Today’s phrase is “What do you want (or what would you like to do) for your birthday?”

I know; it sounds innocuous enough.

But here’s the thing: I’ve got a birthday coming up. And over the last several days, I’ve been pressured by family and friends to (basically) shop for myself. Now, I have to admit: The Girl tried to surprise me.

I’ve often lamented I never had a Sweet Sixteen, that in fact, I spent my 16th birthday babysitting my brother’s children and didn’t receive so much as a card from anyone in my family (though the kids and I made some really colorful cupcakes!) Sure it was decades ago. But I’m still scarred by it. (A joke, folks! I mention it as a guilt trip whenever my kids act like I “owe” them a party or celebration of some sort.) This year, the girl started planning me a Surprise Sweet Sixteen Party. Lucky for her, she decided to run the idea by me before it got fully off the ground. I love my kids, but I hate surprise parties. And the scheduling of this particular event would have been a major league nightmare. Between my own day job, football practice, and my friends’ schedules, I probably would have wound up with a good twenty minutes of quality party time with all the invited guests. At least, she tried.

Her next suggestion? Let’s tattoo Mom! I made the mistake of mentioning if I ever got a tattoo (fat chance) I’d put it on my big toe. This way, I’d know I had it, but no one else *except a coroner* would see it unless I opted to show it to them. Dear Daughter took that as a wish and decided I had to have a heart tattooed somewhere on my body. She’s already lined up friends to go with me for moral support.


But I digress. The most pressure seems to come from the Hubster. I admit, I don’t make it easy on him (or anyone else for that matter.) I have plenty of jewelry and I don’t like massages so the standards are out. Flowers are nice, but they die within a week so what’s the point? There are no concerts or shows I’m interested in seeing right now. I’m currently happy with my electronics and although I’m thinking of a new notebook and an e-reader, those are pretty big ticket items that I’d prefer dh didn’t spend money on right now. (We’re currently new car shopping and paying The Girl’s college tuition.) So, okay. Just take me out for a nice dinner. Which inevitably leads to the question…

Where would you like to go?

I’m an oddity when it comes to food. Whenever dh and I go out to eat, I immediately look for one of two entrees to satisfy my palate–the two things I don’t make at home (because no one else will eat them): duck or rack of lamb. Dh far prefers seafood to meat. I have a few fave restaurants I go to for my duck/lamb requirements, but this is a Special Night, so the “usual” isn’t good enough. Which means dh wants to take me someplace new. And fearful, he might opt for a place that doesn’t have my fave menu items, he wants me to choose.

You know what? Maybe we should just skip the celebration altogether. I already have everything I want in life: a loving husband, two terrific kids, an exciting career, and a car I want to be buried in. Who could ask for anything more?