plan was simple.
I would get up early this morning -- no need
to set an alarm, of course: my internal clock is a thing of precision
and beauty -- and sneak out to the kitchen, long before he
woke up. There I would quietly prepare him a nice breakfast:
scrambled eggs with cheese and green onions, maybe ... a slice of
toast using some of that nice apple-cinnamon bread
I got at the Farmers Market ... a cup of Pete's, laced with a
liberal dollop of "Girl Juice" (his vaguely derisive term for flavored
coffee creamer). When the food was ready, I would wake him with a
tender kiss and a whispered 'Happy Birthday' in his ear, then serve him
breakfast in bed. After he finished eating, he would open his
gifts: a tie, a funny T-shirt, the Holly & The Italians CD he's
been trying to find, a pair of engraved cufflinks he will
never ever wear in a bazillion years. We would snuggle for a
few minutes ... maybe get in a quick round of *Yahtzee,* if
there was time (hi
... then each head off in our separate directions, he to
the newspaper office, me to The Job, until we meet up at the end
of the day for a
romantic birthday dinner at our favorite Italian place over on Park
Street. My treat, of course.
That was the plan, anyway. The reality was more like this: David
standing at the end of the bed at
6:21 a.m., fully showered, dressed and
caffeinated already, shaking me by the foot to
wake me up.
"You overslept," he said.
Every year I swear that I'm going to recognize David's birthday in a
significant way. (More "significant" than an Amazon Gift
Certificate and a graphic on the *FootNotes* splash page, anyway.)
Yet every year, his is the birthday that somehow gets
minimized or overlooked. The fact that he doesn't give two
Fig Newtons about birthdays in general -- and about
birthday in particular -- doesn't matter.
*I* need to acknowledge this day. I can't help it:
I'm a big 'birthday celebration' kinda gal. It's important to
me to shower the people I love with hearts and safety
pins and seven
different versions of The Birthday Song on their special day.
Whether they like it or not.
I emerge from my shower, a few minutes later, and wander out to the
kitchen. David is leaving for the office already --
important early-morning meeting with someoranother newspaper
bigwig -- so there will be no time for anything but
the quickest hug, the briefest kiss, the most abbreviated
birthday greeting. I don't even have a *real* birthday
for him to open yet. (Busy at work last week/under the weather all
weekend/no time to shop yet.)
"I'm sorry," I say, as I wrap my arms around
him. "I was planning to do something nice for you this
morning." This IS The Big Five-Oh, after all. If
any birthday deserves a little hoopla, it's this one.
He kisses the top of my head. "You do something nice for me
every single day," he says. "You fill my
life with joy."
And with that, he tucks his cell phone into his pocket, grabs
his jacket and heads out the door to work.
I'm ordering him the Amazon Gift Certificate, even as we speak.
to throw a rock?