This evening I’m going out to the center of town to my dear friend Rafa’s birthday party. Rafa is one of those friends who are so dear to me that I know I will cry when they die. I think that is an important sign. And there are many people in my life I feel that way about. I never tell anyone because they might not find the remark as moving as I do. But that is how I feel. I just hope I die before they do so I don’t have to endure such grief, which is why I wish them “many more” on their birthday! For both of our sake!
Anyway, I am going into the La Latina section to a restaurant where he is throwing the party. You see, if there is one thing that distinguishes Spain from the America in a general sense it is how birthdays are celebrated. In fact, it is who does the celebrating. Ironically, if you want do something for that special day of yours, normally it is you who has do something special, not the others. This is a marked departure from back in the States where your buddies drag you out and buy you drinks until you barf, which is what any true friend does.
The Spanish have a particular fondness for treating others on their birthday. At first I was culturally hindered by this approach because it sounded awkward to tell others it was the anniversary of my birth, let alone add “let’s go out and celebrate me.” But two factors come into play here: the Spanish have a liking for treating people for any occasion, even when there is no occasion at all. I think it’s their reason of saying, “Let’s be together and enjoy life.” The other is that the Spanish just love going out, and if someone else is flipping the bill…heck, all the better. That’s universal, come to think of it.
So, I’m off and running…which heavily explains the brevity of this post! See you tomorrow! Happy birthday Rafa!