I am…

…old. Old like the seas. Old like the wind and the cracked, weathered earth. Filled with age and oldness – like a moldy old piece of dry, cracked bread or a sad, soggy piece of bread left out in the rain. Old as the firmament with age and oldness that are so old and aged that…. Oh good Lord. I had a birthday. Sunday. I’m now 38. Yay me.

So Friday, I got to go out to a Girls’ Night Out with some of my girlfriends from church. We went to this fondue restaurant that is hideously overpriced with service that you can only laugh at or else you’ll lay a smackdown. Because we had a large party, an 18% gratuity was added on automatically, so Mr. Server Dude didn’t feel it necessary to be…oh, I don’t know…..friendly or anything. He was snide & condescending and had no sense of humor. Dude’s walking around with some sort of container or bottle hanging off the back of his pants & he’s all offended when we ask what it is. “A fire extinguisher?” we asked amusedly. “Yeah…” he snarks. “Like to spray down somebody’s $100 plate of food.” Good heavens, dude. Lighten up. You’re a waiter in a fondue restaurant – you have no snarkitude over me. And since our table of 6 just bought $140 worth of melted chocolate and teeny squares of fruit/cake (“You totally got exactly the right amount. It’s precisely WEIGHED.”), you can just pretend that we’re not tired old middle-aged cows licking out our little pans of chocolatey gold.

Then I got to go to my present. I got to have a night out at a hotel by myself. Le sigh. It was 11:00pm by the time I checked in, but there was TV and a bed with no intruding elbows or snoring. I walked in and saw that Steve had been there already. And laid out of spread from Harry & David and Hillshire Farms that was embarrassing in its abundance. I don’t know who he thought was staying in that room – perhaps one of those 700# people you see on daytime TV or the offensive line of the Chicago Bears – but there was a TONNE of food there. Cheeses and beef sticks and crackers and cookies and chocolate and jams and more cheese and soda and candies and nuts and teas and marmalade and a chocolate CAKE about the size of a 45 single record. I don’t know if he expected me to climb in bed and somehow plow through all that or what. It was intimidating, to say the least. I ate a few crackers and some cheese, tried to find something to watch (which was nearly impossible – let’s see….CSI:Miami, Oprah, Jay Leno or HSN..?) and then went to bed. At 12:45. When I awoke at the delicious hour of 9:30 am, I again tried to find something to watch. I tell you, if what was available on that TV is the state of television now, I’m super-glad we don’t have it. Infomercials, 27 news channels, 37 sports channels and USA. Which wasn’t even showing anything good like Monk or SVU. Boo on them. I had room service breakfast and worked in Photoshop until check-out time. We had a little party for me on Sunday with my parents – which was so nice. Steve did a super job making it quiet and lovely for me. Some sub sandwiches & salads, chips & TWO cakes. Because Steven (who did the morning pick-up with Steve) insisted that the cake Steve chose was wholly inappropriate for a birthday cake. Steve chose a Dulce de Leche cake – all fancified and grown-up. Steven wasn’t having that for a second. He lobbied for a Cars cake, but Daddy said no (mean Daddy), so they chose a chocolate frosted chocolate cake. (have you noticed a theme yet??) That Steve covered with an entire box of candles, but that still wasn’t enough. It was 2 short. Still – I’m surprised the smoke alarm didn’t go off the way that cake was blazing. Check it out:

cake2.jpg

Right before this shot was captured, I bet Maggie that I could blow ALL the candles out with one breath. She totally doubted me. Silly child. I took all 36 of those candles out with breath to spare. Even my mother went, “Oh my GOSH! Good LORd!!” All 36 of ’em went out in the first split second (didn’t even have to move my head) and the rest of my breath blew the smoke right into Steven’s face. He thought it was great. After cake, I got a wonderful present from Maggie. She made up a dance & song to Mr. Rogers’ “It’s Such a Good Feeling…” about my birthday. (“I think I’ll make a snappy new birth-day! SNAP) and she just beamed and glowed as I thanked her for such a wonderful, thoughtful gift. Then Steven started chanting, “Present time, present time, open the present & see what’s inside!!” I tried to explain that I had already got my present on Friday when I went to the hotel, but he was adamant. “You have to have a BOX TO OPEN!!!” And….there wasn’t one. So he ran to his room screaming his hatred at his father & slammed his door. Then opened it & shouted, “Mommy of all people should have a box to open ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Slam. Whoa. Dude’s totally got my back, y’all. I think someone will make sure Mommy has a box to open next year – come hell or high water.

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