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(first attempt at writing in second person)

Attend phone calls  on and off as soon as the clock ticks twelve, watch as your cell phone inbox floods and your facebook wall gets raped by a plethora of birthday wishes. Curse those pretentious idiots who probably don’t even know your name but find it imperative to send you a ‘Happy Birthday =)’. Scoff at the smile at the end of the greeting. Debate over asking them if they know how old you turned.

Shake your head over the use of the word old. You’re young, pretty and a blooming twenty-five. Nowhere near being labelled with the O word. Play Bryan Adams’ ‘18 till I die‘ over and over. You may not be eighteen anymore, but that’s how you feel, how you’re always felt. Age is relative.

Attend a phone call from that special someone. Keep the conversation casual; nothing big, it’s just your birthday. He tries too hard to act all nonchalant. A casual Happy Birthday and a minute long phone call. It is obvious that he has something big planned for your day and is putting on an act to throw you off. Play along. Pretend to be all naive. In fact, play the hurt woman who feels neglected at lack of telephone time. Make him think his attempts are working. Tell yourself his ego could use it. Hang up, and feel somewhat sorry for the poor dumb guy.

Take time to get dressed for work the next morning. Your boss wouldn’t mind a little tardiness as long as your skirt is a little high on the hem. Make sure you choose the right colour of nail polish; it has to match with the outfit. Your finger and toenails will be impeccable once you’re done with them. While you’re at it, straighten your curls as well. Your friends at work may have something planned for your birthday, and you want to look good for the pictures that’d be up on facebook. Better safe than sorry. Look your best. Convince yourself that you look beautiful. Not that much conviction would be required anyway.

Make sure your co-workers notice you at work. Shouldn’t be too hard given the constant tap-tap of your heels as you walk. Tell yourself it’s not the heels that’s getting you all the attention. Be a little over ‘friendly’ with the hot dude from the floor above yours. Try to recall his name. John, Jack, Jim… what was it again? Oh well, hot dude from marketing he shall be. Put in a little extra effort to make men swoon over you. The effort, of course, would have to be negligible.

Pay special attention to hot dude from marketing sneaking around with your files. You know what this is about, and you’re soon proved right. His cell number and a note saying ‘Coffee at 8?’ has appeared amidst the piles of papers. His name is Jim. You still prefer calling him hot dude. Jim sounds too bland to be worthy of that face and that body.

Slyly, note down his number. Avoid him for the rest of the day. Maintain your airs. When the day is over, make sure he sees you crumple up his little note and throw it in the trash. Take pleasure in the fact that his disappointed look on his face mirrors his broken heart. Flip your hair over your shoulder as you walk past him.

Your special someone has already called to tell you he’ll be picking you up from work. Your predictions about him planning something special for your birthday are about to come true. Run down the steps to meet him. Give him a hug and kiss his cheek. Fall over him as if you’ve been dying to see him all day. Let him hold and support you. Entwine your fingers with his and let him open the car door for you and help you get in. Make sure hot dude..err..Jim witnesses all of this. Give Jim your best seductive look from the car, guaranteed to make his heart go all a flutter; drive off with your special someone.

He drives you to your favourite Chinese restaurant. Realize how he took your hint of craving expensive Chinese food. Maybe you could try it for Mexican food next week. Act surprised. The boy could use the ego boost.

Look at the right hand side of the menu when ordering. The higher the numbers, the greater the likelihood of your ordering it. Get two of the jumbo prawns; the more, the better. Pretend to be overwhelmed when he presents you an extravagant number of white lilies – your favourite flower – and the silver necklace you’ve had your eye on for quite some time. Notice how he went the extra mile and got you matching earrings and a bracelet. Look at him as if he’s the best thing to have happened to you. Tell him you’ll read the birthday card he gave you later; right now, you just want to keep on looking at him.

Be very interested in whatever he’s saying. He’s talking about his day at work, his hopes of getting a promotion, something something… You kind of start to tune him out. Play with your hair while you eat, put your chin on your hand and your elbow on the table. Look interested.

Blow out the candles on your cake. Tell him your birthday wish is that the two of you always stay together. Tell him that a month of dating him has already made you feel as if you’ve been blessed with a lifetime of love. Start talking about your future plans together; be sure to use the words ‘future’ and ‘together’ more than necessary. Talk about giving up your job to stay home and look after the kids. Use the words ‘our kids’. Tell him you will want to move out of the city to a suburban location so that your – correction, our – kids can ride their bikes on the street. Say that you have decided you want to have two kids. Observe intently as his face slowly starts to drain off colour. Share names you have decided for the kids and your hopes to send them for an ivy education.

Comment on how pale he looks and ask him if he’d want something to drink maybe. Stare at him when he fails to find the words to talk. Put on your best disappointed/shock face. Blast him to hell for considering you a fling. Tell him that a month together is enough to start considering a possible future together. Be loud. Make sure people notice.

Stage a dramatic exit. Force tears; rub your eyes to smudge some of your makeup for good effect. Tell him that you can’t even look at him anymore. Get up to leave. Be sure to take the presents he gave with you. ‘Accidentally’ drop his soda on his pants. Leave him to pay the bill. Go to the ladies room under cover of heading out.

Take out your compact and fix your makeup. Look at the time. It is 7:40 p.m. Pat yourself on the back for being so well-timed. Drop a text to hot dude from marketing (what was his name again?) asking him if he’d still like to grab a coffee at 8. Don’t offer any other explanations. As if you need to.

Get a relatively cheaper coffee. Keep your distance from him. Act cool. Start things slow. Look heartbroken. Tell him your special someone dumped you on your birthday, that son of a bitch. See the concern on his face. Nothing like the scorned woman act to win the man over.

Tune him out as he raves about how beautiful he always thought you were and how hard it was for him to muster up the courage to ask you out. You would love to be flattered like that any day of the week, but you have more important things in mind right now. Start planning an exit strategy in your head. Give yourself a set number of days to work with and make a list of the things you’d want out of this one. He looks rich, or else that’s not his own Dior suit. Scout the coffee shop for your next victim already. It’s never too soon to start.

Smile inwardly at the gullibility of the male race.

Apply another coat of red lipstick. Observe your well-painted nails and play with your necklace. Sit back contended. Ah, the pleasures of a material life.