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June 01, 2002: The start of the season

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Today was the kick-off to the birthday bash that begins in Richard's family in May and continues on through the very last day of July. There is a smaller birthday festival that occurs in December, but the bulk of the celebrations all occur in June. If my birthday had not happened to fall within one of the designated birthday festivals, there would have been grave concern over whether Richard really ought to marry me. Luckily, I am exactly five days younger than Richard's oldest sister, which makes us almost twins in that whole weird in-law but not blood relation way, so I get to be one of the first three for the birthday bash. Amusingly enough, she and I are almost-twins by virtue of our birth dates, while my older sister and I were almost-twins by virtue of the fact that apparently everyone else was convinced we looked exactly alike. We still get asked, every once in a long while and only by people who don't know us very well, if we were supposed to be twins. I'm not sure what that means - supposed to be twins - unless they figured maybe one of us just didn't feel like coming out and thought it'd be lovely to make my mom stay pregnant an extra year, or whether being twins was something one might actually *try* to do. Many is the time I've been stopped on the street by someone who thinks that I'm my sister, such that when someone comes up and is sure they know me, I always have to make sure it's really me they think they know.

But I digress. The point of the story here is that the three of us have birthdays all within the space of about two weeks, so we had a combined birthday party today. The three of us perched in a line on the couch, wearing our Birthday Girl tiaras, and opened our presents one by one. There was a plethora of cat-themed cards, for some odd reason. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my almost-twin has three cats (one of whom is a kitten who somehow got crossed with a tornado), my aunt-in-law has four, I have seven, and whenever we three get together we always end up babbling happily about our pets.

There was barbequed chicken and potato salad and other marvelous food, and there were two different kinds of cake because while my sister and aunt-in-law both prefer angel food cake with strawberries (shudder), my berry revulsion is well known to all and sundry so it became the perfect excuse to make the Accident Cake again. The Accident Cake actually occurred for the first time during the Christmas holidays, when Richard's mom and younger sister were making peppermint fudge and did something wonky with the recipe so that it wasn't quite thick enough to classify as fudge. Richard's mom was all set to dump the not-quite-fudge, but Richard's sister, being a resourceful girl, suggested that it merely needed a chocolate cake underneath it to transform it from failed fudge to peppermint icing. The two of them then gleefully relayed tales of this marvelous concoction to me over instant messenger while they indulged, and there were rumors that it would be duplicated when we came down for Christmas Eve, but that was not to be. So the birthday bash was the perfect excuse to do the Accident Cake again, and it was incredible. Peppermint fudge frosting loaded with chunks of peppermint, covering a dark chocolate cake loaded with hunks of bittersweet chocolate. I have now decided that I need to have more birthdays per year. Or at least more excuses to have that cake.

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