A Real Champagne Birthday

I think it’s probably about time to share the rest of my Champagne Birthday story. For the first half of the day, you’ll want to start with my previous blog titled The Legend of Pol Roger. You can skip down to the July 29th heading, but it really makes more sense with the full context of the entire post.

July 30th: An Unwelcome Visit

It was sometime in the early afternoon when my mom and sister arrived at my gate. I had heard the car door close and had a feeling before they even knocked that it was them.

I’ll reiterate from part 1 of this story, I had specifically requested I be left alone on my birthday this particular year: 2020.

The reason I said that was I was really working hard on my Crooked Forest project and trying to keep my head straight while I came up with my life-plan going forward from there.

At this point I had already told my ex I wanted a divorce and was firm about it. Our last conversation about it happened during a Blue Jays game that we watched from home awkwardly; I stopped watching baseball after this.

A couple weeks before my birthday, after I had already told people I was getting divorce, people started saying strange things to me and I’ll lay out a couple examples for you here:

For one, I had reached out to my ex’s brother, his wife, and their mom and dad.

I didn’t have a great relationship with his mother so that one was particularly challenging, and I didn’t speak to his father directly as a result, she passed along the highlights of the conversation (I assume).

The First Call

The first person I called was his brother Ryan so I’ll start there; on that day I spoke to both Ryan and Melissa over the phone. I don’t recall the exact date.

I called after texting them to let them know I had made that decision and that the divorce was, for lack of a better word, imminent.

But the bigger reason I was calling them was because I was once again very concerned about Matt’s drinking.

I’ve mentioned it before but a catalyst to this divorce was Matt’s DUI in February 2020. This conversation took place in either late June or July.

At this stage in our relationship, despite saying that he had cut down on drinking and was going to work on cutting down on smoking, too (but vaping is so expensive, dude), I knew that I had done all I could to support him and I now needed people to support me; it turns out, I am still the only person who supports me.

When I spoke to Ryan I explained to him that every day when Matt gets home from work, he drinks. At this point he had a wheel-lock on with a breathalyzer, court-mandated. When Matt explained this device to me he kept saying how they’re not always accurate and as a result there had been a few mornings where he had missed work because he couldn’t get the machine to release his wheel. Maybe they’re not accurate, or maybe someone had been drinking too much.

I’ll also note, I was so put off by this device, and especially due to COVID, that I never drove his car and frankly would’ve flat out refused if he ever asked me to give him a lift. I didn’t want to breath in the same fluids as he was into the plastic straw. Besides, I’m a walker and I don’t mind it, it’s how I exercise; I barely drove his car even before the DUI.

Ryan had also previously been a big drinker; it runs in their family. When he met Melissa, her ultimatum at the start of the relationship was that he needed to be sober for 1 year and then they could get married and have a kid; she was a little older than him and was eager to start a family.

A fine way to start a relationship… I digress.

Nonetheless Ryan complied, I think he knew he needed to do it for himself, too. And so he did, and they got married 1 year before us in September 2017 (after asking Matt if he minded if they pushed their wedding ahead of ours, already scheduled for the following June; no problem, we said).

When I spoke to Ryan and Melissa they reiterated that they were there for me and Matt, but ultimately the point was I wanted Ryan to talk to Matt. I knew the divorce would be harder on him than me, and again, I had personally already cut the alcohol and was feeling confident about my sobriety.

Melissa said something to me on the phone that day that was mildly disturbing. “Do you think he’d try to hurt you?”

What?

My ex was a lot of things but a violent person was the furthest thing he was. Frankly, too drunk and tired to ever lift a finger to clean or cook, never mind hit a woman.

But I thought about the stats I’d read about domestic abuse; this type of situation is exactly the type that can very quickly escalate and be very dangerous for a woman.

She asked me if I had somewhere to stay.

Again, what?

She told me it might be smart to have a bag packed, just in case.

What the hell was I missing here about the man I had been with for at this point 4 years?

I thanked them for their time and got off the phone to prepare for my next call; I trusted that Ryan would call Matt promptly. He waited, but not too long. I know this because at some point I had asked him if he heard from his older brother and he hadn’t yet.

I decided to wait to make my phone call to Barb, Matt’s mother. She never particularly liked me, nor I her, and I was about to tell her that her son was such a drunk that I was divorcing him after a very short amount of time, after a way too expensive wedding (not that they helped that much with it, but anyways).

The thing that worried me most about Matt at this time was the amount of time he was spending alone in the garage, on his phone and with a beer in hand, but regularly lying to me about it and trying to hide it whenever I’d “spontaneously” walk in.

I tried to talk to him several times and reassure him; it’s not that I don’t care about you, but I think you need to see a professional and I’m not it.

His response was often some form of blame onto me, or victimizing himself.

Manipulation. Typical of an addict.

“You said I was doing better. You said we were working things out. I’ve been toning down. I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

He wasn’t.

“I’ve been helping out more around the house.”

He wasn’t.

I can put up with a lot of bullshit but I can’t stand being lied to to my face. Besides, I had lost all trust in him at this point and that’s almost impossible to rectify with me after years of similar behaviour.

I found myself thinking about the fact that there were power tools in the garage. I started having awful thoughts that he’d try to commit suicide in the garage and I’d find him in there.

I told him this one day, sometime after the phone call with his mother. “I thought you were suicidal.” He broke down. I still think he might’ve been.

And I found myself thinking a lot about that statistic and how dangerous it is for women to leave an unstable man.

At some point I took a couple days and took Dakota to my parents house to clear my head; it didn’t help.

On the evening I arrived I was restless; I really don’t like being at my parents house for several other reasons. My mom could tell I was having trouble settling down.

“What is it your so worried about?”

I hesitated.

“Are you worried about him because you shouldn’t be.”

I was.

Despite everything, despite all the careful consideration I had given the years leading up to this point and the realization that he had always been this person, this manipulator, this addict, this person who was no good for me and in no way could he ever have truly loved me the way he claimed, I still cared. I still care today.

I was worried he was by himself and might do something to hurt himself. And I wouldn’t be there to help. I had abandoned someone I cared very much about in one of their worst times; I felt like an asshole. What kind of person leaves someone like that? Someone they’re worried might kill themselves?

I didn’t sleep well.

I only stayed 2 or 3 days at my parents house, to my best recollection. I needed to get back; I had to work, too, and all my stuff was at the house. I didn’t take any time off during this so I know that I must’ve went to my parents on Friday and was back before my 7AM remote-shift.

Plus I wanted to give him the opportunity to spend some time with Dakota before we both left for good, not that he was ever a great dog-owner, but Dakota is great at cheering people up.

The Next Phone Call

One afternoon I bit the bullet and called Barb. I said something to the effect of, “I’m sure you’ve already heard about this but I’ve decided to divorce Matt.”

She proceeded to spend the next 30-45 minutes trying to convince me not to. Bizarre.

I almost couldn’t believe all the things she was saying to me.

“Give him another chance to try.” “It starts with little things, like asking him to help out more with dinner.” I had tried all these tactics for years and didn’t appreciate the tone. “You just got married.” Shouldn’t have, but yeah, I know. And then the big kicker:

“You know, soon Ian and I are going to die and Matt will be left with a lot of money.”

Wow.

I’ve struggled financially for years but I had always been the one who took care of almost all the bills in our relationship. When Matt was out of work and too lazy to look for jobs, or too picky about the options, I picked up second jobs. At one point I was working full-time at OsgoodePD Monday-Friday, then working at a local JJ Bean Coffee Shop on Saturdays and Sundays (always both days), while also playing bass for Chasing Jane and we practiced every Wednesday night on the other end of Toronto. When I had the time in between all that, I was also freelance writing, contracting jobs off of Upwork, or working on my independent businesses like Live Like Wolves, an apparel & goods company for wolf and wildlife awareness.

I may have trouble with money, but I am sure as fuck not lazy. The winter before we got divorced was another time I picked up more work, doing remote-overnight customer service for Mixtiles over the Christmas holidays. OsgoodePD knew about this one, but not the others; I’m not someone who likes to have to explain why I need to pick up more work like this, especially when I was married to an able-bodied working man who simply wouldn’t help me.

Beyond that, what kind of person, after hearing that a young woman feels unsafe with their son to the point of getting a rather abrupt divorce, basically tries to bribe them into staying with their own inheritance?

This woman made me feel physically ill in this moment. I don’t normally jump off the phone and into another call but I immediately had to call my parents; these people were fucked up and I no longer trusted Ryan, either. Honestly I wasn’t sure who I could lean on at all.

The Weeks Leading Up To My Birthday

My parents were obviously growing concerned with my situation. Everyone seemed to be concerned I was still living in the same house as him, but if not for all their commentary I would’ve felt fine. And I did most days, because he worked so late and then kept to himself in the garage, we barely saw each other or spoke. I’d go to bed early and he’d sleep on the couch.

It reminded me of growing up in my own house, because around the time I was 12-13 years old, my dad spent a lot of nights on the family room couch, too.

I hated seeing it, and reliving it felt worse. I’d often tell Matt we could trade places, he could have the bed tonight and I’d take the couch. He always declined and for good reason, it was hot as hell upstairs that summer and he worked outdoors in the sun all day. No problem, you take the couch then.

At some point I did have a bag packed, just in case. Started thinking about how I’d need to leave, and if it was best to do it when he went to work. I figured that was safest for any woman. But again, I wasn’t really concerned about him hurting me, but I was growing more and more uncomfortable with our living situation, and the things people would say to me weren’t helping.

About two weeks before my birthday I had an unusual experience.

Allergies, or Trauma?

I was singing along to my favourite songs and working on an old Disney puzzle I had comandered from my parents house on my previous visit. It was missing a couple pieces as it turned out, but that doesn’t ruin the puzzle for me.

As I was singing along to a Jimmy Eat World song, specifically the lyric, “sing now while you can,” I started to feel… off.

The best way I can describe it is that I started to feel anxious, and I started to feel a little dehyrated and as though I was having trouble keeping up with the words. I had water on hand, and pressed on with my puzzle, but I was definitely feeling anxious.

The next song that came on was “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan. As I sang along to that one, I realized something was terrible wrong. My tongue had swollen up quickly and I was definitely having trouble speaking, never mind singing along. I went to the mirror to check out the situation: yellow tongue, very fuzzy, definitely swollen.

What the hell was this?

I freaked out. I’d never experienced anything like this before.

I called my mom. “I think I’m having an allergic reaction. I think I need to go to the hospital.”

She tried to calm me down. “It’s okay, do you have allergy medicine on hand?” I didn’t. “Go to shoppers and get some Benadryl, the liquid kind will work faster than the pill.”

I was freaking out. Would I make it to Shoppers before my throat closed? It was only a couple blocks away.

Okay Jaimee, you’ve got this, don’t worry. Walk fast.

I got to Shoppers and could still speak, although a little poorly. I went to the prescription counter and explained, in case something happened I needed to make sure some sort of medical professional knew what was going on and I was too nervous to sift through the aisles initially. They told me where to find it, I felt a little better being around people in the store.

I located the Benadryl, bought it, and took a swig as soon as I got out of the store as I made my way back home. I took another swig halfway back (small swigs).

The swelling went down. I could speak a little better again.

I checked myself out in the mirror again when I got home. Still dehyrated, my gums were basically white, and my tongue was fuzzy and yellow, still. And what was that at the back of my tongue? Sores. Two of them.

What the fuck?

I googled the symptoms. This was either an allergic reaction or a traumatic event according to WebMD (they listed tongue sores as a symptom of trauma).

Earlier in the day I’d also experienced some dizzy spells, but given how poor the A/C was in my house then and how much time I’d been spending on the back deck in the sun, I assumed that was just normal dehydration. I’d have to watch my intake, for sure.

I called my mom back and explained what happened since we last spoke. “So you’re okay now?” she asked. “I guess.”

She could probably tell I was still nervous; I’m not normally someone who gets sick and this was seriously a weird thing for me. I thought about what I’d eaten that day, just a mixed-fruit smoothie made only with water, something I used to drink often but in the months leading up to this had toned down significantly as I went back onto the Ketogenic diet and fruit has too much sugar for it to work properly.

I know that allergies have a way of simply developing over time with no real reason, perhaps this was mine.

My mom asked me if I wanted her to come over. I did, just in case something happened again, and I was still wound up from the experience.

About 20 minutes later she arrived and sat me down. We walked through it all again. “How can you tell you’re dehydrated?” she asked me. I explained my gums and the general dehydrated feeling I felt. I drank lots of water. I mentioned the sores, but not that I had read it could be due to trauma. We decided it might be best to get an allergy test, so I made a mental note to do that. I still wanted to see a doctor, so she took me to a walk-in in Woodbridge, the Emergency clinic beside her local Shopper’s Drug Mart at Ansley and Highway 7. I was that shook up.

The Walk-In

Trying to see a doctor during COVID-19 in Ontario was a nightmare is and of itself. Doctors didn’t want patients to come in at all if they could help it, and they made it excruciatingly hard for you to book an appointment.

We got to the clinic and got out, masks on, to walk inside. A note on the door explained the procedure: call first and make an appointment.

This is an emergency clinic.

My mom made the call for me at first, explaining the situation. I got the sense they didn’t want me to come in based on what I overheard, but then she passed the phone to me. “They want to talk to you.”

I explained my symptoms again. Okay, they’d see me, but I had to wait.

Fine. I nervously sat in the car waiting for the call. It was probably another 20 minutes or so, but they did call. “Okay, you can come in now.”

Great.

Inside I had to first speak to the receptionist, and while my tongue was feeling better I was still struggling with the odd word here and there. I handed in my health card and was told to sit down. Another waiting game.

A little while later I was directed to a nearby room. Another waiting game.

This is an emergency clinic.

A female nurse came in and explained she would need me to undress and take my vitals using those little white pads attached to what appear to be thin white cords. They also had my put my finger in a little white vessel to check my blood glucose. This was the first time I’d experienced any of these things.

She had trouble getting the little white pads to stick to my skin (they put several on you, on your chest, arms, and otherwise). “Did you put lotion on today?” I almost never do. “No.” Some of them simply wouldn’t stick.

She finished the test and I redressed. “The doctor will be in soon.”

I didn’t understand this process at all, but she was a really nice nurse and I felt better having seen her.

I had my mask on when the doctor came in; he seemed a little agitated to have a patient. He was an Indian man, but spoke English well. He basically began by saying that according to the test the nurse did everything was fine. Perhaps this was why he was agitated, a la, “why are you wasting my time.”

I interrupted him. “Well the reason I’m actually here is because my tongue is yellow and fuzzy and it swelled up earlier.”

He went on to say, “that could be anything.”

I am now annoyed. “To see what I’m talking about I’ll have to lower my mask.”

“You don’t need to do that.” Yes I do, asshole. He eventually complied.

“Might just be dehydrated, vitamin deficiency.”

I wasn’t satisfied but I was clearly getting nowhere. I asked about allergy tests. They weren’t able to do them, you have to go to a specialist for that.

Great, another obstacle. Way to go Ontario health care.

He left, I got my health card, and my mom took me home.

“Are you okay now?”

I felt a little better despite it all. “Yeah.”

She left.

July 30th Continued

Okay, we’re back to the 30th now, sorry for such a long winded story here but it’s all pretty important to me.

When my sister and mom came into my backyard they presented me with a couple things.

A bouquet of flowers. A birthday card, signed by them only (as opposed to including my father and brothers). And a bottle of champagne.

“Don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic.”

I was unimpressed. “Thanks! These are beautiful!”

It’s amazing how after you tell your family and friends you quite drinking due to thinking you’re just not the kind of person that should be doing it, and they still encourage you to drink; repeatedly. I think this is projection, like, “if it’s so bad for you it can’t be for me, but I don’t want to stop, so I’m going to wait until you start up again.”

I looked at the bottle. Yeah, non-alcoholic was right. Grapefruit and Orange flavoured.

I hate both of those fruits arguably the most of any fruit. The smell of oranges make me sick to my stomach, always has, especially as a kid (such a popular snack for parents to put in their children’s lunch boxes, such a foul smell in a small classroom. I literally never eat them, I don’t even drink Orange Juice anymore, but as a kid I didn’t mind it, as long as there was no pulp.)

I reminded myself internally they were trying in their own strange way to be polite.

I put the flowers in water and the champagne in the fridge. We went back outside onto the deck and I spent the next hour or so listening to my sister complain about her friends and work and whatever else.

Inside some time later, my sister explained she was hungry. I had some stuff on hand but she wanted Subway. My mom thought I was getting too thin.

“You need to eat.”

I’m not hungry.

“You need to.” More projection. It’s amazing how once you get healthy and feel good about your weight, suddenly everyone thinks you have an eating disorder; not when you were a chronic binge eater.

As I grabbed water from the fridge I felt the right side of my face freeze up. Something was wrong, I thought I might be having a stroke. I didn’t say this to them, and the feeling went away pretty quickly.

Jodie went to get Subway, I declined. While she was gone my mom said the strangest thing to me.

“You’re sick.”

What?

She had given me no context to it, repeated it, and I didn’t respond. What the hell did that mean. I wasn’t sick, I’d felt the best I had in years. Not too thin, healthy. Happy.

She had me eat some hummus and pita. I had next to no appetite.

Jodie came back and they made some other strange comments.

“Hey mom, look, Jaimee has those same plants outside the window you used to have outside the house.” She was referring to these large stalk-like plants that housed a ton of butterfly cocoons; I was excited for the butterflies to be born.

My mom’s response, “Oh no.”

What? What did that mean?

I wanted them to leave. But at this point I still felt okay-ish, I knew they wouldn’t stay long. Let’s just get this over with.

“I guess I should open the champagne.”

“Yeah, let’s get some glasses.”

I grabbed some plastic cups, a habit ingrained from my upbringing; no glass outside on the deck/by the pool. We went back outside.

I poured myself the smallest glass.

My sister, noticing and repeating, “it’s non-alcoholic.” I didn’t want it. I had a bad feeling about this.

She wanted a picture with me, so we took one. I smiled wide.

It’s almost over Jaimee, don’t worry.

“Great picture!” Totally.

I took the smallest swig, as though it was Benadryl.

“This is pretty good!” they remarked. Yeah, it’s okay.

I put my glass down.

We sat outside a bit longer and I started to feel funny again.

Fuck, it’s happening, I know it is.

“I don’t feel right.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I think I’m having another allergic reaction.”

“I’m sure you’re fine.”

“I don’t feel fine.”

I hate when people don’t listen to the words I say out loud.


“My tongue feels weird.”

“I’m sure you’re fine.”

“I think I’m having trouble speaking.”

“Do you want to see a doctor?”

“Yes.”

They made a call. Multiple. The first number wasn’t the right one. Due to COVID, even making phone calls to clinics had changed significantly.

They told me to stay calm. I was getting anxious.

“The doctor will call us back,” my sister explained after speaking to someone.

Why the hell can’t I just see a doctor?

They waited around with me until I started to calm down. I had some Benadryl for good measure.

“Did you want us to stay?”

You’re leaving?

What the fuck.

They had given the doctor my number for them to call me back. They were ready to go.

Happy birthday Jaimee, here’s some poison alcohol-free champagne and get fucked.

That’s how it felt in that moment.

Before they left my mom said to me, “if they call you, don’t tell them to come, call me instead.” She was referring to the medics.

What the fuck is going on for real?

I thought they were losing their minds.

“Just go lie down and sleep it off,” she said.

Hell no, I need to stay awake.

My sister sent me a text sometime after they left. “I did a better job than mom did.”

What the fuck are you people talking about?

This was the worst day of my life so far.

I went to lie down on the couch, I felt like a zombie. I didn’t want to sleep but I laid down anyway. Maybe I was just dehydrated.

The medic called and they asked me if I wanted an ambulance to come. I hesitated, thinking about what my mother had said, but ultimately knew there was a serious issue. “Yes, please.” They said they’d be on their way.

Mild relief.

I laid back down and closed my eyes. My eyes began to twitch.

It’s okay Jaimee, medics will be here soon, they know you’re here.

It felt like an eternity.

I didn’t move a muscle. I’m not sure I could in that moment. My eyes began to twitch even more rapidly. I was getting nervous.

What the hell was wrong with me? What did I take, or not take? Maybe I should have had a sandwich.

I heard a knock at the door.

Oh thank God they’re here.

I couldn’t move.

Another knock.

Dakota barked and went to the door.

Good boy.

A knock at the window in my living room; surely they could see me inside. I still didn’t move.

I heard feet inside. Matt was home suddenly.

Odd, early.

He answered the door.

“Did you call for a medic?”

“No.”

Me, 10 feet away on the couch, internally, “what the fuck, asshole, who do you think called it?”

“Someone called for an ambulance.”

“I just got home, my wife is asleep on the couch.”

They came in. The medic tried to get my attention; my eyes still twitching. “Hello, hello, can you hear me?” I could. I didn’t respond.

The medic spoke to Matt, trying to get some context. I don’t remember exactly what they said.

Eventually, with the medic right in front of me, I forced myself up and my eyes open. I was groggy, and very confused.

“Did you take any drugs today?”

I hadn’t. “No.”

“No drugs?”

“None. I don’t do drugs.”

“Weed?”

“I smoke weed sometimes but I didn’t today.” True. I had quit a few days before my birthday, ready to kick that habit for good, too.

“What did you have today?”

“All I had was a fruit smoothie and some non-alcoholic champagne my mom and sister brought over.”

He took my blood glucose. I saw the numbers on the screen. Looked fine. I felt oddly better again. Being in the presence of medics is normally a comfort to someone like me. He did no other tests.

“Do you need to go to the hospital?”

“I don’t think so. You say everything is fine?”

“You seem fine.” I think he said something also about drinking some Gaterade and eating some food, but I can’t fully remember.

Okay. “Then no, I don’t think I need to go to a hospital.”

“I need you you sign this.”

“What is it?”

He handed me a tablet with a contract on it and aloofly described it as, “this basically says you’re not coming to the hospital, and if you call us again we won’t come back.”

What?

I didn’t understand. In my groggy state, with Matt now home, I signed it anyways. I didn’t want to enter a hospital during the peak of COVID-19. Did it mean I could never call a medic every again? That’s how confused I was.

The medics left (there were actually 2, but the white guy stayed outside for the most part or by the front door not saying much of anything. The man in front of me was brown).

Matt, to me after they left, “what happened?”

I said I didn’t know and tried to reiterate the same story for what now felt like the 4th time.

“I thought you were faking it.”

What the fuck, does everyone think I’m full of shit?

I still didn’t understand anything that had happened. I drank more water and paced around the house and outside trying to get my head to feel right again, rethinking about what everyone had said to me since the moment my mom and sister came over.

Why did they even have to come over, I was having a fine day until they did.

After The Medic Visit

A few days before my birthday Matt had asked me what I’d like for dinner that day. Despite everything, we really were doing our best to remain civil towards each other when we spoke. I chose chicken wings and Caesar salad, one of my favourite meals. I bought myself a small New York Style Blueberry Cheesecake from the store; President’s Choice. It may be a pandemic but fuck if I was going to have a shitty dinner for my 30th.

I wasn’t very hungry after everything that had happened, but knew it would be best that I ate something.

Matt offered to put the BBQ on (I normally cooked, even the grill), and I watched him from inside. I still felt off.

I saw him turn the gas more than I’m comfortable with and ran out before he lit it.

“Stop.”

He backed away from it. “I know how to turn on the BBQ.” He hated when I tried to tell him ‘what to do’.

“You turn it too much, more than you need to.”

About a week before this I had made another phone call I never had to make before. While standing in my backyard with Dakota, I heard the sound of a gas tank leaking, and a small pop.

When I turned around, behind me my neighbour’s BBQ was lit up, and my neighbour was nowhere in sight. The fire had spread quickly and most of the deck and fencing around the barbecue was already charred and there was significant smoke.

Fuck! Fire!

I called 911. “I need a fire truck, there’s a gas leak on a barbecue right across the street from me. I live at 13120 Keele Street, it’s across the street on my side.”

I ran across the road as I now saw the neighbour in a panic running to get a hose. In my head, I couldn’t remember if it was good or bad to use water on a gas-based fire. I know there’s an issue with oil and grease. Houses are close together in King City.

He put the fire out with the house. Another guy ran across the road from the other side of the street, asking me if we needed help. I told him it was okay now.

It didn’t take long for 3 fire trucks and a fire marshal to show up. Firefighters are FAST.

I felt silly again. So many firefighters for a now totally under control blaze.

Better safe than sorry, right?

The next day the neighbour caught me walking home. “Thanks for calling it in.”

“No problem.”

He had been using the side part of the grill to sautĂ© something, or similar, and I think that must’ve been what caught. I took a picture of the barbecue and the propane tank; the tank sat in his backyard for like a solid week and every day I caught myself looking at it.

So yeah, I’m a little neurotic about how much gas you let into a barbecue before you light it, especially when it has an internal ignite; you just don’t need to turn it that much and that’s a fact.

Source: me, I barbecue.

I cooked my chicken wings, slowly. Still uneasy around the flames, and King City is weirdly windy so the flames climb sometimes more than they should.

Matt prepared the salad.

We ate in silence, mostly.

“I really thought you were faking it.”

Fuck this place.

I didn’t eat my cheesecake, nervous that I might be allergic to blueberries.

I still don’t know exactly what I am allergic to, but I can tell you that the mixed berry bag I used only contained 4 items: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

I’ve since mostly confirmed that blueberries should be okay (I tried the cheesecake about a week later, slowly), but I just stay away from fruit in general right now. Still haven’t been able to see an allergist, and from what I know about those tests anyways, a skin-allergy test won’t confirm what I experienced; I’d have to consume them in the safety of a doctor’s office.

So is that what Champagne Birthday is about? This event?

I wrote that song in February 2020, so, no, not at all, but the irony isn’t lost on me when I listen back to it.


Exhausted after all this and confused, I went to bed early again.

Happy birthday, Jaimee. You made it to 30.

It’s okay Jaimee, some people don’t make it past 7.

4 thoughts on “A Real Champagne Birthday

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