This past week a friend of mine celebrated his birthday. He had a big party over the weekend with friends and family while I was out of town. But on Thursday, the actual birthday, I showed up at his house. He was outside when I drove into the yard and when I got out of the car, purposely empty-handed, he yelled, “Where’s my birthday present?”
I was so jealous. Oh how I wish I could greet people like that on my birthday. But Will is only nine and at his age that kind of candor is still allowed, although if his parents had known that was how he’d greeted me they’d have been aghast.
“Birthday present! What? Is today your birthday?” I asked him, feigning surprise.
“Oh. Well maybe there is something on the front seat of Poppy.”
Excited, he took off for my car. About half way there, he abruptly stopped and looked at me. “You’re kidding, aren’t you? You didn’t get me a present, did you?”
“Would I forget your birthday?” I asked him. And he took off running again. Peering into the window of the passenger door, he exclaimed, “There is a present for me!”
Getting it out, he wanted to open it right away and I told him that would be fine. He said he wasn’t going to shake it, which I said was a good idea, because if he shook it, he’d know right away what it was. So then he promptly shook it.
“Legos!” he shouted, obviously happy.
He was pretty thrilled with the Swedish Fish I’d gotten him, too.
Ah, to be nine again. But wait, I don’t really want to be nine again. No, I pretty well like being 55. It’s pretty awesome, actually. But I want to shout, “Where’s my birthday present?” on my birthday. Heck, I want to shout, “Where’s my present?”every day, especially when I show up for work. I mean, just the fact that I show up is worth celebrating, right? I think it is.
I am not expecting big, grandiose presents. Little things, like a handful of M&Ms would make me happy. Or even if I were greeted with a nice tiara that I could wear while I am waitressing. That would be fun. I’m normally not one for bling, but I’d wear a tiara. What the heck, why not? I’d carry a wand, too, if I had a free hand to carry it in, but alas, as a waitress, my hands are usually pretty full.
Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe a little tutu would be okay? In the meantime, I am going to start practicing for my 56th birthday which is only seven short months away… “Where’s my present?” By the time my birthday actually rolls around, I should be pretty comfortable yelling that out to almost anybody.