Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chocolate -- I mean birthday -- update

posted Wed, 20 Oct 2004

Harpo called me last night to sing Happy Birthday. He has been in Florida, trying to take care of his mother. She has been ailing, but he managed to get her to a doctor and on the road to wellness. His brother Tom and sister in law Marsha arrived at Harpo’s mom’s home last night, so Harpo left her in good hands.

He was quite upset that his special order package had not arrived on my doorstep yet. “But I ordered plenty of time in advance,” he moaned. When I left my house at 5:30 this morning, there was a box next to the door – a box from See’s candies. I guess Harpo reads this blog.

It must have arrived last night. The UPS man must have rung my doorbell, but I disconnected it a few months ago because it is so shrill and jarring and the only people who ever ring the bell are beggars and kids selling magazine subscriptions so they can win a trip to Europe! (Save your money like I did, I growl at them.) Harpo has a key and my friends know to knock or to come to the back door. It’s not like I miss calls.

Anyhow. I sent Harpo an email page to let him know his surprise had arrived and he denied all knowledge. “It must be from some secret admirer,” he said.

I got a card from my grandmother, who never forgets. Never. She has 26 grandchildren – something like that – and maybe a dozen great grandchildren. My cousin Becky, who is a student at the optometry school here in M’town, and I tried to count all our first cousins once removed or whatever that relationship is – the children of our cousins – and we gave up.

But my grandmother always sends a birthday card to me and always sends a check for $25. I haven’t cashed that check since I got out of college. I know it messes up her checkbook balancing, but I would rather she have that money for herself. I appreciate the gesture, but when I think about how much money she gives to just me and my cousins, it hurts. She is a widow on a small income. She and my grandfather had a small dairy farm. There was never any extra money. She doesn’t have a lot to give away. I suspect my older cousins probably don’t cash their checks, either. I hope not.

When I got to work this morning, I had phone messages from Lenore in Chicago and my mom and my best friend Julie from high school, whom I got to see a few years ago in Atlanta for my happy birthday to me present, and from Cuban Laura in Austin.

I have had some weird birthdays in the past. One boyfriend – we shall call him FB, for Foreign Boyfriend, from a country I shall not identify, but they speak French there, so you would have thought he would have had a better idea of romance – was giddy in anticipation of my birthday weeks before.

“I have such a surprise for you!” he would exclaim. “I already have it arranged!” Well, he exclaimed by email, as this was an intercontinental romance. He lived in some country in Europe; I was in CONUS.

He just couldn’t wait! As this was the man who had shown up for our first date with a one-pound box of Godiva chocolates, my expectations were high.

But when my birthday came, all I heard from him was – an e-card.

That’s right.

An e-card.

This from a man who later told me he wanted me to marry him (note: did not ask me to marry him) because he “needed an heir.”

Actually, I guess the behaviors were not inconsistent.

An e-card that he had programmed three weeks before my birthday. He couldn’t even be bothered to buy a card, put it in an envelope and drop it in the mail. That’s romantic.

I’ll tell you the story about the Big Jerk birthday in another post. The birthday itself was great, but the memory is marred by what a jerk the guy involved (not FB) turned out to be.

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