Okay, so it’s not a party exactly.
Today is Doug’s birthday. He’s turning 25, which is the age I was when we met, which means that, age-wise, I have the length of our relationship on him (give or take a few months). Funny: this doesn’t make me feel old, even though I do feel like Doug and I have been together for a long time.
When his mom started asking what we were going to do for his “big,” quarter-century birthday, it got me thinking about what I did for my own “big,” quarter-century birthday, and the answer to both is nothing. On my 25th birthday, I had just gotten back from a week in Hawaii, which had nothing to do with my birthday, and everything to do with my honeymoon. So I’m not even sure I went out to dinner that night; I’m not even sure I got any presents.
Tonight, because it’s Monday, we’re at my parents’ house,* where my dad is grilling steaks and my mom made a chocolate cake in the shape of a football. Tomorrow night, we’ll celebrate a little more openly, as we’re going to a local 50s-style diner with Doug’s family and whoever else wants to show up, to get hamburgers with peanut butter and bacon on them. (Do not knock this until you’ve tried it. And you really should try it; the place has so much faith in this burger that there’s a replacement-burger guarantee that you’ll like it.)
I finally got out and did some Christmas shopping yesterday, and, while I was at it, picked up a few things for Doug that I’m calling birthday presents. The theme is “now that you’re all grown up.” (At 25, one can rent a car with no added insurance fees – it’s the last milestone age that will get you something until you start getting senior discounts.) So I got Doug a new pair of shoes, since he dropped a couple cases of eggnog by his feet yesterday, and ended up having to throw his other shoes away: “Now that you’re all grown up, you need to stop doing stupid things like spilling dairy products all over your nice clothes.” I also got him some Mickey Mouse pajamas: “Now that you’re all grown up, no more going on Splash Mountain on cold, drizzly days.” Except, on these pajamas, Mickey is winking, which I think means he condones such foolish behavior. Instead, Mickey says: “Now that you’re all grown up, you can still come to my place and go on Splash Mountain, but at least bring something to change into for the drive home. Huh-huh!”
They’re not very exciting birthday presents. But really, if Doug knows me as well as I think he does, he’ll understand that what I’m really trying to say is, “I love you at least as much as I love Converse and pajamas.” Which is huge.
It’s silly that we try to express our love through gifts anyway. There is no tangible gift in existence that could adequately convey how much I love him.
*Today, one of my coworkers referred to these Monday-night dates at my parents’ as one of the many “married people” things that Doug and I do. And I just want to point out that this ritual revolves entirely around the fact that I’m singing with my mom’s church choir on Christmas Eve, and the rehearsals are on Monday nights, and in another week or so, there will be no hard-and-fast rule about where we eat dinner when. So there.