First of all, I’m sorry about earlier when we were at the bank and I snapped at you and told you it was rude of you to take the chair at the banker’s desk while I stood awkwardly with the stroller and my bag and tried to sign papers without the luxury of sitting. You are not rude. I am hormonal.
It was your twenty-sixth birthday yesterday, sweetheart. You’d think that it wouldn’t have snuck up on me like that, what with me knowing the date 365 days in advance, and all. But it did. I am no good at planning things like birthday celebrations, and I’m sorry about that. Every year, on my special days, you go ALL OUT. Rose petals and well-thought out gifts are showered upon me. Dates are planned and surprises are arranged. You are so good at making me feel good about myself- like I am worth celebrating.
We went out on a date last night for your birthday, but it didn’t turn out just as I planned. I had planned to take you to that fancy restaurant in the museum, and then whisk you away to that snazzy piano bar we’ve heard about for drinks and smokey treats. That was the plan. When we showed up at the restaurant, they were CLOSED. They aren’t even open on Mondays. And I would definitely have known this if I had only taken a minute to call ahead, or if I had just looked down on the piece of paper I was holding in my hand from the restaurant that said “CLOSED MONDAYS”.
You didn’t even bat an eyelash. (oh those gorgeous eyelashes!) You saw me crumbling under the disappointment with myself and you stepped in to save the day. YOUR day. You drove us straight to a little place on Western that I’ve never been to but have wanted to try out for a very long time. You’ve been there a few times, and I know you love the food, but I think you were actually just thinking of me when you took us there. You thought, “Emery hasn’t been able to try this new place, and I know she’ll love it.” You thought only of me, didn’t you? Putting me first, even on your birthday night? This place is an amazing little pizza joint. I had wine, you had beer that tasted like wet soil. You like beer that tastes that way. I prefer my beer to taste more like carbonated water with a hint of lime. (AKA Corona Light.) You ordered us appetizers- even the prosciutto wrapped pears with goat cheese and balsamic that I said sounded tasty. (words cannot describe… MMMM.) We had a truffle mushroom chicken pizza that tasted like the sweet tears of angels in my mouth.
Then, instead of me taking you to the piano bar that I never really got directions to, you suggested we just head to the little chocolate bar down the way. The chocolate bar that you know I love even more than prosciutto wrapped Asian pears and goat cheese. I ordered a raspberry truffle and a small cup of decaf coffee. You got your favorite: a slice of the orange soaked cake and a cup of decaf as well. We sat and talked for a long time. About birthdays and life and adoption. I fell in love with you even more as we sat there and talked like we’d been born with the same brain.
We are old fogie-ish these days, so we decided to head back home after this. It was the shocking late hour of 9:30 pm.
Our sitters quickly turned us back out of the house when we arrived home. They told us it was too early for us to end our date night, so we high-tailed it back out of there. (Most amazing babysitters EVER?) We were thinking of catching a late movie. Either ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ or ‘Hairspray’. We just couldn’t decide between the two… you’d have thought we were trying to decide between death by rabid monkeys or death by Snakes On A Plane! On the way to the theater, we passed a bowling alley. The sign was flashing: Open. Bowling. Open. Bowling.
I instantly saw the twinkle in your eye, even from my distant passenger side of the car.
So, we went bowling instead. Do you remember how fancy we were dressed? Me in my plunging black dress and sexy heels? You in your nice gray pants and white, crisp button-up shirt with that skinny blue tie? Were you wearing suspenders? I forget. We bowled till closing and ordered drinks. We laughed and you tried to keep up my morale so that I wouldn’t throw my hands in the air and start being miserable the second I started to suck. The first game, I bowled an 88. I almost let myself get angry at my ineptitude. (Don’t ever take me mini-golfing unless you want to see the inner beast in me.) An yet, simply because of your encouragement, the next game I was able to bowl a 114. A ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN! A personal best! (why are you all laughing?) I don’t remember what you got. A 3,763 or something.
After bowling we headed back home again. I was dizzy from the joy of the evening. If it had been left in my hands alone, the evening could have turned out miserable- simply because I would have been miserable that it didn’t “turn out” exactly as I had wanted it to. And my miserableness would have made you miserable, too. You know me too well to let that happen, don’t you? I hate to say it, but at the end of the night, I think I was the one who ended up feeling celebrated. I hope that you felt celebrated too.
That’s the thing with you, honey. Whenever I’m near you, I feel like you’re celebrating me. Treasuring me. Prizing me. You make me feel like long lost gold. Like I have limitless VALUE. You bring it up from the deepest waters where it has been hiding in sunken ships for numberless years. It baffles me to no end. You have a way of doing this with everyone you meet- treasure hunting the best out of people and letting the broken vessel drop quietly back to the ocean floor. I am so blessed to have a man like you in my life. You are an amazing man. Thank you for always putting me first.
Even on YOUR birthday.
I love you infinity,