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My social-distancing birthday in Animal Crossing

It didn't *exactly* go according to plan.

In my birthday cake hat, feeling distressed!
Ashley Esqueda

Confession: I really, really like celebrating my birthday. I'm not a person who demands my social circles celebrate all month, or even a week, but I deeply enjoy getting my family together and having some cake and ice cream and hugs. 

That's not an option in the midst of a pandemic. And truth be told, this is the first birthday in all my 37 (!) years on this Earth I wouldn't be celebrating in-person with my friends and family. But I have been enjoying more Animal Crossing: New Horizons than you can shake a tree branch at, so I thought I'd throw a fabulous party on my virtual island. 

Everything went great -- until it didn't. 

In the end, I still had a wonderful time (even accounting for the dramatic Thursday evening I spent sobbing in my office), and I plan on throwing more parties in ACNH as a way to get away from the anxiety of what's happening in the real world. 

Except for crippling debt. That I can experience in Animal Crossing, too. Gotta go pay Tom Nook his bells!