Today and every day I'm thankful for the really lovely time I had on my 21st birthday, 11 years ago yesterday.
I turned in my honors thesis that morning, and I felt like in an enormous weight had been lifted from me. (In hindsight, this was probably a sign that I was not going to enjoy grad school.) To celebrate, I bought myself a copy of a Piled Higher and Deeper anthology from the Seminary Co-op, and read it over Thai coffee at the Social Sciences coffee shop. After Greek class, I went to get a haircut at the Reynolds Club. I knew my friend Suzanne looked up to me, but I hadn't appreciated quite how much until she decided to tag along with me to my haircut and sat with me during the whole thing so that we wouldn't have to end our conversation. She was telling me about the difference between Virgil and Homer: Homer (as we both knew well) has difficult vocabulary but simple grammar; whereas Virgil, apparently, has simple vocabulary but complicated grammar.
I went out to dinner that evening in a hip neighborhood I had never been to before with, among others, Annie Roberts, Teresa, Matt, Logan Bee, Justine, and Nick Reich. Nick told me his younger brother's birthday was on April 26, 1986, Chernobyl Day. I ordered a glass of sangria with dinner, and while the server did card me, she did not comment on the fact that it was my 21st birthday. Ron and Carolyn weren't able to come to dinner, but they did sign the birthday card, and it meant so much to me that people thought enough of me to do that.
I still have the shirt that I wore that day, and every time I look at it, I think of that day, what a nice day it was, and how touched I felt that people took the time to spend time with me. It's a memory I'm always going to treasure, and I am thankful.