of suckitude, and people will be back in the mood — and have something — to celebrate. You’re not alone.

    • L says...

      That sounds so hard Jessica, it’s such an awful feeling, feeling that people don’t care…even when it is a misunderstanding or miscommunication.
      Sending you a big hug and I hope that with time the sadness lifts. X

    • Christina says...

      Oh, I get it! It is so hard when you feel really sad and disappointed about something and everyone around you thinks it is nothing/childish and to get over it. Feelings don’t work that way!
      I’m so sorry for you!

    • Jenny by the sea says...

      Oh Jessca! Sending so many virtual hugs.

    • GV says...

      Hi Jessca!
      I come offering sympathies…
      Though your comment did make me chuckle – esp the end.
      Belated birthday wishes and I hope you get to have your dream birthday next year!!

    • Carmen says...

      So much sympathy for you! My husband is now trying to organize my 40th birthday and ive tried to make it simple for him because he gets stressed trying to make social plans and then he will be too stressed by the making of the plans to have any fun that day.

    • Yulia says...

      Sending a warm hug, a shared meal, three alternating birthday kisses on your cheeks, a long chat, a message of love—and anything else you might want but can’t have in these socially-distanced times, my COJ friend.

    • Abbie says...

      Jessica my husband is EXTREMELY social and still EXTREMELY bad at planning social events and I so feel your pain friend. What a hard year to have to also feel unloved unintentionally. I’m so sorry :(

    • Angela says...

      Ugh! I will be sympathetic!! That totally sucks. As someone who has had to work through social anxiety and realizing that the no responses and “nos” aren’t personal, I relate to your husband. I do not excuse him, but I relate!!! It sounds like you are loved and valued by your people and I hope you have a chance to see that this year!

    • Suz says...

      I’m sorry – that sounds rough and I’m sorry you were the one who suffered from poor organizing/planning. I had a crappy birthday last year and luckily the pain fades over time!

    • Anne says...

      That sounds hard. I am sorry you had so many bad feelings and complicated emotional terrains to navigate when what you wanted was a chance to celebrate and be happy. You sound like you are doing a good job of seeing the emotional truth of the situation for you, and for your husband. It just sucks to had to do so much mental gymnastics over something that should have been easy and fun. Hang in there, and happy (belated) birthday!

    • Julia says...

      I sympathize! I really struggle with wanting my husband to show up for me in a way that I KNOW deep down doesn’t play to his strengths. I inevitably feel just deeply let down when his plan goes to pieces which is so hard because it’s a mix of sadness and guilt (for having expectations). So hard.

    • Jess*i*ca (whoops!) says...

      Thank you guys SO SO MUCH! I can’t tell you how much it makes me feel better to hear someone say “yeah, that actually sucked!”

      Ana, your toe-stubbing analogy was perfect – just one small bit of suck after another.

      And yes, Andie, my name does have an “i” – I guess I was so rushed to finally share my tale of small-scale woe that I even misspelled my own name! And I’m sorry about your sisters – folks’ safety calculations in all this are so often contradictory and confusing and change day-to-day as we get new and conflicting information on what’s safe. Let’s have a better 2021, eh?

      Thank you all, again. You really made my morning better.

    • Caitlin says...

      Jessica, I FEEL THIS SO HARD!!! Your first sentence is EVERYTHING. That sucks so much! You deserve a party!! My birthday was the worst day ever and I have felt so much guilt around that (and not getting over it like an adult haha). Thank you for validating my feelings. I wish we could get together and celebrate the shit out of each other!! You sound freaking awesome and like a cool person to hang out with!

  26. Michelle says...

    My birthday is in late March. So, this year it was spent with my immediate family, as we all started to quarantine. I am an introvert and not usually one for making my birthday into a big “to-do”. But I had my second child in late 2019 and spent last winter snuggling with a newborn. It was wonderful and lonely at the same time. So, before the world changed, I had been looking forward to a nice dinner with my closest girlfriends. I’m still looking forward to that nice dinner together.

  27. Celeste says...

    Wishing you a great year Kim! I am sooo introverted on my birthday. Cake, a hike, a drink, and a family dinner and I’m golden.

  28. Courtney says...

    I feel you! I turn 40 on Dec 20th. My husband has something secret in the works, but whatever it is, it probably won’t be what I envisioned for my 40th! I’m loving reading what others have done this year to make the day special.

    • Carmen says...

      I’m turning 40 on the 20th too! Im hoping for the weather allows for a bonfire in the backyard, but otherwise cake and a dinner I don’t have to cook are all ive asked for. Happy Birthday!

    • Courtney says...

      Carmen, Happy birthday, birthday twin! I hope you get your fire, dinner, and cake!

  29. Sarah says...

    I always look forward to my birthday and I was worried about my pandemic/quarantine birthday, was I going to just feel bummed out? BUT. It was honestly one of the best birthdays ever. My coworkers bought me a pizza and we ate on the patio at my job. My husband made my favorite pasta dish for dinner, we watched Parasite, and my brother, his kids and wife, and my mom all drove by my house with their cars decorated with balloons, streamers, and drawings. And my mom brought me a cookie cake! Different from all of my other birthdays, but definitely the best.

  30. Em says...

    I turned 27 in October, and I live alone in NYC without a ton of friends, so I celebrated solo. I let myself be sad for a bit, but then spent a lot of time outside, ordered some vegan cake (rainbow sprinkles, of course), played loud music in my apartment, and opened the thoughtful gifts my family sent me (hand-drawn cards! candles!). A lot to be grateful for, and hope next year looks different. <3

  31. Annie says...

    I remember feeling so sad for my friends with birthdays in April, how we had to go all out to make them feel special because they had quarantine birthdays. Then it was sort of cute and comforting and also sad to realize that we will all have pandemic birthdays. By the June birthdays, everyone was too tired to do elaborate zoom parties. On my birthday in August I hung out with my boyfriend and felt the love via text from everyone else. Sort of nice that the pressure was off to plan something or have expectations.

    • Angela says...

      Yes! I have an April birthday and I felt like a celebrity this year(not normally the case, ha!).

  32. Chiara says...

    My birthday is also this weekend! Happy birthday, Kim! My plans: My wife is going to bake cinnamon rolls from scratch for breakfast, and we’re going to have a fire pit and drink *fancy* wine with our pod (her sister, bro-in-law, and our nephew). I’m actually a little relieved! Maybe I’m just searching extra hard for silver linings right now but – birthdays are kind of intense and this year it feels like the pressure’s off to do anything big.

    I hope you enjoy yours and that the next year is easier than the last! :)

    • Chiara says...

      LOL, after I posted that I realized that I’ve already had some practice in changing up “big day” expectations this year (we eloped in our living room instead of having the big national park wedding we planned with friends and family) so I may be in a different place mentally. All that to say – if you feel like saying “screw silver linings” & grieving your normal birthday plans, do that too! Everything is so weird and you’re allowed!!!

  33. Julee says...

    Girlfriend, 33 is SO YOUNG 😊.
    Many happy returns to you!!!

  34. 35 for real!? says...

    My birthday is also this weekend, the 12th, and I would be so happy to know I shared a bday with the incomparable Kim Rhodes! I will turn 35 in my cozy little home with my crazy little family.

  35. K says...

    My birthday hasn’t happened yet (Dec 27), so I’ve had plenty of time to mentally prepare for what it will look like. And actually, it will look like every other birthday: my son and husband will try their best to make my favorite birthday treat (lemon meringue pie with lemons from our backyard), our dogs will demand walks with no regard for the ‘special’ nature of the day, and I will be grateful for another year of such mundane pleasures. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that such delights are nothing to sneeze at.

    • Morgan Mellinger says...

      Love this <3

  36. C says...

    This is such a timely post for me! My birthday is over the holidays and I was planning to spend it at across the country visiting my parents, sister and nieces who I haven’t seen in far too long. I’ve known we would need to cancel this trip for a while, but have been dragging my feet to make the final decision because it makes me sad. The holidays and my birthday will look very different this year. I am now struggling with how to celebrate. It will likely be ordering my favorite chinese food for dinner while hanging out with my husband and three year old. I would love a good glass of wine if I weren’t pregnant, so I will settle for ice cream cake.

  37. Gina says...

    I turned 34 on April 11th and I remember feeling sad that day too but it ended up being great. Since we were a month into quarantine our neighbors had all established driveway happy hours (these have sadly fizzled out!) so we did one that night for my birthday with margaritas and a neighbor made me a chocolate cake. And so many friends sent me gifts/flowers that normally would only text me but I think they all felt bad that I had to have a birthday during quarantine (who knew that basically everyone would also have a quarantine birthday).

  38. Amanda says...

    I turned 35 in January, which feels like an eternity ago now—long before covid hit the US, months before the shut down. It was a handful of friends and I at a bar on a Tuesday night, just hanging out, no masks or having to sit six feet apart. I’m a month out from 36 and I’m already trying to figure out what that’ll look like.

  39. Audrey says...

    I turned 40 last weekend. Honestly it was weird. I’ve been excited to reach this milestone and celebrate and we tried our best to be festive at home but it was underwhelming. I also choose to quit drinking in January which requires finding different ways to celebrate than the booze filled birthdays of yesteryear. The whole
    Combo was very odd. I just tried to remember that no one is ever promised a life that goes a certain way and that ultimately I am very very lucky.

  40. Caitlin says...

    Kim, I really felt this post. I felt guilty this year for being so bummed on my birthday. I turned 30 this year in April! My husband is a nurse in an ICU working solely with covid patients. At 6:30am on my birthday he texted me that he forgot his glasses and couldn’t wear his contacts bc of the risk of touching his eyes (he has to readjust his contacts frequently). I dropped them off at work and then drove 2 hours to meet my parents, who collected 9 N95 masks from their community and basements for him and his unit, as they had run out. We met in a parking lot and sat in our cars next to eachother with tears in our eyes. So much fear and sadness, and 7 months later, still so much fear and sadness. I miss them so much. I got home that night in time for dinner and picked it up at a local place where I got in a fight with another patron who made a racist comment towards an Asian person in line. It was awful. I felt so much guilt about feeling bummed while my amazing husband was (and is) doing the hard work. Kim, be gentle to yourself as the keychain says! Happy, happy birthday! You’re a light in this world! Your post obviously touched me tonight. Thank you.

  41. Jess says...

    I turned 40 the day after Thanksgiving. I’ve never been a big birthday celebrator but last year my husband and I had decided to go to Europe to celebrate my 40th and our 10th wedding anniversary. Well, we’ve been separated for 8 months now and my city renewed its strict lockdown so the staycation some girlfriends had planned was canceled. In the end I spent my 40th alone with my kids. However, we cut down and decorated our Christmas tree and throughout the day various friends and family delivered gifts, cakes, cards, chocolates and flowers and I’ve honestly never felt more loved and cared for on my birthday.

    And for my 41st I’m taking myself to Europe.

    • Lindsay says...

      Lots of love to you, Jess. I am so glad you feel loved amidst all this and that you’ve gathered good people around you. It will be so meaningful when you take yourself to Europe.

  42. Liz says...

    My 34th birthday was in April, so we were still very much locked down! And I was alone in my apartment. I took the day off from working from home and did some dancing around to cheer myself up and enjoyed all the birthday calls and messages I got. In the evening, I had a Zoom birthday dinner with my family and blew out candles on the brownies I made for myself. It was lonely and tough, but I still managed to have some fun! The hardest thing is that now I will probably have a second birthday with COVID restrictions before we can all get vaccinated!

  43. Jen says...

    I turned 50 (!) this summer and had planned a giant party at a penthouse at the Chateau Marmont that I reserved last year. Having to let go of that plan was crushing. I felt I needed it to accept turning 50, plus I was so excited to see ALL my friends. I ended up going away for a few days to a quiet Malibu resort with my husband, which was lovely (but not the same).

  44. Kate says...

    My birthday is in January and my oldest friend and I took off for a long weekend in the keys. It’s been a long time since we were together without family around and it was awesome. Reconnecting with her in a deeper way has had great benefits during lockdown.
    My daughter’s birthday fell on the day of our lockdown. She’s autistic and going out to eat on her day is the most important thing for her. We’d discussed where we were going and what she was going to have. It really broke my heart to tell her we couldn’t go. If we’re still in lockdown in March I’m going to have to come up with something incredible to make up for not going out to eat.

  45. Elise says...

    Aw, that sounds hard. I’ve had a lot of the same feelings about traditions having to be different this year. One thought that has helped me is – perhaps this year is a way to do things a little different, in a way that will still be memorable, not memorable in the sense of “best birthday ever” but more in the sense of “most unique birthday ever.” I have two little kids, so this year my birthday wasn’t too different from another birthday – my five year old was excited to give me a card he made, and my husband made dinner for me. If I were spending my birthday alone, I would have maybe taken the opportunity for a night of radical self-care – something like a long bath/shower (accompanied by a cold beer of course), reading an engrossing book cover to cover, and smelling delightful scents.

  46. I turned 40 in April and for my pandemic birthday my husband and kids gave me a homemade spa with a pot of hot water and beach rocks for my feet, a face mask, a face mask, and cucumber slices for my eyes. And a crown made by my four year old. Little did we know that by the time this is over we will all have a pandemic birthday — I hope everyone gets to make the best of theirs and when it is safe we will all have huge celebrations.

  47. Midge says...

    I almost always buy myself a book and lounge in a bubble bath in the middle of the afternoon while my husband brings me strawberry daiquiris. My kids occasionally pop in to say, “You look so happy!” Then we have meatloaf for dinner (the only day of the year we eat meatloaf), followed by birthday cake and a movie I pick out and make everyone watch with me and they’re not allowed to complain. Then I have meatloaf sandwiches the rest of the week. I know meatloaf is absurd and kids interrupting my reading sounds awful and forcing everyone to watch a movie is tyrannical— but I absolutely love it.

    • jaia says...

      Your birthday sounds magical!

    • Brianna says...

      That sounds divine. You sound like a person who really knows how to cherish the small pleasures in life and like someone I’d be really happy to know in real life! :)

  48. katie s. says...

    I turned 40 in October, and back in February I was visiting my BFF and brainstorming about the great trip we’d plan to celebrate my milestone birthday. Instead we had a pandemic, my husband and I separated a couple months prior, and my mom ordered me a cheese board that the vendor accidentally dropped off a day early and I shared with my dog. (We loved it.) Here’s to 41?!

  49. elaine says...

    My parents have a large backyard, so they set up tables like an al fresco restaurant and ordered all my favorite things from a hole in the wall restaurant I love that is still going strong. I had my own table and they had theirs, and my brother and his family at another table, all of us just shouting at each other as we ate then breaking into laughter at how loud we’re being and then shouting again. It ended up being the same fate for my dad and niece’s birthday parties.

  50. Hannah says...

    I moved to Hawaii a little over two years ago and my first birthday here was super overwhelming and sad. I planned to go home to PA in February for my 30th birthday because I was feeling stressed about planning something here and just wanted to run away and hide. My three sisters also made the trip home. It was the first time my entire family was together in over 2 years. I feel super grateful to have seen them before the craziness that any of us knew would ensue and unknowing of when we can be together in the future.

  51. Laurel says...

    My birthday is December 31st and I am looking forward to saying goodbye and good riddance to 2020!

    A glass of champagne in front of a cozy fire with my husband will suit me just fine.

  52. Von says...

    My birthday is next week and I’m choosing to celebrate my favorite small things–for me, that looks like a chocolate croissant, reading on the beach, fancy sushi take-out for one, and an assortment of my favorite Jeni’s ice creams while watching Pride and Prejudice (2005).

  53. Kina says...

    Haha – I wore a bandage dress just like the blue one in this icon photo (but mine was black). It was a blistery, cold, pre-pandemic day in January but my friend and I (who I share a birthday with) were determined to get dressed up and hit the town…in the middle of winter! We went to a speak-easy in D.C. called the Gibson. Unfortunately, it’s now permanently closed but we had a blast. My friend turned 26 and I turned 27. Next month, I’ll be turning 28 inside my apartment. Maybe I’ll wear the same dress for fun…

  54. Kim Reese says...

    Mine is Saturday! Happy birthday however you celebrate. We are going to try to make pizzas outside in our wood burning pizza oven that was an A+ quarantine purchase (Ooni).

  55. Lucy W says...

    My fiance’s birthday is April 28th (pretty close to the perfect date! https://media.makeameme.org/created/describe-your-perfect-3af025b73e.jpg). He and I took a long bike ride around our city to visit each of our friends in their backyards, and it was so lovely to have more intimate celebrations over the course of the day. We would stay and chat over delicious food and drinks for an hour or two before trundling on to our next rendezvous.

  56. AE says...

    I turned 33 in April and got my birthday idea from a COJ post. I sent my friends an email asking them to share a memory, photo, story, etc about me. It felt weird to do— was I being self- centered in the middle of a pandemic? Did other people have too many things to worry about? But everyone wrote back the most beautiful things about me— and I found out that they all see me differently Than I see myself (many described me as selfless and funny and available and I often feel selfish and serious and withdrawn). I’ve looked through the responses exactly once since pandemic— just to remind myself that a beautiful reality existed at one point and that I am loved even when everyone is so far away (physically/emotionally/ mentally) right now. Highly recommend everyone treat themselves to this!

  57. Molly says...

    Happy birthday Kim!! Hope you feel EXTRA loved. I feel like people were are a little *extra* thoughtful with their calls and texts because its was it feels like it’s all they can do – little do they know it means so much!

    My birthday was towards the beginning of lockdown and I was being really strict (read paranoid) as I was about 4 months pregnant at the time. I lived (and no longer live) in a neighbor communal living set up and so we kind of had that bubble thing going on with them. We were still being strict, even with each other, so my neighbors surprised me with a distanced birthday dinner in our shared backyard! They set up individual tables for each household about 10 feet apart and decorated it like an Italian restaurant with drippy candles and single flower vases and and pizza from our favorite shop. Then we watched lady and the tramp on a projector and danced to “it’s amore” with our different households. It was so surprising and special – I didn’t even miss the wine! They really made the best of it and since then we had all our birthdays and we did something equally distanced and special for each one.

    I have since moved to a new city where I don’t know anyone and obviously hard to make friends now, so I look back on those days (and my birthday) with such warmth. I miss them all so much but thankful we got even closer through it all.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Wow this sounds super fun and amazing. Why did you ever move away?!

  58. Jen says...

    My birthday was back in May and it was just me & my husband… we got lobster rolls in Malibu and had a lunch picnic on the beach… for dinner we picked up take-out from our favorite Italian spot (Osteria La Buca!) and got dressed up, lit candles and opened really good wine- at home!

  59. Sunny says...

    Kim

    I hope that you celebrate yourself every day and that your birthday brings some happy surprises, simple pleasures and moments of joy.

    I had a solo birthday on the 7th. Our bubble shrunk again in early September, and I was sad and depressed thinking about my birthday and Christmas and winter coming while in isolation.
    But I made it through Monday and even though it was really lonely and hard there were moments of joy and also gratitude.
    Thank you for your honesty, Kim, and as Arthur Ashe said “I’ll be cheering for you…”. Please have the happiest birthday possible this weekend.
    Sending you all the blessings and a gentle hug .

  60. Larissa says...

    My 36th birthday was August 15th. Spent at home with my husband and 2 dogs. Two days earlier I found out I was pregnant for the first time after trying for 3 years! So even though we didnt “do” anything it was an unforgettable day!

    • Brianna Glenn says...

      Congratulations!!!!

  61. Christen says...

    My birthday was in February 2020. My best friend and I went to a hip city covered in snow hours away from our tiny mountain town (and our husbands and children.) We took an Uber and went restaurant hopping for tapas and wine, then saw one of our favorite bands at a local venue. We stayed out all night and slept in a luxurious hotel the next day. As we were driving back home she read the news out loud to me about the coronavirus, that things we’re looking pretty serious. Little did we know how bizarre our year was about to be.

  62. Grace says...

    I took the advice of a post Cup of Jo put on Instagram earlier in the pandemic from another reader…
    I emailed the friends I would otherwise be celebrating with in-person, and asked them all to treat themselves to take-out, safely from their own home. We’re always looking for excuses to get take-out, so this was their “reason” to treat themselves, and they were able to support their favorite local restaurant, to boot!

    It went over so well; friends texted pictures of the food they chose.
    I felt so connected with my friends, thanks to a very thoughtful Cup of Jo reader that initially shared this idea!

  63. Carol says...

    My birthday was back in October. I flew out to Ohio to visit my sister. So I was with her family on my birthday. She had texted me before I got there and asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner. Immediately I said I wanted a charcuterie board. It was so fun to put together and do fun to eat.

  64. Meghan says...

    Happy almost birthday! I turned 33 this year too, in August. I spent the day alone. But everyone was so worried I would feel lonely that I received multiple birthday cakes, a box of croissants and more phone calls than ever before! I took a long walk and talked to my sister. Then ordered my favorite taco take-out and watched trashy tv. It ended up feeling much more special than I anticipated. A pleasant surprise!

  65. Brooke says...

    My family organized a surprise birthday parade! I work as an ER nurse and had just gotten off my shift when I got home and my husband suggested we go sit on the front steps (something we never do). I was tired and stressed out from work, worrying about dealing with Covid, but agreed. Several minutes later my family and friends drove by honking with signs hanging on their cars, cheering for me. And then my mom delivered my favorite dinner and dessert. I was so sad that I couldn’t hug my loved ones, but boy did I feel loved! Happy Birthday Kim! I hope your loved ones spoil you rotten :)

  66. Alison says...

    Mine’s coming up later this month! We’re planning on a taco picnic in a park, a tandem bike ride, and a candlelit dinner at home with takeout from my favorite fancy restaurant. Because it’s right after Christmas, I often spend it with my extended family, and it will be weird to be away from them, but I think we’ve figured out how to make it feel appropriately celebratory (it helps that it’s falling on a weekend day this year).

  67. Alexandra says...

    My birthday this year fell on the day the WHO declared covid-19 a global pandemic! Thankfully I got away for one last camping trip with friends to celebrate before quarantine began. It’s hard to believe I’ll likely have *another* covid-style birthday in just a few months…

  68. Jani says...

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer three weeks before my birthday, so the whole vibe could have been low on top of Everything Else that is 2020. But! My husband ordered me a custom Muppet that looked like me! It was so wacky and awesome.

    • Morgan says...

      sending love and hope you’re doing well, Jani! I loved this comment. :)

  69. Betsy says...

    My 31st birthday was in October. I wasn’t able to celebrate with family and friends, BUT the school I teach at had just started teaching in-person. Somehow it got out that I love tea and pickles, so my darling kiddos coordinated and showered me with a total of 13 jars of pickles and 20 boxes of tea. It was a bright spot in a fairly sucky year.

  70. Kathleen says...

    This feels like such kismet – my birthday is coming up next Sunday, and I’m already feeling a little blue about it. It so easy got swept up in holiday celebrations (which was annoying as a kid, hah!), but as an adult I loved how it meant that I was usually with my whole family to celebrate. This year it’ll be me, my husband and our friend (pod life!) and I’m trying to think of something totally different I can do to make it special. Maybe I’ll jump in the ocean!

  71. MW says...

    Well, my mom was dying of cancer and, on my birthday, couldn’t talk and didn’t know it was my birthday. Knowing it was the last birthday of mine she’d be alive for, I tried to take comfort in the fact that she was alive, but it didn’t help much. She died 6 days later.

    • Ana D. says...

      I’m so sorry, MW.

    • Sonja says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love.

    • Eleni says...

      I’m so sorry my dear child.

    • Brianna Glenn says...

      I’m so sorry for your unthinkable loss. Sending a prayer your way.

  72. Laura says...

    My birthday is this weekend too Kim! (I’ll be 35). And wow, I am so delighted and moved to see this post today, as I am really struggling with what to do. It has gotten so much colder these past few days in Brooklyn, which has curbed one of my ideas to go up to check out the Hudson River Skywalk. For one thing now, I will be thinking of you (and Danielle) and toasting to your loveliness! Happy early birthday, Kim! Thank you for shining your light and offering so much to the world.

  73. Emily says...

    My birthday was in January, so I’m in the minority of folks whose birthdays haven’t yet been affected by the pandemic, but I had a three-month-old at the time so it was similarly low key. We ate Indian food and coconut milk fudge and I probably nursed the baby at the dinner table.

    As it turns out, I’m pregnant again and due in April, so we’ll be hiding our newborn from germs well into the summer even if we’re managing to come out of the COVID panic in the spring.

    When all is said and done, I expect I will have spent two years straight living in a reality blurred by the pandemic and pregnancy/parental leave. For now, I’m just trying to soak up all the 14-month old snuggles, embrace having no FOMO and lean into this quiet season of my life, even if it involves a lot fewer ambitions and a lot more Netflix than usual.

  74. Katherine says...

    I actually got to spend it with my sister & brother-in-law! They got laid off from their jobs this year, due to covid, & decided to buy an RV! They are currently touring the U.S. & we happened to be in the same place on my birthday. My sister invited me over to their campground space & made me chili & hotdogs. My brother-in-law had snuck out to the store & got a bottle of wine & cupcakes, I think from a gas station actually, and they got candles & sang me happy birthday & it was honestly, the best way to celebrate my 33rd year of existence! Simple & sweet, and with my fam-bam, nothing sweeter!

  75. Cyd says...

    I spent my birthday on a 28 hour call shift resuscitating newborns. Although COVID in an ICU sucks, I thought it was fun to see all the new babies born that day who also get to have the same birthday!

  76. Jen says...

    My birthday was on Thanksgiving this year. My mom sent me flowers, and most of my friends forgot (I don’t really blame them this year…(. I live alone in a new city, so I ordered some sushi and made a margarita and celebrated by myself!

  77. Kate says...

    May baby here… and I thought I would be FINE! I had a PLAN! Instead I cried all day. At least I was crying into a homemade carrot cake!

  78. Emily says...

    My birthday was the first day of quarantine (mid-March) in our state. We have a picture of me holding a bottle of wine, a birthday cake, and a newspaper with the quarantine announcement. What a year… Our 18-year-old today told me he hopes he gets to tell grandchildren about living through this experience.

  79. Christy says...

    Despite a very low-key celebration, this may have been my favorite birthday because it was my first one as a mom. Sweet baby snuggles and chocolate cake were pretty great.

  80. Arianne says...

    Honestly, this was my favorite birthday ever! I hadn’t realized until this year how pressured I always felt to have one big birthday event… usually at a bar, with all my different pockets of friends and colleagues, which is overwhelming and I feel like I don’t really get a chance to chat with anyone. This year I spread it out, seeing my closest friends safely over the course of a week – a breakfast outside on my birthday, a zoom with my college friends, an evening wine walk with a colleague a few days later. it was so fun to spread it out over a week and feel like I had a perfect excuse not to have a big thing. Obviously I would have loved to NOT be in a pandemic, and it’s such a hard and sad time for so many people that I don’t want to make light of. BUT my September birthday was a little bright spot and has made me so grateful for the people I love in my life, and will change how I plan future festivities :)

  81. laura says...

    so for years I held on to the belief that 33 was going to be the perfect year- young enough to be hip, old enough to be taken seriously, and still be kinda sassy! ok very sassy but in a respectable grown up kinda way!- I graduated from school in my current career that I love at 33, also, I met my husband in a totally unexpected and wonderful way- while my life is not a fairytale by any means- it was a perfect year- which is what I wish for you- unexpected and wonderful wearing your big girl panties that also sparkle!

    • Brianna Glenn says...

      I want to hear the totally unexpected and wonderful way you met your husband!!!

  82. Pau says...

    Happy early birthday Kim!!! I hope you have the best time possible, even if it’s not how you had envisioned it.

    I turned 30 in August and refused to let it go unnoticed. I created a virtual board game with a 90s, 00s and 10s theme. The board was based on the Jumanji one, and filled with iconic things from those decades (Clueless, the Nanny, Beyonce, a CD).

    I invited 16 friends and divided them into four teams. I’m a coder so I created the simplest site with a digital dice, the board and draggable pieces. Each board space had a different task, all based on existing games like scattergories, guess the tune, song association, charades, etc.

    I also decorated my whole apartment and made sure to have a special backdrop for the Zoom (I tested out positions and lighting as well:)

    It was a lot of work but that was part of the celebration for me as well. We had a blast and I’ll always remember my 30th as a very special occasion. The other awesome bonus is that some of my closest friends live far away and can never make it to my face-to-face birthdays, but they were all able to join the Zoom.

    Plus, no clean up afterwards :P Jokes aside, it was one of my favorite birthdays.

  83. Marlena says...

    I turned 30 in July and celebrated in my hometown with my parents and some of my siblings for the first time in years. It was a much quieter birthday than I had planned for 30 (I’d been hoping to travel abroad), but it was a birthday full of lovely cards and flowers and surprises sent from afar. And it ended with my blowing out 27 tapers on the dining table, plus 3 little candles on my slice of cake. I have a video of all of it and whenever I’m having a hard day I look at that video and immediately smile.

  84. Amy says...

    I turned 30 this year, a few months into quarantine. As an introvert, I was secretly happy that there was no pressure to celebrate a milestone birthday with a big celebration and lots of people. My partner decorated our apartment, we got pizza from my favorite place, and watched movies. Not bad at all!

  85. Anna says...

    My birthday is in early January. I remember telling my husband in advance I wanted something ‘low key’ – our lives were so busy then. So we and a few friends went to a comedy club within walking distance. We laughed so hard…as we always do (did) there. The best medicine.

    This year I’m not sure. It’s the first Christmas I’ll ever be away from family (no air travel), and I am generally feeling glum about the next month. Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments and getting inspired!

  86. Man, I hate to be the wet blanket on all this sunshine, but if I had to do it all over again, I would. My birthday fell on Father’s Day this year, and I felt a little robbed, truth be told.

    My husband didn’t plan anything, and we argued over something he said. The weather was cold and dreary (San Francisco summers are terrible that way), and my parents were too focused on celebrating my dad and additionally are not planners, so we didn’t end up doing anything.

    It felt pretty hopeless, and I ended up crying a bunch. After all that, the hubs rallied and found a new ramen spot for takeout and we ended up having the tiramisu birthday cake my mom had dropped off the day prior.

    We all ended up watching “Sing” for the first time, and seeing my toddler daughter dance in front of the TV and asking us to clap in time to the Meena finale of “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” helped right the ship once again.

    Thinking about this memory again reminds me that 2020 was the year that you didn’t always get what you wanted, but you certainly got some things that you needed.

  87. Jenifer Brunner says...

    For my birthday weekend which was the end of October I took a 4-day weekend and spent that Friday visiting Letchworth State Park (the Grand Canyon of the East) and seeing the beautiful fall leaves. I was able to see some of my family and then spent part of day in Buffalo having hot dogs at Ted’s with my boyfriend. All and all low key but nice to spend some time outdoors and with some of my favorite people in the world.

  88. Julie says...

    I turn 38 tomorrow:) I got a chuckle about 33 being an “elegant older lady” year. Happy birthday!!!

    • Agnès says...

      Happy birthday Julie! I’m 10 years older and let me tell you: it is getting better and better (and it’s true, the freedom you gain with the years is amazing, like you don’t care what the rest of the world thinks anymore).

  89. Meg L says...

    My birthday has had a series of bummers and tragedies on or near it for years (2019 – the Notre Dame fire!) so I long ago moved to teeny tiny celebrations. This year we got Chinese to-go which felt doubly special bc it was our first restaurant food of the pandemic!

  90. Erin says...

    My birthday this year involved lots of Zoom well-wishes from coworkers (the actual day was a work day), followed by takeout sushi and an evening of phone calls with people who love me. It was a pretty good day for 2020. Happy birthday, Kim, and many happier returns to you!

  91. Catherine says...

    I was tested for Covid on my birthday last August. This meant that my plans of a nice dinner in a fancy neighbourhood restaurant with my husband and my parents looking after our kids were cancelled. My parents brought us champagne as a consolation. The restaurant where I wanted to go closed the following week.

  92. Lisa says...

    My actual birthday I worked and my husband cooked me dinner and we watched You’ve Got Mail :)

    My “birthday party” was a combo party with my BIL and I somehow got roped into hosting (and cooking) at 7 months pregnant for my husbands side of the family (10 people). I still laugh when I think about this, but at the time I wanted to cry haha I was so exhausted and couldn’t move the next day. PSA don’t ask any pregnant person past 6 months to host anything and especially not their own bday party like what the heck!

  93. Zoe P says...

    I was feeling uninspired for my bday this year (tbh I normally am) until we made plans to spend my birthday weekend at my boyfriend’s parents’ house playing in the pool. We bumped a playlist of 2000’s pop hits, drank tons of watermelon cocktails, and tried to fry an egg on the asphalt (it was 122 degrees that weekend!) The pool really made it feel different and special.

  94. ARC says...

    Well, I had so many plans for my 50th birthday in June – party with my friends in our backyard, and whitewater rafting on the American River with my family. Alas, my poor husband had emergency gallbladder surgery the week prior (on the day after his birthday), so, nothing really happened, I just wanted to cry. We had takeout from a favorite restaurant, and that was it. I felt deflated, and I also felt bad for being unhappy and ungrateful, but our family situation was not great for a variety of reasons at that time. But: I made it to 50 (which was not always a given and many people don’t), so, that had to be sufficient for the time being. I will hopefully be able to celebrate my 51st appropriately.

    • ARC says...

      Last night in bed, I thought about my post and my birthday, and that I barely remember the actual day. I do remember though that I went for a hike with my kids (teenagers), and their gift to me was that they would go willingly and be nice to each other. We had a wonderful day by walking by the ocean with a picnic, followed by ice cream. So it was not all bad.

    • Brianna Glenn says...

      It’s okay to be sad when you don’t feel celebrated and are disappointed! It’s wonderful to be able to look on the grateful side of things but it’s okay to let your self be sad that you didn’t get to celebrate your big birthday the way you wanted. I think that means that next year (please by June…surely?) you get to do it up just as big as you’d originally planned.

  95. Annie Oh says...

    My birthday is in January, so last year’s birthday was relatively normal for me. For my friends that live in my neighborhood, when their birthdays have arrived, I’ve made sure to do drop off a cake with some balloons. It’s not much or the same, but it’s helped maintain a celebratory mood for all of us!

  96. Cory says...

    My birthday is this weekend too! My mom just asked me what I want to do and I was like uhh….

  97. alison says...

    My birthday was on March 3 — My husband and I had big plans to head to LA and Joshua Tree, but with Covid news starting to brew in a big way, we made the heartbreaking (and expensive!) decision to cancel our trip.

    Instead, we asked a big favor of a family friend who had a vacant summer home in northern Wisconsin, and spent a week in the wilderness — complete with dozens of deer who would visit at meal time, board games galore, and little did we know — our last restaurant meals in actual restaurants for the foreseeable future.

    It ended up being an incredible few days and the perfect pre-escape from all the madness that was arriving so quickly. The day we got back turned out to be my last day “in the office” as I’m still working from all these months later.

    While I’d like to be an optimist and say that my 2021 birthday will look different, I’m not sure it will. But, we’ll manage to make the best of it regardless! Turns out, it’s the little things.

  98. Mimi says...

    Happy 33rd! 33 was my favorite year ever! I’d finally started living MY life – the one I longed for, and it was so novel and exciting and exhilarating. My life on my terms. I met my future husband, started my college career and ended up where I am now – this very day – on my 46th birthday living my “dream life.” Life in all of it’s fullness is swirling all around me…in all it’s newness, excitement, hope, sorrow, loss and grief. I find the years get better, richer, more meaningful – and my heart is filled with gratitude and wonder and awe. Thank you for this gift, this realization and perspective in this very moment because I’m not going to lie – this birthday has sucked. All of the fullness of life has also meant feeling incredibly overwhelmed, frustrated and sad…but there are more years and more life and goodness just ahead. Thank you for the reminder. I hope you enjoy your day, and the hope of the future ahead 💛

    • Pau says...

      Happy birthday!!!!!

      This comment filled my heart ❤️ cheers to the wonderful years ahead!

    • Mimi says...

      Thank you 💗

  99. Abbe says...

    Honestly, my quarantine birthday was one of the best I’ve had. It was in May, so I think everyone was still trying extra hard to make it nice. This might not be for everyone, but I made a me-themed Jeopardy game and had my friends play over Zoom, ha! So many people made an extra effort to reach out to me or send gifts. A friend baked me an EPIC chocolate peanut butter cake and I ate a big ol’ piece after my birthday dinner of Julia Turshen’s spaghetti and meatballs and almost passed out. :) I think because it had such low expectations every little thing felt like an extra gift. But also, I am an introvert who frequently over-stresses about throwing birthday parties so it was pretty nice having an excuse not to.

  100. Jennifer Taber VanDerwerken says...

    Happy Birthday, Kim!

    My birthday was in early April when things in Upstate NY were scary and uncertain, and I was both sad and resigned. I thought it would be one of the worst birthdays ever and it ended up being a really beautiful one.

    I felt like people I knew showed up so hard for me—the group of girlfriends who contacted my favorite local small business to arrange for a drop off of little gifts, the proprietor of my local coffee shop who left pastries at my door, the friend who left a single garden daffodil in a vase on my porch, my husband who baked me a complicated Martha Stewart chocolate raspberry cake when he would always just buy a bakery cake, and my parents who stood outside on our lawn with a handmade sign.

    Our numbers got a lot better over the summer and we were able to do small, socially distant, masked, outdoor gatherings for other birthdays in my friend group. My girlfriends will say that they feel bad that I got the shaft since mine was the birthday that happened during true quarantine, and I always say it was one of the best birthdays of my life.

    People reached out of their own experiences of this crazy, traumatic, awful time to show up for me. What people do for others when their own life is hard carries a lot more weight than the grandest gestures when everything is copacetic.

    You know how Kristen Scott Thomas tells Phoebe Waller-Bridge that “people are all we’ve got” in that great episode of “Fleabag”? She’s right. People are all we’ve got and sometimes, with the right people, that feels like having everything.

    I am wishing you a wonderful one.

  101. Mak says...

    I felt more love on my quarantine birthday in April than other years (at that time it felt more novel, I think!). My friends across the country arranged a coffee and pastry delivery, and a surprise Zoom “party” definitely made me feel special.

    I’ll probably have a second quarantine birthday next year, my 30th. TBH I’m bummed about that… but what can ya do!

  102. Beth says...

    My 39th birthday was yesterday and I celebrated it with my husband and 6-week old endlessly crying daughter. I love her to pieces but boy was that a hard day! I’m looking forward to next year’s 40th birthday with her.

  103. Brianna says...

    I’m turning 34 on Saturday and it’ll consist of my mom’s lasagna and Brooklyn 99 reruns with my brothers and sister. (Honestly, probably about what it would have looked like in the first place-ha!)
    For my brother’s 21st birthday in April, I set up my house as a bar crawl for him and 3 other brothers (all staying in one house at the time!)–my kitchen was a tiki bar serving pina coladas, my living room was a western bar serving corona, my patio was a classy rooftop restaurant serving steaks and mojitos, my bathroom was a dive bar serving shots and my room was a club with terrible blue drinks and a rotating disco light I borrowed from a coworker. We ended up mostly hanging out in my living room with the disco light casting colors in the darkness and called it a night before midnight but it was fun to focus on throwing something silly and fun during all the sadness and uncertainty.

    • Pau says...

      OMG the bar crawl sounds amazing, so creative and thoughtful!!!

  104. j says...

    Honestly, this was one of the best birthdays I have had in a long time. My son (12) baked a spectacular cake, we had champagne on the porch (June), and I got to just chill out. Honestly, pretty perfect.

  105. Maria says...

    My birthday last year was very sad: my husband organised a surprise dinner party at a favourite restaurant, friends flew over to join us, and then my grandfather was taken to hospital the day before and was in critical condition, coming to pass away the following week. Adding to it, on my husband’s birthday a month later I may or may not have had a miscarriage. It was a very tender time for us. This year on my birthday we were patiently awaiting the birth of our daughter, who arrived part way between mine and my husband’s birthdays. Lockdown meant grandparents couldn’t join us as planned, and no partying with friends either, but we couldn’t have asked for a more lovely time :)

  106. Julie says...

    My 45th birthday was at the end of March, on the first day of our state’s lockdown. For several months, we had been planning to go to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. We would have gotten takeout from there but the sudden closure of the main arterial in/out of our neighborhood made that nearly impossible (it’s still closed) so we ordered pizza. All was not lost, though, as my two little nephews called to sing “Happy Birthday” to me and I made myself my favorite cake.

  107. Hilary N says...

    My boyfriend and I both turned 30 this a year (a month apart). We were quarantining together so I was very happy we could share that time together.

    We both work in museums, so I created an “exhibition” for him with photos and videos from friends. I created different groupings and gave them exhibition “tombstones” that listed the name of the “artist” etc. I also created an intro text and a thank you walk text with the name of the “funders” and made up names of organizations that lent pieces. My roommates and I posted everything around the living room while he was out.

    My boyfriend spoke to my closest friends and family about submitting a video for my birthday. He edited it and it was the sweetest thing in the world. It made me cry of course. Later that day he and my family also surprised me with a Zoom dance party. My friends submitted songs that have to do with our friendships for the play list. It was amazing! It was so fun to dance after months and months! Plus, my friends in Germany and France were on the call late into the night. It was very special having all my loved ones together.

  108. Tiffany says...

    My 40th birthday is today! I got to take my son to preschool, finish a good book and ended the day with a bottle of very fancy champagne. All in all not a terrible way to spend the start of a new decade. I look forward to being able to plan the trip a few friends and I were planning for our 40ths soon hopefully!

  109. Karin says...

    My birthday this year was the day the governor issued our first stay-at-home order. I was alone because my husband was driving out of state to bring our son home from college (at that point, everything was happening so fast, we were afraid the state borders might close). I called in an order to my favorite burger joint to get takeout for my solo birthday dinner, and as I was driving to get it, the announcement came over the radio that everyone must shelter at home starting at 6 p.m. (it was 5:45)
    I got to the restaurant, which was normally so lively, and it was empty of furniture with the few guests standing around masked in silence waiting for takeout. The feeling of fear was so palpable I almost burst into tears.
    Anyway, at least it was a memorable birthday! I’ve made peace that this year’s birthday will be just with my immediate family, but at least we can plan better how to enjoy it, and we’ll all be together.
    (P.S. the Iraq war was also declared on my birthday…clearly I am some kind of jinx LOL).

  110. Jill says...

    My 33rd birthday is on January 20th, and while I know it won’t be possible to celebrate in any normal way, Joe Biden is the best present I could have hoped for!

  111. Erika Tracy says...

    Happy Birthday to you!
    I hope you have some truly delicious cake.

  112. Colleen S says...

    My birthday was in July, and I think I went to Target before going to get sushi for lunch that I ordered online. I got very full, and enjoyed my lunch. I’m 37, birthdays have just turned into days, so the one thing I look forward to is the lunch or dinner.

  113. Rachel says...

    My 40th birthday was in late March and I had planned a long girls weekend in Sedona. Instead we had a zoom happy hour and a friend dropped off brownies on my porch. I still wore my sequin jumpsuit.

  114. Jill says...

    I believe we can always have a fun birthday! It’s a matter of will, right?
    Mine is dec 17! It’s always fun to have a birthday the week before because most everyone is in the party mood, they’re eating, drinking, spending more money than they probably should, and just generally celebrating.
    This year I’m really happy about where I am in life and it has taken a while to get here. Haha!
    This year, so many are struggling. So, because I don’t know any of you, I can tell you that I’m going to try to spread a little happiness. I’m donating $1,000 to the children of my community through a local church. Now really, I would never tell anyone I know. I just do it. I’m grateful.
    It feels really good, so I hope it does some good as well.
    Anyway, happy birthday to all of you out there!

  115. Kaitlin says...

    As a parent, I loved my child’s birthday this year. There was none of the regular pressure of a million kids, mayhem, and a party place. We gathered her two best friends – neighbours who we had been bubbling with – outside for cake and water balloons. Being only two, there was no throwing them at each other, just dropping them on the ground and watching them splash. Like a lot of other celebrations this year (weddings, baby showers), it made us feel more grateful for our nearest and dearest and allowed us to soak the moment in, instead of playing host.

  116. rv says...

    My birthday was in April – at the height of panic, empty grocery store shelves, hoarding hand sanitizer, trips outside the house limited to walking the dog……it was very sad. I mostly moped around but also felt embarrassed for how miserable I was on my birthday because after all, wasn’t everyone I knew healthy, safe and happy?

    Late in the day, my sister and nieces stopped by and waved from the sidewalk, leaving flowers for me to pick up. I immediately burst into tears upon seeing them – dying to hug my nieces as I usually would have.

    Most celebrations this year have had the mute button on, but I’m hopeful for organized vaccine distribution and a return to a social life in 2021. If anything, this year has been a reminder of what matters most – our interactions and relationships that make us human and feel loved.

  117. Johanna says...

    My birthday okay at the time, and now sad looking back. I turned 30 this year. My husband was at a military training that kept him away from home from January through June. Due to the pandemic, my party consisted of my friend and I lounging in her pool and day-drinking. Again, it was okay but nothing really different than what we do every nice weekend. Then, my husband surprised me with a big group Zoom call of friends and family who all came together to wish me a happy birthday. Nice, right? It was… but then about 6 weeks later, my husband decided that after 7 years of being together (2-ish of being married), he wanted a divorce. So, yeah. My 30th birthday felt a bit like a one-two punch, but I’m planning on a getaway next year to make up for it (if it’s safe to travel then).

  118. Denise says...

    I was lucky. My birthday landed 3 days before quarantine started in my state, so I was able to go to the beach and browse shops and eat out with friends. It was low key & lovely. I cherish it all the more since it was right on the cusp of everything shutting down. And I can hardly believe that was before masks! (was there ever a before-masks?) This next birthday will be a little different but I’m hoping to be lucky again and have things re-opening but we’ll see.

  119. Andrea says...

    My birthday is on Christmas Day. Enough said. LOL

    • Amanda says...

      Me too! Already hard and this year harder. We’re expats in Switzerland and won’t be seeing family. First time for me not to be with them.

  120. Lindsey says...

    My 36th birthday in June was surprisingly sweet. Friends in the neighborhood stopped by in masks and we sat apart outside, with a little wine and a couple of treats, to visit. It was an afternoon of reconnecting. I still can’t wait to actually hug these dear people though!

  121. Andrea says...

    My birthday is on Christmas Day. Enough said. LOL

  122. Kay says...

    I turned 30 at the beginning of the pandemic. I was supposed to travel to meet my husband, but came down with the virus early on, and ended up spending my birthday by myself, really sick, and with the most horrific period cramps to boot (little did I know that I was going to be in the hospital getting oxygen just a few days later).
    It was so ridiculously bad that I decided to skip this birthday, and next year I’ll go all out to make up for it (which may still be a rather subdued celebration..)

  123. Andrea says...

    My birthday is on Christmas Day. Enough said. LOL

  124. RK says...

    My birthday is the fourth of July and I’m a medical student in the US, where most of us were pulled out of clinical rotations in the spring and plopped back into them in the summer. For me, this meant driving across the state to a picturesque town where I knew no one at the beginning of my birthday week. I initially felt a little weird to be extra isolated in a brand new place amidst a pandemic and sad that there wouldn’t be the usual birthday activities with my people to celebrate. However, I got to spend my birthday bringing babies into the world who would share my birthday and celebrating with mothers and families. Amidst a sad and stressful year, it turned out to be one of the most joyful and hopeful birthdays I’ve had!

  125. My birthday this year (March 8) was sandwiched between my grandmothers funeral and burial. It was a strange way to bring in my personal new year but I feel grateful we were able to have a proper funeral for my grandmother before the shutdown and quarantine that started a week later.

  126. RK says...

    My birthday is the fourth of July and I’m a medical student in the US, where most of us were pulled out of clinical rotations in the spring and plopped back into them in the summer. For me, this meant driving across the state to a picturesque town where I knew no one at the beginning of my birthday. I initially felt a little weird to be extra isolated in a brand new place amidst a pandemic and sad that there wouldn’t be the usual birthday activities with my people to celebrate. However, I got to spend my birthday bringing babies into the world who would share my birthday and celebrating with mothers and families. Amidst a sad and stressful year, it turned out to be one of the most joyful and hopeful birthdays I’ve had!

  127. Gill F. says...

    My birthday was at the end of May when NY was still deep in lockdown. I had spent February and early March packed into my friends’ Jersey City apartment celebrating a few different birthdays and I was a bit sad to miss out on all that friend love…but my day was pretty excellent. I’m living with my mom right now so we took our canoe out to a local park and paddled a bit in the sun (best social distancing activity) and then picked up cheese fries from a local vegan deli and ate in an empty park while watching boats float on the hudson. And that evening I made us all (my mom and brother, who lives with us too, and me) homemade gluten free vegan eggplant parm and we ate and played games and opened a few gifts and finished it all off with a homemade berry crisp. It was so simple but so nice…and it reminded me that what really matters this year and every year is slowing down and soaking up those small but precious moments.

  128. Anna says...

    I had my birthday this year in the height of lockdown, when nothing was open except essential services. I live alone, so I had a zoom call with my family where they sang happy birthday to me, and it was noisy and chaotic and perfect – and made me really, really sad. Then I went for a walk, baked myself a tiny, sad birthday cake, and put on my pajamas and ate that cake in bed with a stack of books beside me.
    I just want to say that I’m sorry you can’t have your twinkly lights and tiramisu birthday this year. These little losses are hard, and they are sad. May your birthday bring you joy in a new, different way this year, even if it’s joy brought on by eating cake in your coziest pajamas in bed :)

  129. Jessica says...

    Happy early birthday to you! My birthday is in October. My husband arranged the perfect day celebrating outdoors. We picked up lunch from my favorite deli (Saul’s in Berkeley if you’re located in the Bay Area!) and had a picnic with our son. We met up with friends for an outdoor tasting at a local winery. My friends then had us over for an outdoor sushi dinner they made themselves. It was awesome! My husband’s birthday was yesterday and we’re not able to get together with friends even outside now that California has gone back into a shelter-in-place. I feel badly after he made my birthday so special, so I’ve decided to make a whole week of his favorite things— food, tv shows, walks with our son, etc. It’s been really fun so far!

  130. Agnès says...

    I turned 47 in april, quarantined (in France) and it was so lovely: my 6 y old brought me breakfast in bed, i read all day long and everybody in the house was happy to have a different day. Strangely it is Nice to feel simple love.

  131. Brooklyn Girl says...

    I’m turning 26 on December 30 (which is a weird time for a birthday any year) and would love any ideas for fun, safe ways to celebrate that don’t depend on friends/ loved ones surprising me with things.

  132. Jen says...

    Seriously? My dad was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer fall 2018. He’d done hormone therapy until it quit working, and had had six months of palliative chemo at that point. He called me to wish me a happy birthday and to let me know he had been declared too weak to continue chemo and was being transferred to hospice care. I kid you not. Hands down the worst birthday ever. (My dad was great, but almost certainly not NT by his own admission and this was very on-brand.) He lived another three months. He was in CA with my siblings who both have babies under a year; I’m outside Boston. Needless to say I did not go visit. Wear your damn mask and stay home people.

    (My sister’s birthday is ten days before mine, we are having a massive do-over when we finally see each other again!)

  133. Natalie says...

    I actually enjoyed my quarantine birthday! I turned 27 in July and basically just did whatever I wanted by myself. Keeping in mind local levels of COVID, this may not work for everyone, but I got a special breakfast (to-go), ordered takeout for lunch and dinner (fancier than my normal go-to takeout), and watched my favorite movie that I’ve seen 1000 times.

  134. Tyler says...

    I turned 34 in July and spent it on the Guadalupe River in Texas with just my husband and dog, doing nothing. It was great.

  135. My birthday was a pretty sad one this year too. It was April 6, mid-quarantine and mid-kitchen renovation. We ordered pizza for the first time during the pandemic and attempted to bake a cake in a bread machine.

    It will go down as my only birthday cake that had a crust!

  136. Nicola says...

    I turned 30 this year, and a wonderful friend told me ‘your thirties are a time for becoming friends with yourself and settling in to your own rhythm’. So I took that approach into my lockdown birthday celebrations and decided to take the opportunity to start the new decade in a more contemplative way than I otherwise would.

    I asked a bunch of women I admire to write me the letter they wish they’d received in my thirties and had a great time reading them all, then my husband and I got ‘fancy takeaway’.

    Having said that, plans are in action for a big 21st bash next year!

  137. My birthday was in April so we were knee-deep in quarantine. My husband and 9-year-old son turned our basement/playroom into a dance club complete with disco lights, a makeshift bar, and karaoke. My son made signs for private seating and song requests. We laughed so hard and had a blast. The best part was the app for karaoke was delayed so every song was behind about a half a sentence. Several friends decorated my walkway with chalk messages and left wine, flowers and one friend left a roll of toilet paper – the best gift of all times.

  138. Katie S. says...

    This is incredible!! LOL

  139. Kari says...

    On my birthday in peak spring lockdown, I had to do some business deliveries but my husband tagged along to keep me company, took us through a Dairy Queen drive-thru and surprised me with a birthday candle in my sundae. It was really cute. I also usually like to do a long carb-filled dinner with friends, but this year, that’s all we did!

  140. Katie S. says...

    I actually had one of my best birthdays yet!
    My birthday is November 26th which always butts up to or lands on Thanksgiving day. This means everyone is busy, friends are out of town, and my family is hyper-focused on Thanksgiving activities. I rarely have a cake, party, etc. This year I didn’t go home to see family because of the pandemic and instead I had Thanksgiving with friends in my pod. It was my first birthday with friends in ten plus years! They even put candles in my slice of pie and sang to me. Just recalling this memory is like wrapping a soft blanket around my shoulders, a deep soul smile.

  141. Danielle says...

    I’m also turning 33 this weekend and share a lot of the same feelings you described! We’re all in this together and I will cheers you from afar :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      happy early birthday, Danielle!

    • Kat O says...

      I turned 33 this year too! My birthday’s in July; my husband and I went to a lavender farm, got falafel wraps and ate them in a park, went to an outdoor sculpture park, then made fancy cocktails at home. I rarely celebrate my birthday, though, so this was actually MORE than I usually do in a year.

    • Kristi says...

      I am turning 33 on Tuesday! This will be a weird one but I feel solidarity in that we will ALL have had at least one weird pandemic birthday by the time this is over. Stay strong, stay home and stay safe my friends!

  142. Maggie says...

    My birthday was November 15th. I live in Philadelphia and this year my husband, boys, and I masked up and made our way to … Four Seasons Total Landscaping. ;) It struck the perfect, petty mood this year’s birthday called for and I know the pictures will always remind me of the moments of light we willfully forged in this year’s daunting dark.

    • Liz says...

      How funny!

    • Sadie says...

      lol

    • Mary W says...

      Love it!

    • Corrie says...

      I love this so much! What a hilarious birthday idea! Cheers to you from Oregon.

    • A says...

      You win, Maggie!!

    • that is hilarious!

    • Charlotte K says...

      I wish we were friends! I love this!

    • Kim says...

      Ha ha! I live in the burbs of Philly and Four Seasons Total Landscaping has given me so much joy this year. Happy belated birthday!

    • AT says...

      hahaha i love that

    • Meg L says...

      LOVE this energy xo

    • Sarah says...

      😂 That’s just perfect.

    • Anna says...

      OMG Maggie! YES!

      I laughed harder than I’ve laughed all year at that story. Crazy laughing into tears that I just could not stop. It was just SO GOOD and every new meme just got better and better.

    • Holly says...

      You would be my new best friend if we new each other. That is the funniest thing. I love it.

    • Marybeth says...

      Hahaha, this is amazing. So appropriate for election and covid.

    • AC says...

      Maggie this is hilarious and amazing, I love it so much!!!

    • Alison says...

      Hahahahahahaha. Good choice- not petty at all!

    • Courtney says...

      Hahaha! That is so funny. I bet the pictures are priceless.

    • Rebecca says...

      Hahaha, this is great!

    • Nadine says...

      I wish we could see those pictures!

    • Katie says...

      I love this!

    • Kate says...

      This is the greatest.

    • GV says...

      Could you believe that I was still expecting something different to follow the words “Four Seasons”? Hilarious…. I’m sure those pics would bring you so much joy over the years!! Happy belated birthday, Maggie!

    • ale n. says...

      haaaaaaaaaa! this. is. amazing.

  143. Kelsey says...

    My 30th birthday was at the end of February — right before coronavirus was of real concern in the US. I spent the weekend at a cozy cabin with 12 of my dearest friends. We didn’t know it then, but it was the last time we would be able to hang out before things shut down. I savor the moment that all 12 of us were seated around the dinner table (gasp!), passing food (double gasp!), and sharing drinks (triple gasp!). The love and warmth I felt that weekend helped carry me through the dark months ahead.

    • Megan says...

      I love this, and that you got to experience it!

    • Kara says...

      My birthday was also at the end of February, and two of my fellow mom friends found time to go out to a late dinner with me to celebrate a week late. It was the last social event any of us enjoyed before the SF Bay Area went into our first lockdown, so I look back on it with extra (surreal-feeling) fondness.

    • Caitlin says...

      I also turned 30 at the end of February! And I feel the exact same way about my birthday celebrations! I had a party with 45 friends crammed into my tiny rowhouse and hired a magician. Then the next weekend, my extended family rented a barn in the middle of nowhere and had a Mardi Gras themed party for me complete with a parade around the barn in the freezing cold. My cousin Johnny brought his old trumpet which we all took turns trying to play – the idea of a communal trumpet makes my current quarantined self shudder!

  144. Ashley says...

    My birthday is in July and I live in the bay area so I took an edible and laid out on the beach with a friend who’s in my quar pod. She also picked up this decadent chocolate cake for me so it was such a nice day.

    • KFA says...

      YES That’s what I’m talking about! 😁

      I turned 50 on November 20th and my husband planned a weekend to New Orleans. We ate so much delicious food, chilled at the hotel and went to the National WWII museum. It was the perfect way to start my 50’s.

  145. Nadia says...

    I just had to look back in my phone’s photos to remember what I did for my birthday in August… everything has been a blur! I turned 30 at home with my husband and dog. We got sushi for dinner. Not at all the 30th birthday I was expecting but I ended up finding out I’m pregnant a few days later so probably for the best I wasn’t out drinking!

    • B says...

      Congratulations! ❤️

    • Andrea says...

      Congratulations, Nadia!!
      I also turned 30 at home this year and I was also pregnant! (But 7 months and very aware lol)
      Not the 30th I had in mind either. I think I’ll make a random birthday, like 32, a blowout to make up for it. ;)

  146. Kate says...

    I took Cup of Jo’s advice and hired Jason Suran as entertainment for my quarantined 40th. We had a signature cocktail — a French 75 — and were amazed by his magic. I got to celebrate through Zoom with friends I might not have otherwise been with. And he was such a hit that he’s the holiday party entertainment for many guests’ offices!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, I love that!!! my friend just hired him for her office party!! :)

    • Betsie says...

      I also took the advice and hired him for my husband’s 35th birthday in August! It was so nice to be able to “treat” some friends and family to such a fun Zoom experience. Thank you again for recommending Jason, Joanna!

    • Jan says...

      I did the same! He did a great show for my co-workers last week and I just sent out save the dates for my birthday show in early January. Can’t wait!

    • Hilary says...

      We hired him for an office party as well. Such great advice, and such a fun hour spent with my team!

  147. Sonia says...

    I turned 40 this year and two of my friends and I had planned a week’s vacation in November in Mexico to celebrate. It was hard to watch that slipping away as the year went by- we’ve rescheduled for next year. The actual day in May was special because two other friends collaborated with my husband to have my favorite French bakery treats delivered the morning of my birthday. It was such a happy surprise!

  148. Lindsey says...

    By that definition, I am also an elegant older lady, LOL. Cheers to 33 years!

  149. Nectar says...

    My roommate and I drove out in the early morning and did a long hike in upstate NY. May was a warm month so I was happy to get out of Brooklyn, get fresh air, and walk freely in nature for a few hours.

    Then we got back early afternoon, did a long walk around the neighborhood and then he got us my favorite sushi delivered. Then a few friends ordered a few desserts and got it delivered as a surprise.

    It wasn’t an ideal birthday but my friends had a great way of making me feel special.

  150. Hanna says...

    My birthday is March 14 and this year that was Saturday in the weekend that everyone started quarantine! It was sad and a bit confusing, but my husband and I were able to sneak in birthday dinner at our favorite restaurant. It has since shut it’s doors for good. I’m grateful that we got in one last moment before we quarantined.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so glad for you, too xoxo

    • cherry says...

      my birthday is also march 14th, and i made the (potentially questionable) decision to attend the wedding of one of my oldest friends. march 14th was their 10 year anniversary of the day they met! I felt like i couldn’t miss it. we didn’t yet grasp the seriousness of the situation, but tried to be as careful as we knew to be. i am grateful nothing bad happened as a result and that we got that last celebration in.

    • Another March 14th baby here! What a weird day that was—my family, partner, and I were all out to eat. We sat outside, and I think that was a solid two days before people started disinfecting their groceries. Schools had already been closed “temporarily,” too! Glad to hear the vaccines seem to be coming along well, but I think March 14, 2021 will mark one full year of quarantine and social distancing. One day when I’m old and grey, I’ll be able to tell my grandkids I spent my 25th year of precious life on this earth……on my computer.