Solo Birthday

2013 September 17
by Grace Boyle

Over the years here at SHBI, I usually post something about my birthday (here in 2011, here in 2012).

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  • It’s largely because I view my birthday as the beginning of the new year. It’s a time to intention set, look back and look forward.

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  • I feel it’s very auspicious and special.

    My mom muses that I have always cried on my birthday since I was a baby. Sometimes it’s tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of frustration, tears of emotion or just tears of fear (AKA when I was 4 and my dad dressed up as a bear and walked up from the basement and we all screamed and ran away crying, wasn’t the best idea pops).

    In 2011, I jokingly tell the story of our new puppy Cerna getting too excited and eating too many scraps that fell on the ground at our party, so he threw up all over my friend’s brand new white shoes (twice).

  • I burst into tears because I was trying to control the situation and ensure everyone was happy instead of just laughing, rubbing the pup’s belly and washing my friends shoes. nike air max 1 ultra moire uomo Because really, shit happens. nike air max 2017 pas cher Looking back, it’s hilarious. It’s good to have perspective.

    This year, on my 27th birthday, I was traveling for business. I was in the Boston area (where The Man is from) so instead of moping he recommended an incredible Cambodian / French fusion restaurant (The Elephant Walk).

    On the night of March 13th, my birthday, I had traveled all day and had a big meeting / training to prep for the next day, but I wasn’t going to stay alone in my hotel room. I wanted to follow through on my plan.

    If I back up a bit, I was going to see one of my closet girlfriends and roommates from college that night, but she had a work event she couldn’t get out of last minute. New Balance 577 damskie I do have a handful of friends / acquaintances in the Boston area, but after my girlfriend that I always see when we’re there couldn’t make it, it sounded silly to start going through the rolodex and asking who could “take me out” for my birthday. When it came down to it, I didn’t “need” that and I had a small window to go out so just decided to keep it simple.

    Dinner was wonderful. I sat at the bar alongside two other travelers, so I wasn’t the only one flying solo. adidas ultra boost uncaged uomo I eat alone a lot. To me, it’s pretty simple and enjoyable. There is something a bit different about your birthday alone, because society thinks it’s something different.

    I was quiet about my birthday that night and even when I was carded for the glass of wine I ordered, the bartender missed it. nike donna One of my dearest friends knew I was solo and a bit nervous about it, so at the end of my meal, out came a piece of cake with a lit candle in it. She called in and surprised me. I was so touched (and totally blushing when my cover was blown).

    Snapping photos of myself alone at the bar.

    Snapping awkward photos of myself alone at the bar.

    It was a quiet evening. I didn’t speak that much. Canotte Chicago Bulls I enjoyed my food and thought about what was next in life.

    At the end of my evening, I even got a manager’s discount because I think they felt bad for me, which made me chuckle.

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  • The staff was kind throughout the evening even after learning it was my birthday and they thought I lived in Waltham and didn’t have friends. I built up quite the tab with two glasses of wine, an appetizer and entree because I wanted to do it up.

    And it was me taking myself out (not expensing it), it was my treat, on me.

    The next night, after the all-day meeting, I drove my rental car to Worcester, to see The Man’s family (and a few friends). We had an incredible home cooked meal and chocolate, peanut butter Reece’s cake The Man’s sister made for me from scratch. I felt so lucky and showered with love.

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    • Brother

      I tend to shed tears when reading this blog…quite often! Today just a watery eye!

    • Grace Boyle

      Aw love you :)

    • NatalieRebecca

      I think at times eating alone is so peaceful and rewarding–I find myself feeling much more grounded than when I first walked in. Also…hilarious that they took pity on you because they thought you didn’t have friends. Awwww.

      Sounds like it’s a start to a very good year. :)

    • Grace Boyle

      It totally is. I do eat alone a good amount which I enjoy (the silence is great!) but it did somehow feel different on a birthday (perhaps also may be like that if you were eating out alone on another holiday) :) Yeah it was pretty funny! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Clare

      Lovely, Grace!

    • Tracy Schwartz

      Sometimes I enjoy a meal by myself. It allows me to clear my head, soak up the surroundings, and enjoy the peace and quiet. Hope you had a wonderful birthday and an even better year! Thank you for writing such an amazing blog!

    • Grace Boyle


    • Grace Boyle

      Thanks so much Tracy :)

    • Francesca

      I know this is a super old post, but I really dislike the expectations that birthdays bring. My boyfriend recently turned 25, and his actual birthday wasn’t amazing. He slept through his alarm, didn’t have time for a shower, missed the train and was late to work, and the guys he had spontaneously asked out for a drink had bailed. This ended up with an hour long conversation to me about him being angry at the world. It didn’t matter that he had a fairly large dinner planned the night after, as well as a wine weekend getaway with close family and friends for the coming weekend. Having a lousy birth day, was too much.

      I know this sounds pathetic, but this is actually one of the reasons I try not to celebrate my birthday these days. I do little things – buy seafood, drink wine with close friends, but I really dislike the expectation that the day brings and the ridiculous disappointment that can happen if it doesn’t meet expectation.

    • Grace Boyle

      I totally feel you. It is hard and there are often SO many expectations that seem unrealistic. It’s like New Years Eve 😉 I have also tried to relish in just enjoying what IS and knowing that it was just how it was supposed to be. Each year is so different anyway!