Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Big 4-0

Today's my 40th (eek!) birthday.

If I were in Italy today, my Italian friends would not have taken me out for lunch or a celebratory birthday drink. Nope. I would have been expected to take them out and buy them a round of drinks for my b-day. That's right. As the birthday girl, I would also be the one to bring my own cake. At least I wouldn't be expected to buy my own gifts, though. There's always that.

The Italian translation of "Happy Birthday" is Buon Compleanno, but Italians usually don't say this to you on your birthday. Instead, they say Tanti Auguri, which means "Many Good Wishes." Come to think of it, Tanti Auguri is probably best tranlated as: "I wish you happiness, health, and above all, prosperity, so you can take me out and buy me a drink on your birthday."

Tanti auguri to you all!


Disco Mermaids said...

(imagine sung in three-part disharmony)

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Natalie
Happy Birthday to you!!!

Rilla said...

Congratulations! A new decade, a new set of rules...to be broken ;) Hope you have a great day...celebrate...from experience -- forty rocks!
And yeah, of course, I'm going to give you a little Indian anecdote, surprise, surprise...it's the same as in Italy. You treat your friends...of course, everywhere, the kid whose birthday it is throws the party...isn't that right?
Anyway, I had to take candy to school and everyone LOVED my birthday...too bad it had nothing to do with me...there were THREE of us with the same birthday...so THREE rounds of candy with each one of us trying to outdo the other two...
HAVE A GOOD ONE...and pass the pics please.

debi in holland said...

Same here in Nederland -- the birthday person is expected to have a party and spend it waiting on all the guests . . .

And 40 isn't bad at all! (Unless you get pregnant . . . yup, my youngest was born just before my 41st b-day . . . so, um, be careful with the celebrating . . .)


cynjay said...

Okay, here goes:

How was it? I learned how to sing Happy Birthday in sign language when I was a kid. It did take me a little while to fingerspell your name though.

Rose Green said...

Kheppy burst-day too yoo
Kheppy burst-day too yoo
Kheppy burst-day deah Natalee
Kheppy burst-day too yoo!

There you go, sung in German. I hope you had a nice day! (And you look way younger than that, BTW!)

Danette said...

Happy Birthday!

40 isn't so bad ... um, neither is 41,42,43 ... 44 is working out just fine too!

Taking people out on your Birthday? Man, that's just not right.


C.K. said...

Happy Birthday, Natalie! Sounds like it's a good thing you're not in Italy or India for it. Who needs the expense and effort? I like the idea of the b-day boy or girl being spoiled on their birthday so I'm sending you a virtual triple layer cake (calorie free of course). However, if you want to share a piece with me I won't complain.

Wishing you a great year!

TinaFerraro said...

Happy Birthday, Natalie! (a few days late)

And thanks again for the translation help! I wrote back to my Italian alter ego, but I suspect that's the end of that! Pretty hard to be pen pals when you both are fluent in a different language...

Natalie said...

Thanks for all the birthday greetings, everyone!
To the Disco Mermaids--you sing like the sirens!

And to CynJay--maybe I should try singing in sign language, too, since I'm usually off-key. :-)

Rilla--India and Italy are more alike than I ever thought...from undershirts to birthdays! Thanks for adding your anecdotes, and keep 'em coming! :-)

Debi--ha! Good advice! I'll certainly keep that in mind! ;-)

Rose--Amazingly enough, the Italian version of Happy Birthday is veeery similar to the German:
Heppy Bert-day tu yiu! :-)

Hey Danette! Glad to hear you've survived the big 4-0, too.Whew! Maybe it's not so bad after all. :-)

Thanks for the triple-layer chocolate cake, C.K.! My favorite. :-P

Thanks, Tina! Let me know how it works out with your pen pal--I'd be glad to translate for you any time. :-)

edna said...

Hau'oli La Hanau, Natalie! A belated Happy B-day in Hawaiian. If we were hanging out at a Waikiki bar, I'd raise my mai tai to you and say "Suck 'em up!" Shaka, hang loose and enjoy--the forties are fun! Guess how I know?!
edna :-)

Karena said...

A very belated birthday wish. All i ever do is apologise to you Natalie. I am terrible at staying in touch. I'm glad that you were spoilt on your birthday and had a lovely time. Just as it should be! However I do think you need to check on your birth certificate...I cannot believe that you are 40! It's a lie. Sorry to have missed you this summer in Trieste. Had a restful time and I didn't sunbathe topless once! You must be very proud as I was one of the serial offenders at Barcola. I love your site as it brings back so many lovely memories of Trieste. What a talented writer you are! I promise, promise, promise to be a better penpal this year and hopefully will see you sometime during the year
Lots of love and hugs
Karena xxx

Natalie said...

Thanks, Edna! Knowing that you're over forty definitely makes me feel better, especially after seeing your photo on Verla's!

Ciao Karena!
So nice to hear from you, and no need to apologize, as I haven't been the best about keeping in touch either. :-) Next time you're in Trieste, give me a call...I'd love to see you! It sounds like we missed each other by only a few days this summer. Darn. Getting my classroom ready for the students this year brought back so many memories of you! Especially when I sat through the Kindergarten teacher/parents meeting...as a parent! Yikes. :-)
Miss you!