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Posted on Apr 11, 2012 in Dear Diary | 33 comments

Four and Twenty

It’s my birthday! I am 24 years old today, huzzah! Am I a grown up yet?

I was all set to write this comparative birthday retrospective post, pulling pictures from birthdays past and all that jazz today. As you can probably already tell, that’s not going to happen, haha. Let me instead tell you a story about expectations versus reality. See, my expectation for this morning was that I was going to get prettied up, hop on into work, and enjoy the scenery of scores of Facebook birthday greetings from my cozy desk. But alas, as life is never quite what you thought it would be once you became an adult, the reality of my morning was this instead:


Yes, my car decided to die on me late last night. I called AAA, they got to my house at about 11 PM and jumped my car. When I tried turning it off and back on again, however, my sad little hand-me-down Chrysler gave me zip, zilch, zero. I was told by the AAA guy that I needed a new battery (uh, duh), and he said that AAA could come back out in the morning and replace it for me. Figuring that I would at most be an hour or so late for work if they could come and replace the battery at my house, I gave them a call early this AM. A guy popped over, took a quick look at my decrepit beast of a car and promptly informed me that they “don’t do replacements on this kind of battery.” Now, are you thinking, “Well, why the hell not?” because I sure did! Apparently it’s because for some ridiculous reason, Chrysler decided to tuck the battery in my model of car underneath the actual engine, front of the right-side wheel, so it was essentially inaccessible without taking the wheel off and going at it from the side. Which is how I ended up spending my entire morning in a Sears Auto Shop waiting room, playing Draw Something on my phone and seething.

At least my birthday makeup looks purty?

$220 and 3 hours of PTO later, I’m back on track. After all, it’s barely even noon now, so despite my earlier tears (oh please, as if you’re surprised that there was crying this morning?) I refuse to let this ruin my birthday! IT IS MY BIRTHDAY. Sean’s taking me out for dinner tonight (though he won’t tell me where…), I still have my free birthday Starbucks to cash in, and I had a vending machine Twix for breakfast. All’s well that ends well, right?

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And in an attempt to continue focusing on the positives, let’s look at more of the silver lining from this morning’s experience: I got to spend a lot of time admiring my Gryffindor-inspired manicure, I got to watch two full episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (it’s no SVU, but it wasn’t bad!) in the waiting room, AND one of the mechanics asked me if I was Chinese. Score!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Guess it’s time to go update my age on my “About Me” page, eh? 😉


  1. Happy day!! Enjoy the rest!

  2. Happy Birthday! Your nails do look great!
    If it makes you feel any better, my entire engine died on Monday, and it was 100% my fault, or at least preventable. So, some schadenfreude for your birthday!

  3. Happy birthday! I’m glad your day is picking up after life threw you that curveball! My birthday is the 21st and I’m already trying to bring myself down to not have TOO many expectations 😉 yay for April babies!

  4. Happy Birthday!!

    I used to work at a garage and people would be unimpressed when the cost to change their battery was higher than expected because it was located in the wheel well.
    Mostly it was just Chryslers from the late 90s early 00s.

    • Yup, that’s the one! Good ol’ 2000 Chrysler 300M. Ah well.

  5. Happy Birthday! May the remainder of your birthday trump the beginning of it!

    Man, what timing with your car?! Maybe you should go buy yourself a new one as a birthday present! 🙂 (I actually did that on my 28th bday!)
    Your nails look FAB. And I hope I kept you entertained on Draw Something for at least one round!
    How exciting that Sean is taking you to a mystery location for dinner! Can’t wait to find out where!! 🙂
    Have a great rest of the day- 24 was such a fun age! (I sound like a grandma!)

    • Haha! Maybe by 28 I’ll be able to afford a new car… a girl can dream. 😉

  7. Happy Birthday Gretchen!

  8. AH! We have the same birthday!! Happy happy birthday!!!!

    • Well then happy birthday right back to you!! 😀

  9. Happy Birthday lovely 🙂

  10. Happy birthday, darling girl! Can’t wait for Saturday!

  11. Happy Birthday, I’ll be thinking of all your Harry Potter fun and maybe making some butter beers of my own to celebrate (for you of course) here in MI 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday Gretchen! Sorry to hear your birthday went off to a bad start. This year, mine did as well (tears were also involved).

    Hope that the evening proves better and that you and Sean have a lovely time together!

  13. Happy Happy Happy Birthday! ENJOY your day and this time in your life, it rapidly gets more complicated 😉 XOXO

  14. Happy Birthday Gretchen!!! Yes, I completely understand. I stepped on a roofing nail on my birthday. Which was the cherry on top to the endless dog barking starting at 6am when the roofers arrived. It was a terrible day. But, it happens!!! Hope things go UP from here! 🙂

  15. Happy Birthday to you! I can’t wait to hear all about the HP party! I am so very jealous, and your manicure is A-mazing!

  16. Happy 24th!! I know it was off to a rough start! However enjoy tonight! I am jealous of your birthday despite the expensive battery issue… as tomorrow I am 33… not as exciting as 24!! Plus you are getting a Harry Pottery Party!! ahhh… So jealous!! Enjoy your dinner out with Sean!

  17. Ahhh!!! We have the exact same car. (Well… I think mine is a ’99). Needless to say, my boyfriend was none too pleased when my original battery died in the middle of last winter and he discovered where it was :). Hope the rest of your birthday is fantastic!

  18. Happy Birthday Ms. Gretchen! 🙂

  19. happy birthday to you, love the nails, love that you ate a birthday twix, love that you cried cause i wouldve too!

  20. Sorry I missed your natal day yesterday but was with you in spirit. Love, love, LOVE the nails.

  21. I was so swamped yesterday i didn’t get a chance to comment here- so happy (at this point, belated) birthday! Your nails look great, all’s well that ends well (sort of) with the car and i can’t wait for the par-tay on saturday!


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