photo: Shutterstock/Fabiana Ponzi

Can I just say, there’s nothing quite like being child-free, out on the town and spending some quality time with the one you love and yes I’m referring to the bowl of Tikitiki sitting in front of me.

This is not how my 41st birthday started, not by a long shot. Not when the better part of my morning consisted mostly of roller skating on matchbox cars (they seem to be multiplying), arguing with my younger daughter to turn down what I can only describe as “we be in the club, like what” and sticking my head out the kitchen window in a moment of extreme desperation when (bad news on the doorstep) my hair appointment was canceled.

Normally these things don’t bother me and attempting to chop my own hair with a dull pair of kitchen scissors or (in an effort to lighten the unlightenable) pour peroxide over what read Darkest Brown but was really more like Morticia Black would have been merely an inconsequential hiccup in my morning, but today was my birthday, my one day of rest. The day in fact when I was supposed to forget about things like finding better birth control for my son’s Hot Wheel collection or convincing my daughter that there’s something called a noise ordinance. I’m not actually sure if we have this in Wilton — not that it mattered because clearly I “know nothing, have no taste in music and should really um … stop parting my hair on the side … oh, happy birthday by the way.”

Parenting. Always a pleasure. Am I right?

So yeah, I had one wish and no, it wasn’t to see 25 candles on the cake because, all birthday bashing aside, you couldn’t bribe me with enough Tikitiki to go back to my 20s, which I can only describe as the decade of me “finding myself” in a series of one hair color/cut worse than another. I’ve taken the liberty of burning most of these ‘for the love of God, what was I thinking?‘ photos so you’ll just have to trust me when I say I did not look ridiculously ravishing in a ‘shame on me for trying it’ shade of Ronald McDonald.

But today, I was 25 again and not in a good way, like ‘the world’s my oyster and my skin looks like a baby’s ass,’ but in the ‘my life is falling apart because the weather isn’t cooperating with my plans to get a bank job’s worth of balayage and so the whole day was ruined.’

Yes, my friends. It was a full on adult temper tantrum at its finest complete with crying, sobbing, carrying on like there was nothing, I tell you nothing more important than getting this Halloween Helen color off my head.

“It’s going to be okay,” my saint of (an exhausted) husband consoled me.

“Will it?” The raccoon-eyed, snot-covered version of myself replied, followed by much melodramatic monologuing, languishing looks and some serious Kleenex consumption. The whole thing was largely idiotic.

But now, hours, tears and many wasted phone calls to every hairdresser from here to Nova Scotia (or at least Norwalk) later, I’m reminded that even the worst of birthdays can turn into the best of days. How did I achieve this level of unprecedented enlightenment, you ask? Tikitiki, as it turns out, holds many wonders, like hair and Ronald McDonald and I’m 41 now, so clearly I’m the authority on all kinds of things like how to exorcise members of The Addams Family from my head using an odd assortment of pantry items or style my hair with just a shoddy pair of kitchen shears and an even shoddier DIY video.

“Who cares?” I asked my husband, taking another swig of that Tikitiki. “Who cares about hair anyway? I mean, it’s just hair. It’ll grow back. Can I have another of these please?” I motioned to the waiter.

He promptly returned with a fresh bowl of alcohol.

“And seriously,” I continued, “this was just about the nicest birthday. I mean, it turned out to be… not that it started that way… not that… anyway, we don’t need to rehash it. What’s important is that we’re here, together and this is so nice. Just the two of us. Without the kids, relaxing, letting our hair down. I mean, not me… I’m pretty sure there’s still clumps of baking soda in it, but thanks, Jon. Thanks for everything… for putting up with my moods and my… Morticia and all of my melodrama or maybe it’s just drama and I feel like such an idiot that I was crying… and peroxiding, and you’re so nice, sitting here, listening to me go on and on and on like this for so long you literally fell asleep at the table.”

Not really. But he was close.

All in all, turning 41 really does take the cake. Truly, you can’t hold a candle to it.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.