My little heart thumps with joy. I just love you so much.

First, the singers:

Mom, your rendition was tasteful and quite lovely, but Katie, I would have preferred something louder and with more off-pitch screeching. Jen, you—after some palpable initial reluctance—pulled off a beautiful answering-machine solo. Sarzee, I purposely let the voicemail pick up so that I could listen over and over to you singing (in a fake eastern-European accent, to boot) in the train station. And Rebecca, your slow, soulful, and brilliantly on-key version quite nearly stole the show, but I expect nothing less: it sounded as though you were stretched over a piano somewhere, your ubiquitous rhinestones shimmering under a pencil spot.

And those who didn’t sing:

Jess takes high honors for sending the first birthday wishes of the day. David, I love you madly for breaking the family tradition of forgetting birthdays. Doron, hearing your voice was the best of surprises! And Carey, another terrific surprise! Keaton bravely left her first Orangette comment just to chime in and then called later, breathless and giddy. And Guillaume, tes très belles photos de l’Islande weren’t solely for me or expressly for my birthday, but they make an exquisite and very timely gift.

The cake is long gone, but there’s plenty of chocolate to be found in the cupboard and elsewhere. The only drawback to celebrating your birthday over two weekends is that by the time the actual (Tues)day rolls around, you find yourself at home and alone, save for a VHS of Annie Hall.

The rains have begun. It’s alright.

Goodnight, dear sweet well-wishers near and far. Thank you.