Monday, July 16, 2007

Birthday Bash

Today was Mike's 48th birthday - not a monumental birthday. Well, I guess every year that a man lives without his spouse killing him is monumental in its own way. You would think that after being married for 24 years, it would be easy to buy him the perfect birthday gift. Wrong! He is the most difficult person I know to find a gift for. This is because he beats any woman I know at the shopping thing. If he wants something, he buys it. Since he travels so much, I have no idea what he has bought.

This year I put all of my creative energy into picking out the perfect card. You know, one of those with a perfect sentiment, one that reflects my deep feelings for him, one that upon reading he would know it was from me because no one else could possibly feel that way about him. On the front it read, "It's your birthday, and, well, I'm afraid I have some bad news . . ."

What kind of news would be bad for a 48 year old man?
  • I'm pregnant.
  • You are going to be a grandfather . . .and your daughter is only 14!
  • The cashier at Denny's just gave you the senior citizen's discount.
  • You are too old to shop at Old Navy.
  • I am ready to accept the "I'm too old for that." excuse.
  • The Jay Leno Show is on past your bedtime.
  • Now when you drive around in a sleek little sports car, rather than being whistled at, the woman will all yell, "mid-life crisis!"

All of these may be true, but the card said, "Apparently sucking in your gut like that has blown the hair off the top of your head."

The truth hurts some times. Well maybe it is not one of those sentimental cards. Do people really send those? According to my children, only grandparents send "that kind" of card - the ones with some sweet-as-sugar sentiment in some elegant font perfectly placed amidst the arranged pastel flowers. If you actually read the words you know that the person who sent it does not know you very well at all. If anyone in my family ever gave me one of those cards, I would know that I was dying or something. It just would not happen. It is simply inappropriate. At our house, love is expressed through sarcasm and bad taste.

Last night, I did bake him a spice cake from scratch, at his request. I even let him lick the bowl. When asked if he wanted the cake frosted, Mike said that he would rather have a dusting of powdered sugar. That makes it easy. The cake was sitting on the stove waiting for us to return from the casino, another wish of the birthday boy, to open presents and have dessert. On the way out the door, I noticed that someone had sampled it already. Unfortunately, that someone is black, has four legs, and does not have any experience with knives. Adidas helped himself to many bites out of the center of the cake. He created an indentation that looked like the outline of the United States. Had I been frosting the cake, I could have hidden his artwork, but powdered sugar just accentuated the North American shaped crater. I tried to do something nice; I really did. The dog just wasn't on my side! Maybe Adidas was mad because he did not get to lick the bowl.

Do you think that if I had picked out a nice mushy card, the atmosphere would have been a little different and the dog would have sensed that a canine sculpted cake just would not do for an occasion that required a card with pastel flowers and a curly font?

I will never know.