All I Want for My Birthday Is…

by | Aug 30, 2014 | Europe | 2 comments

I’m not gonna talk about my birthday like it’s some big deal – it’s not. And the truth is, I spent most of the day in this bathroom trying to go Number Two (it was Day 4, and things were getting serious).

So it didn’t really feel like much of a birthday, to be honest.

But I did have a lovely dinner with some lovely people from my hostel:

That’s Denielle, the delightfully chatty Canadian law student; and Brendan, the quiet, bearded, roving optometrist from Melbourne, who’s newly in love with an English girl; and Oh-Shit-I-Forgot-His-Name-Even-Though-He-Was-Awesome, the Frankfurtian software auditor who also takes pretty pictures with an impressive-looking camera. (It even had one of THESE on it.)

Here’s how the evening went:

The four of us roamed around Rome (I was in Rome, btw) looking for a place that serves salad (for the pooping, remember). This is harder than you might think, because IT’S ITALY, Y’ALL and all they eat there is pasta and cheese and wine, which would normally be heaven, but for me it totally sucked because I couldn’t eat any of it, cuz my goddamned fucking bowels were being an asshole (heh).

Passed by Trevi Fountain, which was under construction and looked like this.

(Pretty fucking lame, Rome.)

We find a place, and sit and order food and get chatty. I drink some wine, bowels be damned, and we toast to my old age.

Denielle reads our horoscopes, because that shit is always fun, no matter what.

Here’s mine, in case you’d like to read about my “emotional detachment” and “prudish sexual preferences”:

After learning all these super accurate details about one another, we realize we don’t know each other’s names, which strikes me as hilarious, and in a small way, I think, I actually don’t want to know their names, because it’s kinda fun just to know someone for a few hours and not know anything concrete about them other than how they are on that specific day for those few hours. But I ask anyways because THAT’S POLITE and I’M POLITE and not at all “cold” or “living in my own mind” or too busy “keeping the world in order” to care about small things like peoples’ names.

So I learn all their names and promptly forget the one, and we all eat our meals. I don’t complain that they’re eating homemade pasta and I’m eating a bowl of leaves with no dressing*. I feel like it’s important to point this out, and I hope you’ll remember my grace in this particular moment the next time you think I have a “negative outlook when a situation doesn’t go my way.”

* This is kind of a lie – they gave me oil and vinegar. But I had to put it on myself which made me grumpy because I suck at doing that – always too much or too little of one of the two, am I right? PUT THE DRESSING ON FOR ME, IT’S MY DAMN BIRTHDAY. ALSO WHERE’S THE RANCH**???

** Okay, I haven’t eaten Ranch dressing on a salad in years, but I wanted to throw in a subtle shout-out to my Texas peeps. Hey y’all.

I take a picture of everyone to commemorate their involvement in my mid-life crisis (if I haven’t shared this with you yet, I’m pretty sure this trip is some version of a mid-life crisis), which prompts Oh-Shit-I-Forgot-His-Name – who likes cameras, remember – to look at MY fancy camera and then give me a bunch of shit about the ISO setting, whatever that is. And then I punched him in the face* because it was my birthday and no one gets to give me shit about anything on my birthday.

*For the record, I don’t believe this is evidence that I have “an unpredictable and sometimes unstable temperment.” Also I didn’t really punch him in the face. 

We pay for our meals (or more accurately, Denielle pays for mine, because she’s “generous” and “cares about people”) and walk back to the hostel, passing this old thing…

…and some other stuff that I probably should have taken pictures of, but I didn’t, cuz all I could think of was getting back to the hostel to try and poo again.

And that was my birthday, and that was Rome, and I’m much, much happier now for a number of reasons I won’t recount in detail here (you’re welcome).


I want to officially apologize for all the poop talk. I know it’s gross and you probably don’t want to hear about it because you previously thought I was so cool and sophisticated and attractive that I didn’t poop at all. But I’m COMMITTED TO ACCURACY, you guys, and this is what’s happening here, so it’s what you’re getting. 

If you’d like to send me your poop stories, I’ll happily read them, and then we’ll be even. 🙂


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A thousand puppies will live forever if you share this post, I totally swear.

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  1. Kimberly Claus

    Your group of new “few hours” friends is adorable!
    Glad you had cool people to spend your birthday with 😉

  2. Sarah Duncan

    I have so many poop stories, Kelly — I have IBS. I’m not sure you really want to swap with me…

    ALSO HAPPY FLIPPING BIRTHDAY. I leave in two days and haven’t packed yet. Wish me luck (and regular bowels, because I can guarantee you I will be in your same boat, but for like five or six or seven days. IBS!)



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