Monday, November 15, 2010

The Birthday Celebration That Almost Wasn't

We had a great weekend celebrating Vince’s birthday with friends on Friday night and with family and friends on Saturday evening. Only it didn’t start out quite so promising.

When I spoke to Vince at lunchtime on Friday, I told him that I had to make one stop after work and wasn’t sure when I’d be home. I knew I wasn’t going on a major shopping spree, so I assumed it would be within a half hour or so of my normal arrival time.

You know what they say when you assume – right? Yeah, well, that’s pretty much true.

Vince, on the other hand, assumed that when he heard “shopping” and “Jane” in the same sentence that it would be several hours before I arrived home tired, flushed and loaded down with enough shopping bags that required his brute strength assistance to carry them all in from the car.

Sure, if I’d uttered the words “retail therapy,” he may have been correct in assuming that I was going on a mall hopping frenzy – but I was only planning a quick run to the store to pick up his birthday cake.

And then, as life is wont to do, plans changed.

During the afternoon, some friends told me they were going to Bob’s Bar after work. Neither of them, by the way, is named “Bob.” But I asked if we could join them – and then perhaps we could all head to the movie theater afterwards to see Due Date, which I’d heard was pretty funny. They agreed and we made plans to meet up around 6PM.

And then, because I like complications, I sent out a last-second invite to some of our other friends to see if any of them might be available to meet us at Bob’s Bar for a drink in honor of Vince’s birthday. Normally, I’m the Queen of Preparation and Special Events, but because I’d been sick earlier in the week, I hadn’t done any advance planning. My bad.

At 4PM I sent a quick text to Vince to alert him to our change of plans.

At 5PM on my commute home, I called him and left him a voicemail reiterating our change of plans.

At 5:45PM, coiffed and ready for our evening out, I sat at the dining room table semi-patiently waiting for the birthday boy.

At 6:20PM, I sent him a text in capital letters, “WHERE ARE YOU?” (For the sake of decorum, I won’t tell you what I was doing/thinking/saying/cursing between 5:45 and 6:20!)

And, finally, at 7PM, he showed up. You should know that I was standing in the open doorway with my purse in one hand, tapping my foot so vigorously I got a cramp in my toes. In my other hand, I held a fresh shirt for Vince to change into, along with his deodorant (in case he’d had a sweaty day at work). He wasn’t even allowed in past the kitchen – he had to change in the doorway, swipe on a little Rite Guard and immediately head back out.

What a GREAT way to start a birthday weekend, eh?! Poor Vince.

Turns out that he hadn’t checked his phone for messages and, figuring that I wasn’t t going to be home immediately after work, he offered to fill in for an absent coworker after his regular shift had ended.

By the time we arrived at Bob’s Bar, the original couple we’d agreed to meet up with had already left for the movie. Another couple had stopped in at the bar and when they didn’t see any of us firmly planted on Bob’s barstools, headed back out to their car. We were only able to catch them because they’d flipped on the interior dome light to peruse the movie section of the newspaper to find out what else was playing.

We convinced them to head back to Bob’s with us. And then another couple of friends joined us shortly thereafter. Once I’d had a beer and settled down a bit, we all enjoyed ourselves and toasted both the start of the weekend and Vince’s birthday.

We were having so much fun together that we left Bob’s and headed to our friends’ house where we got the fire pit going and we sat around laughing and telling stories, some perhaps a little more long-winded than others. But it was all good.

On Saturday (Vince’s actual birthday), we decided to go shopping together – so nobody had to assume nothin’! We picked up Vince’s birthday cake. And then we came home to get ready for a fun dinner out with Vince’s family and a couple friends. It was another great evening and we laughed and told more stories.

Vince’s dad had also gone shopping and bought birthday cake. Not one – but two birthday cakes – one for Vince and one for Vince’s brother who had celebrated his birthday earlier in the week. Egad. We had three flippin’ birthday cakes and there were only five of us gathered together after dinner to eat them!

Despite sending cake home with everyone, and despite having cake for breakfast yesterday morning (hey, it’s got eggs in it), we still have plenty of leftovers. If cake doesn’t freeze well, I may be eating cake for breakfast for the next month!

But I think the Birthday Boy had a good birthday weekend, the questionable start notwithstanding.

And next year? Well, I think I’ll send out engraved invitations at least six weeks prior to Vince’s birthday. That way, we’ll both be prepared and in-the-know about our plans. Even if it’s just to head to Bob’s Bar for a quick birthday drink!

Hmmm…I don’t have any engraved invitations sitting around at home. Maybe I should go shopping?

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