I’ve been saving my Creamy Potato Soup for a long time. I got the packet of soup mix as part of my eFoodsDirect starter kit, and of all the things in the pack, that was what made me most excited. When I discovered that it was part of the pack, I allowed myself a fist pump.
Creamy potato soup is a comforting indulgence for me. It reminds me of a time I took a risk and went against tradition, and had it actually pay off. My parents and I went out to Black Angus Steakhouse for Thanksgiving dinner one year when we were out of town for some reason. Call me crazy, but that year I was sick to death of Turkey, stuffing, and the like. So, while my parents ordered the special Thanksgiving platter, I ordered creamy potato soup and filet mignon. That soup was the best thing I had ever tasted. Creamy, savory, velvety, and a taste I would later learn had the name umami. The filet mignon was pretty decent too.
So I told myself I’d save that packet of soup for a day when I really needed it. I think that day has come at last.
My birthday: Wednesday, September 26th, I turn 21 years old. I will be spending that day alone. No party, no rite to mark that I have come of age.
My two dearest friends in Provo, where I live and study, are fighting. Like most fights between girls, it is both monstrously silly and deadly serious. And I’m tired of it—I find their mutual refusal to initiate reconciliation just plain stupid. And it means that I can’t spend my birthday with either of them.
Everyone else is out of town. And I can’t go out on my own because every restaurant has delicious memories of happier times with both of them—the time Cherie took me for fro-yo when I didn’t get into an internship and was crushed, our first time together at J-Dawgs, that time when Hailey filmed us as we shoved ice cream cones in our mouths and laughed at each other. Once upon another time.
It’s going to be a Creamy Potato Soup kind of day on Wednesday. It’s been a Creamy Potato Soup kind of month.
I haven’t even done it yet, but what’s my analysis so far? Turning 21 is frightening and mildly unpleasant.
All week, I was wondering why I was so scared. I would sit on my bed wondering where my life was going, if anywhere, and if I was taking my life in the right direction. No career path I could think of seemed right and everything about my life except my faith seemed like a wrong choice. I felt like I was needlessly freaking out but I couldn’t stop it. So I asked some friends in a forum what they thought.
Apparently, I am experiencing a documented psychological phenomenon called a quarter-life crisis. My friend Sarah, an Avis DeVoto to my Julia Child (who I am in my mind, on good days) said she’s actually read the research. She and our other group members were quick to assure me that I am not some over-emotional freak about this.
It was then I realized how not alone I am. I have the love and support of so many people, even if they can’t be here! My friends in the forum, my friends at other schools, and most importantly, my family—they all still care and would be here to celebrate in spirit.
I have also realized that this means I have my birthday entirely to myself and nobody can tell me what to do.
Therefore, on my birthday, I am going to Barnes & Noble and the mall. I shall then proceed home and do crafty projects (including a birthday present for a friend), paint my nails, pamper the crap out of myself, and create new outfits with my birthday presents.
When this is all done, I shall sit down on my bed, watch BBC’s interpretation of Shakespeare with my favorite piece of English Man-Toffee in the lead role, and eat a steaming bowl of Creamy Potato Soup.
I’ll enjoy myself. And nobody can tell me not to do so.