Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Happy Birthday from the Modfather

Birthday/May 23
This year you warm up the waters with a difficult person in your life. You are prone to the unexpected and frequently can be found responding to situations triggered by surprising events. If you are single, take your time getting to know someone who seems like a nearly perfect suitor. If you are attached, communication flourishes between you and your sweetie. Taurus plays a significant role in understanding what you want from certain situations.

Leave it to the Washington Post to kick off my birthday talking about all kinds of relationships. Like I never give them any thought.

Technically, my parents inaugurated my birthday with a cheery phone call at 10:50 that woke me up and got me out of bed. According to Mom, they'd waited till then to call, thinking I'd be back from my walk, so I didn't bother disabusing them of that notion.

While I was making breakfast, the phone rang an unlikely second time and I picked it up to hear an instantly familiar voice, that of my college friend, biggest booster and, for the last few years, my long distance friend since he's now a Key West resident. Few voices could have surprised me more.

Although he reads the blog regularly and often emails to comment or share a related thought (he picks up a lot of nuances most don't because he's known me so long and so well), we too-rarely talk on the phone, which is a damn shame because we love to laugh together, challenging to do over the interwebs.

My birthday walk was satisfyingly beach-like, alternating damp and drizzle, but with mid-60 degree warmth and a capricious breeze to make it feel like the weather gods were stewing on something. Stew away, as long as I can wear shorts, it's a good birthday.

When I got home, I cut myself a birthday bouquet of lavender and blue hydrangeas, deeply fragrant pink heirloom roses and mauve lilies, putting them in a black vase to tone down the girliness pastel explosion a tad.

Dinner involved all my favorite things - bubbles, oysters on the half shell, crab, good bread, dark chocolate - set to a swinging Sinatra soundtrack over five unhurried hours.

The afterparty revolved around my birthday gift from a handsome friend (and his new bride), who'd thoughtfully brought back from their month-long honeymoon in South Africa a bottle of Spice Route Pinotage for me.

It was a beautiful wine, intense and rich, and the ideal sipper for a record listening party that involved more of my birthday gifts (thank you, Pru and Beau) as well as some of my own recent purchases and golden oldies.

From the gift pile came the number one album from 1982, Asia's eponymous debut, sounding so overblown and prog-pop it was hilarious. A gift nearly 20 years ago, The Pretenders' "Get Close" sounded just as funky as it had in '86. Choosing from Friday's purchases of Marvin Gaye's last two albums, "In Our Lifetime" and "Midnight Love," the latter got the nod.

Since conventional wisdom has it that unless you're desirous of certain results, the one thing you should never put on after Marvin Gaye is Roxy Music, it was inevitable that Roxy's "The Atlantic Years 1973-80" followed Marvin, raising all sorts of lyrical questions.

Can you really dance away the heartache? Who's got angel eyes? Is love the drug? Is it worth waiting till the midnight hour? How can Jimmy John's make a sandwich so fast?

More importantly, will I ever have birthday years where I'm not prone to the unexpected? When I'm not frequently being found responding to situations triggered by surprising events?

Today I woke up to an email from my best friend from college, still my biggest fan and, tragically, a Texas resident.

So, did you have a good night? I was going to call but figured you would be out and about. I hope you enjoyed your special day. I thank your Mom and Dad every year on your b-day for their horniness (I know, very tacky). Love you...

I don't know if it can be considered tacky when my birthday card from Mom and Dad referenced the same horniness: "When it comes to making the world a better place, we've done our part. We brought you into it!"

Out of the mouths of the two people whose relationship I admire the most.  Here's to another birthday year of owning who I am and where I came from.

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