Today is my husband’s birthday. The party is a BBQ on Saturday. However, as his wife, I decided long ago that it is my duty to make sure his birthdays are special. Before Buddy, I had numerous disappointing birthdays, but I haven’t had a bad one since we got together. So I do what I can.
On vacation, we went to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water house (so gorgeous). While there, we picked up an architectural Lego set for his growing collection (Rockefeller Center). Then I told him it was for his birthday and he couldn’t put it together until then. Mwahahaha! It’s been sitting on our coffee table for a week and a half. Today, I wrapped it. He laughed a lot.
So yesterday, he decided he wanted a Reese’s Peanut Buttercup and a Baja Fresh Mountain Dew. He really knows how to dream big, right?
Well, yeah. We used to keep cases of soda on the house. For a few years, when I was in the Army, I had a 4-can-a-day habit. I cut back to one a day eventually. Then, I stopped drinking soda some time last year, I think in the spring. I was drinking a can in class for the caffeine and I was still falling asleep. It dawned on me that, while I can deal with a product being less than healthy for (even diet or ‘zero’ varieties), I will not continue to pay for something that doesn’t fulfill its primary purpose.
Anyway, Buddy agreed that it was a waste of money and we stopped keeping it in the house. He still drank some at work for a while, but kicked soda completely on December 1st. That was also about the time he gave up cheap candy bars. I still indulge in the occasional candy bar, but since I can only eat dark chocolate I usually can’t find one when cravings attack.
You may have noticed that I said “cheap” candy bars. That’s because if we paid $7 for a bar of gourmet chocolate, we will (try) not to scarf it down in one sitting. So they don’t count.
I found a giant-size Reese’s bar (because it’s got to kill the craving for a year) and then spent three hours scouring gas stations, pharmacies, and grocery stores for the elusive Baja Fresh Mountain Dew. Pepsi has a helpful website where you can look up where the different specialty products are sold. Except it was almost completely wrong. I found two places that actually sold Baja, and they only had 12-packs, which was not an acceptable portion size. So I got his second choice (Throwback Mountain Dew with real sugar, also hard to find). I bought a Diet Cherry Dr Pepper for myself as a consolation for the rough search.
I brought them home, wrapped them up, and while Buddy was mowing the lawn on his birthday (!), I made dinner (baked chicken and steamed broccoli), lit some candles, and changed for a romantic evening (hockey jersey and jeans). Cuz we are super classy like that. Don’t worry. We’ll be drinking plenty of adult beverages on Saturday to make up for having soda with our “fancy” dinner.
The point I’m trying to make is that a special day comes from special details, not silly extravagance.
I’m ending this with the exchange we had while watching Kitchen Crashers.
Buddy: Sure. Use the old “blind dog” routine to pick up chicks.
Me: Those were the days, eh?