Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We Call That N.B.T.

It's good to know that when it comes to birthdays, I'm not the only one who thinks they should be a multi-day celebration.

So when I get invited to be part of such revelry, I welcome the opportunity to share in the fun.

And when the birthday celebrant wants to take the fun to the beach, all the better.

The overcast day is spent indulgently, sitting on a couch in front of an open balcony door, looking at the ocean.

And that's it.

There is wine on that couch, including one hilariously called "Sexy Wine Bomb," a big  California blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Sirah.

It claims that discovering this wine is like "going on a third date and realizing that the person you are with is not only good-looking, but also not the slightest bit creepy."

All involved appreciate a wine with a sense of humor and a luscious mouthfeel.

There is a cheese course, there is a dinner course and then there is a bottle of good 2004 Chianti.

And when the ocean-view, couch-sitting portion of the birthday celebration ends, it is duly noted that it took eight hours for that part of the celebration to run its course.

Don't come to these kinds of  birthdays if you're in a hurry.

At the discretion of the birthday celebrant, the sunny day portion of the great birthday caper does not begin early.

And when it does, it is the antithesis of the day before.

An epic beach walk involves bare feet despite it being February, spying in the windows of empty beach cottages (only worthwhile contenders), specific shell gathering (I have been told I will stoop for anything and it was meant as a compliment) and breezy salt air that smells as briney as an oyster.

Hours later the walk concludes only because everyone is starving.

A NY-style deli provides enormous paninis (Italian for me naturally), five-layer chocolate cake and one the birthday boy can't resist: something called chocolate ecstasy.

By this point, it is late afternoon and time for another birthday outing, this one to a soundside beach for sunset viewing.

Yes, the sign said private property and yet there wasn't a soul around, so the birthday revelers take a chance and walk out to a gazebo over the water to watch the light show.

What begins as shades of browns and blues soon morphs into pinks and golds in the sky which then translate to the water's surface.

For the art geeks among us, what begins as a Constable painting becomes a Turner as the colors of the sky melt into the barely rippling water, suggesting impressionistic brushstrokes on its surface.

Standing at the edge of the gazebo for an hour, the peace is shattered when a guy and his wife approach, and he's talking a mile a minute on his cell phone.

He ends that call only to take a second one and he's still approaching.

Birthday or not, this qualifies as a buzz kill.

The birthday party is moved to an undisclosed location where music is an integral part of the festivities.

The first Paul Weller album is played as a tribute to the birthday boy who said in 1992 that it was an album he could play over and over.

Actually the word he had used was endlessly.

And on a momentous occasion such as a birthday, it's all about the endless.

Endless wine, endless food, endless sitting, endless walking, the endless sound of the ocean.

It's not just the birthday person who doesn't want birthday celebrations to end.

Fortunately, everyone involved has nothing but time.