Happy birthday to my husband, Paul, who turns 33 today. (Yup, born on Pearl Harbor Day. I've frequently wondered whether a couple of generations ago that was the equivalent of having a 9/11 birthday nowadays.)
This is his fifth birthday we've celebrated in New York, and it's interesting to see how things have changed. I don't remember what we did for his first birthday here, but it must have been just the two of us. We'd only been in Brooklyn two months at that point and knew barely a soul. Even the next year, his 30th, we went on our own private birthday pub crawl. We were friendly with people by this point, but not necessarily friends.
Making friends has always been tough for me, and I suspect the same thing of Paul. I have a handful of good friends, mostly from college and the newspaper where I used to work, and it took a while to add any New Yorkers to that list. I considered it a big accomplishment when we could fill our apartment for our first (and now annual) winter party.
Gradually, however, we've picked up friends here and there -- mostly my coworkers and his, friends of friends and Paul's running buddies. Now we have a nice circle that leaves me just as busy as I want -- certainly not out every night (or every week), but with options. And those options include a happy hour drink or even just some witty banter on Twitter.
But back to Paul's birthday. We'll be spending this evening in a way that's completely different than in birthdays past -- cheering Paul's homebrew on to a victory in the finals of the Knights of Bruklyn competition. He won second place in a preliminary competition a couple of months ago and will be duking it out tonight, surrounded by a whole new set of friends.