I am a Number Greater than Nineteen (But Just Barely)

So today was my birthday.

In fact, today still IS my birthday, but things have turned into the tail end of a 4th of July sparkler now, where all the brilliant fizz that lasted all day is just about fizzed out.  It’s that time when I simply sigh and realize that there are precious few hours left of my birthday, but I’m really too tired from all the celebratory belly dances to even care any longer, although I’ll wake up in the morning, and the first words I’ll speak to Hubs are, “It’s not my birthday any more.”

I’m so predictable, that he tries to beat me to the punch on this post-birthday declaration every year.

The day AFTER your birthday is always the WORST day of the year, because the sails have been deflated, the helium balloons are sagging, the wick on the candle is burned up, and no one walks around shouting out, “Happy birthday!  Have a donut!” any longer.

And “Happy birthday!  Have a donut!” is one of the most magical phrases in existence, even though the donut has never been one of my closest friends.

French fries?  Yes.  Donuts?  Not so much.

I’d like to say that the party is still going strong over here, but eventually you reach an age where the party doesn’t actually last all day any longer, as your parents give up shortly after dinner and head home to the Metamucil and Wheel of Fortune.

The day started off just brilliantly this morning, as the boy had discovered a retired, no-longer-sold-in-stores, Star Wars Lego set on eBay, and he had purposed in his heart that it would be his.  The simple fact that the money-hungry seller was charging $14 to ship a tiny box of plastic bricks that would weigh in at something lighter than eighteen cottonballs was our first indication that this set wasn’t for us.

The second indication was that the current bid for this small set had skyrocketed to $65.

The boy, whose wallet is not stuffed with enough greenbacks to purchase this set, begged me to buy it for him, and I simply said, “No.”  Hubs and I politely informed him that he could — you know! — get a job that came with a hefty paycheck, and then he could buy another set that eventually came up for auction.

The boy didn’t feel that this was the best answer that I was capable of giving, so he flopped himself on my bathroom floor and took us back to the year 2003, as he threw a Grade A, Class 1, Early Knock-Out, Oscar-worthy fit, the likes of which we have not seen since he was three stinking years old!

I simply shut the bathroom light off, stepped over the sobbing wreck, and went about my day, as I purposed in my heart to spend some time doing an online search for a Christian-based, military boarding school that was preferably on the opposite side of the United States from Small Town, so that trips home for the boy would be difficult.  I grinned as I envisioned him spending his spring break in an empty school, with only the janitor to talk to.

After Grand Fit ’11 had burned itself out, the boy went to school, and I went to work, where the Happy Birthday Texts came firing into my cell phone like popcorn.

One of the first text messages of the day was from my old friend, Bryan, who informed me that his wife had a coupon for Depends laying around their house, if I’d like to use it for some pennies off my purchase.  Ha!  I may be elderly, but I pride myself on my excellent bladder control!  The vision is a different story.  These days, whenever I take my contacts out, I don’t even recognize the people in my own house.

Of course, Elaine (bless her heart) was also one of the first people to strike my phone with birthday wishes, and she said, “I hope you and your dimples have a happy birthday!”  Of course, she was referring to what I had originally thought was a LIP WRINKLE, but which she assured me was just a dimple.  On that day, I loved Elaine.  Today, she needed a good smack down, because she referred to the dimple in the plural form.

People, I have ONE, LONE, SOLITARY dimple.  I do not have dimples, with an s.  I figure that when Elaine delivers me a box of chocolates, our friendship will be fully restored to its original luster.

This afternoon at work, the delivery man from one of the local floral shops brought in the most amazing bouquet of all time, which just happened to be from Hubs and the boy.  It’s one of the most enormous bouquets I’ve ever received, and it’s perfectly lovely.  I have always told Hubs that he can never send flowers to me at HOME; he must send them to me at WORK.  After all, it’s not HOW MANY flowers a girl gets; it’s how many PEOPLE SEE HER GET THE FLOWERS.  Unfortunately, I was stuck in the church office with Ray and Adam today, who are our worship arts pastor and our youth pastor, and I sighed and told them my theory about how important it is for a lot of people to see you get the flowers.  And then I told them both, “And I don’t think you two count really, because you’re MEN, and really it’s just WOMEN that we girls need to see us get flowers.”

Thankfully, Ray and Adam played things up a bit, as they ooh-ed and awe-ed over my bouquet and told me how fantastic Hubs is, and then I did genuinely feel pretty much on top of the world.

(Well played, Hubs.)

This afternoon, Hubs’ parents showed up on my doorstep with a gift that turned out to be an old chunk of an antique fireplace mantle, which had been converted into a SHELF!  A GIANT, GLORIOUS SHELF!  There may have been some squealing and some disco moves, on account of EXCITEMENT OVER THAT PIECE!

The boy, who had taken the bus to Hubs’ parents’ office, walked into the house with them, threw his arms around me, and whispered, “Mom, happy birthday!  You’re the best mom ever, and I would just like to say that I’m sorry for throwing that baby-like fit this morning, because I’m sure it ruined your birthday, and I don’t even know what made me throw a fit like that.  I’m kind of embarrassed about it, actually.”

Well, then.  I immediately asked for a refund on his tuition check at the boarding school, because OH, GREAT HEAVENS!  I do love that boy to pieces, and I’ve decided that he can stay right where he’s at — here with us.  He’s a keeper.

And then, we wrapped up the day by carting ourselves out to Sister’s house, where we had dinner with her family and our parents, and, SWEET MERCY!  THERE WERE EVEN MORE GIFTS!

My favorite gift was the one that my eight-year-old niece, L, had picked out and bought for me, all by herself.  It was a little bottle of lemony-scented hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works, and a tube of lip gloss.  As L presented me with the gift, she said, “These presents are from me.  And guess what?  They’re both brand new, and neither one of them has even been used before!”

And then lo!  Brand new sneakers from my parents, in my size, which is HUGE, but I always say, “We can control the color of our hair with a visit to the salon, but we can’t control how long of a foot God handed us.”  Hubs and Sister’s Husband made awful comments about how much fabric had to go into a shoe as long as my new ones, and suddenly it didn’t matter that Hubs had gotten a high score with the bouquet of flowers this afternoon.

I’ll be needing a box of chocolates from Hubs AND Elaine now.

And listen, you two:  Nothing with raspberry or creamy centers.  Stick with chocolate covered caramels and turtles, if you want me to REALLY like you again!

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