Saturday, February 18, 2017

If We Were Having Coffee... (Vol. 11 - Birthday Surprises)

If we were visiting this Saturday morning, we'd be sitting around my little kitchen table in my breakfast nook.  I like calling it a nook, for I think nook sounds rather quaint and much better than what it really is - a little corner of the great room that has a bay window.  'Hey, let's sit in the breakfast nook' sounds a lot better than, 'Hey, let's sit in the corner of the great room,' don't you think?

Let me see...  What could I offer you to drink this morning?  There's some instant coffee in the pantry.  I apologize for not having a coffee maker or knowing how to make coffee on my husband's french coffee press thing.  I can also offer you hot chocolate, water, and a variety of sodas.  

As we settled in, I'd open up the blinds in my bay window to let in as much natural light as possible.  Unfortunately, the view out the bay window this morning is nothing to write home about.  February in Kentucky - the trees are bare, half the grass in my yard is brown, and this morning the sky is gray.  Again. "Perpetual winter grayness is a trademark of the Louisville area," I'd say.  I read one time that Louisville only gets sunshine about 40% of the time in January and 50% of the time in February.  "The joys of living in the Ohio Valley," I'd say sarcastically.  In all honesty, I  really shouldn't complain, for yesterday was absolutely beautiful.  The temperatures got up into the 60s and there was not a cloud in the sky.  I had yesterday off, so I made sure to enjoy the unusual, but delightful weather as I was out and about running errands.  

I'd then ask how things have been with you.  Let me think, how long has it been since we've caught up?  About a month, right?  Yes, Martin Luther King Day, I remember now.  I had the day off and I was still sore from the women's self-defense course I had taken two days before.  I'd listen as you brought me up to speed about the things going on in your life.  After a bit, you'd say, "Enough about me.  How about  you?  Do you feel a year older?"

I'd smile, look at you, and let out a soft chuckle.  "I'm not sure," I profess, "for I'm not sure what this age is supposed to feel like."  There are times in which I have a hard time believing that I'm not a twenty or thirty-something anymore, because in my head, I still see myself as young.  "Time is a weird thing, isn't it?" I'd ask as we both laughed.

Taking a sip of your drink, you'd ask about my birthday.  I'd tell you how I took the day off, had a massage, had lunch with R, then came home and took a blissful afternoon nap.  Later that evening, we ate my favorite Chicago style stuffed pizza for dinner and I topped the day off with a yummy red velvet cupcake.  It was a wonderful day. 

"Did you receive any surprises?" you'd ask.  "As a matter of fact, I did.  I got two," I'd reply.  Your eyes would widen with delight and interest.  "Two?"  I'd look at you and simply smile and nod my head.  "Yeah," I quietly say.

You'd look at me and give me this c'mon, don't make me wait look.  Sensing your anticipation, I'd start by telling you about the surprise gift that R left for me Tuesday morning.  He left to take his daughter to school as usual.  After showering, I discovered a box and card setting on my side of the bed.  "Yes, my non-romantic husband came back to the house while I was in the shower and left me a birthday gift."  You'd ask what was in the box and I'd tell you a dozen chocolate covered strawberries.  "It was a very sweet gesture and so out of character for him.  Once I read the card, I actually cried."

"Then, the next day," I'd continue, "I received a gift basket at school from a very dear friend."  One of my colleagues came to my room to eat lunch and she brought with her a large box.  As I opened the door for her, I asked her if she was moving in.  She said, "No, this is for you.  It was up in the office."  At first I thought it was speech therapy supplies that I had ordered several weeks earlier, but upon opening it, I discovered a large gift basket full of fruit and other miscellaneous goodies.  In my seventeen years working there, I've only received a delivered gift once before.  I was very overwhelmed by the sweet gesture and by the fact that it was a complete surprise that I cried again.

You'd look at me with disbelief, "You cried?"

"Yes," I'd say with a resigned sigh.  Truth is, I've only been surprised on my birthday a few times  throughout my life, so when it happens, I find myself very touched and filled with emotion." 

When your birthday is on a holiday, like mine is, your birthday is often an after thought.  Valentine's Day is a big deal and people make plans with their significant others, I get it.  I learned a long time ago not to expect much in terms of hoopla on my birthday.  "But," I'd say while gazing out the window, "there was this one time, when my circle of friends really went out of their way and surprised me on my birthday.  It was probably one of the best birthdays I've ever had."  

During my senior year of college, it seemed as if everyone in my little circle of friends was dating someone.  When my birthday rolled around, all my friends had Valentine's Day plans with their significant others and I really felt as if they had forgotten that it was my 22nd birthday.  I wasn't dating anyone and I had no plans, so when another single friend of mine wanted to go bowling, bowling - of all things, I reluctantly agreed to go with her.  In truth, I was so upset because my friends had barely acknowledged my birthday, that I really didn't want to go. My friend persisted though, telling me that it would do me good to get out and that I'd feel better later, so I complied.

I remember walking into the bowling alley that cold, February evening.  I felt rather low and really just wanted to go back to my apartment and drink some beer and eat some Ben and Jerry's.  Once inside, we walked to our assigned lane, rental shoes in hand.  As we approached the lane, I noticed a group of people already assembled there and as it turned out, it was my friends.  When they saw me, they all yelled "Happy Birthday!" and started clapping and cheering as if a celebrity was in the building.  I stopped dead in my tracks because I was absolutely stunned.  Never did I  suspect that the bowling outing with my friend was actually just a ruse to get me to my own surprise party.  

I'd take a drink of my soda, lost in thought for a bit, fully savoring the memory then I'd say, "I was so incredibly touched that I actually got teary eyed.  Several of my friends were taken aback by my display of emotions."  To this day, it was the only surprise birthday party I've ever had and although many of the details have faded over time, I'll never forget the overwhelming emotions I felt that evening.  

Just like I won't forget the overwhelming emotions I felt this week or the reasons behind them.  

Thank you for stopping by and reading my latest installment of IWWHC. 

Have a wonderful Saturday and weekend!  

Linking up with:
Nerd in the Brain


  1. Happy birthday! The story about your college friends is very cool!

  2. How awesome.. Glad you had a nice birthday! I thought only Michigan was perpetually gray.. At least you tend to warm up quicker than we do.. I think? Have a great week!

  3. Happy birthday! I guess any "holiday" birthday sucks. My husband was exactly one week before Christmas. In his youth, that meant one present. No fun!
    What a wonderful memory to have. Hmmm... methinks you are due for another surprise in the near future!

  4. Hey! I live in Kentucky too! Enjoyed your coffee share!

  5. Happy Birthday! If we were having coffee I would probably skip the instant and show you how to use the French press thing. It's very easy lol. Thank you for the chat and the story, I enjoyed both :)

  6. Happy birthday! I'm glad you had a great day. Loved the story about the surprise party. How thoughtful of your friends!

  7. Awwww, what a sweet post :) Happy belated birthday! And I'd totally take an instant coffee, thankyouverymuch :) What a sweet memory of the surprise birthday party. I had one like that in my 20s and was overwhelmed with emotion, too. Also so sweet of your hubby to leave you a gift while you were in the shower <3 gestures like that speak volumes, eh??


  8. Awww! Love the college story. I'm glad you had a great birthday!


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