June 1, 2011

A Perfect Birthday

I mostly adhered to my daughter's "you shall not work on your birthday" edict yesterday, but after following one of Megan's tweets, I felt compelled to dash off a quick article that may go online today...and if so, may kick my article originally scheduled for today into some time next week. But I had fun writing it, it was quick and off-the-cuff, and I didn't edit myself to death.

My husband and I put ourselves on an austerity program a few years ago that precluded big celebrations and big expressions of affection, but this year we've been able to ease up. Because yesterday's birthday was a biggie, I actually looked forward to it. I knew this year would not be a repeat of last year's self-imposed pity party because...ta-da...a birthday card and check arrived from my mom last week, along with a birthday card and check for my husband, whose birthday was two weeks ago, and an anniversary card (our anniversary is in March) and check. Do I think my mom remembers just how big a birthday it was for me? Probably not, but to have had it remembered for the first time in three years is good enough for me at this point.

When I picked up Rachael after lunch yesterday, she couldn't wait to give me her gift. The card brought me to tears. After all our struggles, to be at this place in our relationship with one another is something neither of us takes for granted. As I told a close friend yesterday, in our immediate family we treat each other with respect and love, but don't allow anyone to either sit in their shit or be full of it.

Mostly, though, we laugh and talk, run errands, go to movies, and watch Bravo marathons. This morning talk was all about The Boy, who will be coming to visit late this month. Anyway, after the card came the gift, a lovely purple/blue glass bird made by a gifted glass artist who graduated from Hendrix College in 1998. Which means she bought it not over the weekend or last week...she bought it before coming home for the summer. It was thoughtful...obviously I adore purple, and I've transferred my love of glass to both Harold and Rachael...and lovely. After putting the card away, we put the bird on my bedside table. And then she took me to Starbucks for a drink. When we came home, she did my makeup, and noted that this fabulous new eye concealer from Mahya I've been using on my eyelids made a tremendous difference. (Truly, if you have discolored, dark, or red lids, this product is frigging amazing. Because my lids are so discolored, for a couple of years I've been unable to wear most of my beautiful BE shadows unless they are pretty light. This concealer makes it possible for me to pull out some of my favorite darker colors, and to wear them without looking like a raccoon.)

Later in the afternoon a beautiful display of hydrangeas and mini-calla lilies arrived from my family. More thoughtfulness as I am the Queen of the Hydrangea. When Harold got home, he gave me his gift. His card also brought me to tears. And the gift (depicted on the right)...extravagant and over-the-top on any other birthday than this one, but perfect—for me, and our lifestyle—for every day. Silly, silly man...I think he actually thought I was disappointed he didn't buy my dream bracelet (seen to the left), which would have been the perfect gift if I lived a different life. If I actually owned it, though, I think I'd probably gaze adoringly at it on a daily basis, but only wear it three or four times a year.

So ends the conspicuous consumption portion of my blog entry. <g>

Then it was time for dinner at Fearing's. Dean Fearing, along with Stephan Pyles and Robert Del Grande, invented Southwestern Cuisine, and for years Fearing ran the restaurant at The Mansion, a boutique hotel here in Dallas. A couple of years ago he opened his own restaurant in the Ritz Carleton, and though it isn't as highly acclaimed as Pyles' is, the food is more accessible, and more Texan in its exuberance and abundance. Dinner was spectacular, the birthday cake the best damn restaurant birthday cake you can fathom, and when I got home and checked my twitter feed, there was a response from @fearingsdallas about my foursquare tweet, sent in the car on the way to the restaurant.

To top it off, there was a birthday message from my mom, who called while we were at dinner, and though it's a very easy thing to post a Facebook birthday message, the number of family and friends who bothered to take the time really warmed my heart. And since I didn't know until this morning that the Mavs lost game one of the NBA Finals (our game is #3, on Sunday), the entire day went off without a sour note.


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