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The Other Big “0”

January 31st, 2011 by admin

On Wellington Anniversary Day, Willow is relaxing in her breakfast nook, enjoying the unique sensation of reading the Dominion Post on her netbook, instead of at her desk at work. A small glass pot of flower jasmine tea is unfurling/brewing on the table, and a happy cat is nestled up beside her.  The serenity doesn’t last long.

Wazzer bursts in, glowing with sunburn. “I’m home! Big Day Out was oarsome! And I brought you something. It’s not Iggy Pop, he wouldn’t fit in the bags unless we cut him up, but it’s still bloody good.” She drops her duffel bag and begins to rummage in a backpack. “I scored free tickets to Laneways, the music thing that’s gonna be here! I know you like Ladyhawke. Ya free Tuesday the first?”

Willow crumples with distress. “I’m not! I’ve said yes to a co-worker’s 40th birthday dinner. She wants it on the day of, you see.”

Wazzer moans in sympathy.

For many social events, Wellingtonians can be less than reliable. Even Facebook “Attending” status can be undone for a party by bad weather, spousal sulkiness, or a sexier invitation. Yet there is one celebration held sacrosant; the Significant Birthday. Fancy dress? Sharing the bill at an expensive restaurant? Voyaging to distant suburbs? Being blasted all night by a best friend’s amateur hardcore cover band? All are bowed to for the sake of a birthday that ends with a “0”.

After a brief moment of grieving silence and acceptance, Wazzer grumps, “I can’t use them because I pulled all my strings to get the full weekend off. You think Winona’d buy them?”

“Perhaps. I haven’t heard from her all weekend.”

Wazzer shrugs. “Holidays. Okay if I use the washer? I’ve got to freshen up these Grinderman T-shirts so I can torture my co-workers by wearing them this week!”

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