Her Birthday.

Every year it is the same thing. She doesn’t want a big fuss but if she doesn’t get the traditional “happy birthday” and a gift there will be hell to pay.

The last couple of years we made a point to schedule our vacation time for her birthday week. Most of if not the entire week is spent on beach chairs, sipping from alcoholic beverages and soaking up every bit of sunshine humanly possible.

This year was no exception to the few before.

Except that I planned to buy her a birthday cake. I wanted to surprise her somehow in the room before her special adults only dinner. Her favorites, crab legs and more beer than one stomach should possibly hold.

Only this year it didn’t quite go as planned.

It so happened my only chance to get her cake was while she was with me. She had a minor tantrum right there in the bakery section of the grocery. I asked her to pick out a cake, she argues she doesn’t want one. I insist that the children want to celebrate her day and cake is how it’s done. She shrugs in  defeat and walks to the cake section again like a toddler forced to participate in group play.

She chooses a cheesecake.

I roll my eyes.
Not in such a way she shouldn’t have what she wants; I absolutely think one should be treated to any sweet desired on her birthday. However, I had planned on cheesecake for the private after dinner treat at her favorite restaurant.

She was ruining things and I was losing my temper.

Finally she picks a cake, after some threats and whispered expressions of aggravation. All the while we are circling a public shopping center. Shooting dirty looks at each other and anyone who dares notice the tension.

We make it back to the room and she gets her cake. The kids are happy. Everyone is happy.

Then comes time for the date night birthday dinner.

She loves crab legs, she eats them only once a year. The first year we were together we were engaged over crab by the ocean. Each birthday since the first she has enjoyed the same for her birthday week. It’s her thing. I don’t partake in such but I respect that it’s her favorite.

This year like all the others I watch her eyes dance when the plate is delivered. She reaches for the utensils to pull the meat from the long, freakish looking shells. She then drudges each piece into the cup of melted butter … dripping everywhere as she does. She scolds me to look away but I can’t. I just can’t avoid the butter on her fingers and the shine on her chin. You would think this to be intensely disgusting but in her own charm she makes it look sincerely endearing.

She continues on and about halfway into her mound she comes across a particularly tough leg to crack. She gives it her all and in slow motion we watch as a piece flings from our table to the next … narrowly missing the occupants. The piece bounces off an unknowing strangers handbag and onto the floor.

We look on horrified.

My hand to my mouth and her with buttery fingers still holding the remainder of the leg with a hint of butter slick on her chin.

Nobody seems to notice what just happened. I wait to take a breath for fear we will be escorted out before she can have her damn cheesecake.

We are asked if we might need a box, I advise we do. She exclaims to the waiter that she needs no box, only a shower. Probably an even mix of beer and truth talking.

Before long the plates are cleared and to-go boxes readied. We continue drinking her ginormous 100 ounce personal tap and casually discuss her day. Sunshine, sand, birthday dinner … it’s been a great day.

She heads to the bathroom and the waiter sneaks a fancy fried cheesecake thing with ice cream and a chocolate strawberry swirled concoction laced over the top. This bowl is surely delivered straight from the birthday heavens.

She is overjoyed.

The waiter comes back to ask her how she likes it, tells her happy birthday once again and retreats. She smiles.

Success.

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Birthday girl

Happy birthday my love. May we spend many more with even better stories to tell. I adore you.

I’m ready for another vacation … please

I’m back!

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My love.

Okay. I’ve been back for a few days.
It doesn’t look much like it though.

I still have half packed suitcases. Several in my bedroom, each opened and rifled through, with random colorful articles hanging half in and half out into the floor. One would think I am living out of them. One would be mostly right.

It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I still don’t have that hand maiden / personal assistant / volunteer slave I’ve been asking for.

I’m really busy catching up on my shows on the DVR, deleting voice mails and dragging myself back to work. Ironically I’m doing the same thing there, deleting more emails and cleaning out my email inbox trying to catch up on work gossip.

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I simply don’t have time to unpack and clean up after myself let alone my family. There should be vacation time after a vacation just to pull yourself together. A few days maybe to detox your liver and unpack. Time to hang up all your flowered shirts to the back of the closet again, and to wash and put away display proudly all those obscenely large souvenir drink glasses.

All this vacation crap. I need to do something with it besides ignore it and take a nap.

It’s a glamorous life I’m living.
We are approaching day 5 of post vacation and I had to pull my sandals from a pile of rumpled tee shirts declaring a successful Daytona trip from the bottom of a sandy suitcase.

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We definitely brought some sand back with our suitcases, gear and souvenirs.

Just add it to the normal house clutter we left when we exited the house to go on vacation in the first place.

The clutter that still needs to be cleaned up from 2 last weeks ago. I don’t know where it all came from.

The sand I mean. I’ve got an idea about the clutter.

We rinsed and shook and otherwise left enough sand in and around the hotel that I was sure we weren’t bringing any back.

Now I see I was wrong. So wrong. So very wrong.
The dust bunnies are building sand castles in the corners of the stairwell.

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There are still clothes to be unpacked and washed. The beach gear is still in the front room, stacked in a corner. It will continue to wait, either be put away or carried back to the car for the next trip. Chances are it will still be there for next time.

You wouldn’t know I took a week in the gorgeous sun, day drinking on the beach and crashing pool parties by night.

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except for the dark circles under my eyes

and the tell-tale peeling of my sun burned shoulders

Cardigans over my summer dresses and some concealer under my eyes. Working magic over here.  I look tan, refreshed and pulled together. Except for the fact I’m talking to myself about the fact that I’m still mess under this disguise.

Being a woman is sorta awesome, you can go from ship wrecked and floating on a board for weeks to paparazzi ready in about 10 minutes. or 30.

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If only I could use my magical woman powers to clean this vacation mess. If anyone has any post vacation tips to share I would appreciate it.

Feel free to leave your comments, I will either mock you or sing your praise.
It’s a 50/50 gamble.

Kinda like finding my favorite shorts in one of these suitcases …