For her, birthday celebrations work in a systematic structure and if this structure is ignored, then birthdays are not complete celebrations at all.
Step One: Shopping
The Incubator took her to Woolies to pick out a few gifts for me. It has since been reported that The Incubator had to fight with steely determination to avoid the purchase of some questionable items. You see, I don't own any purple garments or, really, items at all. And that is simply because I really don't like the colour purple. I like The Color Purple but the colour purple, not so much. And so these were the items she wanted me to have for my birthday:
1) Purple satin bra and granny panties set.
2) Purple brushed nylon pyjamas
3) Lime green nail polish and matching eye shadow
4) At least four different dressing gowns in varying shades of purple.
5) A purple pencil skirt.
6) Bright purple cushions for my lounge.
How The Incubator managed to make it out of the shop with non-purple really nice items, I am dumbfounded. I fear, though, that this year may mark the last in which I receive items of my liking. I suspect that by next year things may be a little different.
Step Two: The Wrapping Process
We spent the night with my Parental Unit prior to the ageing day. I do this because The Daughter is too young to make tea on her own and it is of vital importance that one is woken up with "Happy Birthday to you", presents and tea in bed. But also, so I don't have to do the wrapping of my own presents. It kind of takes the surprise out of the whole gift receiving thing, does wrapping your own presents.
So The Daughter, The Incubator and The Father disappeared into the parental unit's bedroom on Tuesday evening, armed with packets of things, wrapping paper, sticky tape and far too many ribbons. And since I am still not an adult, I tried to leopard crawl down the passage to catch sight of my gifts.
The Pant: I'm not going to look. I just need to borrow granny's slippers. My feet are freezing.
The Daughter: Not a chance, Mommy. Get out! You can't see your presents because I've already wrapped the perfume so you won't be able to see it so you won't know what it is.
Step Three: The Gift Handover Session
We have a tradition in the Liner household. Once the house is awake, which on birthdays is usually at about 5 am, the birthday girl/boy gets to climb into the marital bed, and the rest of the family goes to the other end of the house to collect presents, make tea, form an orderly queue and proceed down the passage blaring "Happy Birthday".
The only problem yesterday, was that The Daughter had hidden the gifts so well that she, and the parental unit, and in the end, I too, were unable to find the gifts. After 25 minutes of turning the house upside down and The Incubator mentally ticking off gifts as they were recovered, it appeared that all the gifts were ready to be opened.
I climbed back into bed, and the procession made its way down the passage.
Step Four: The Gift Opening Session
The Daughter: Okay, Mommy. This one is pink body wash that I chose.
As I took the present into my hands to begin opening it, it was ripped from my grip and she began tearing at the paper.
The Daughter: Look! I told you it was pink body wash.
The Pant: That's lovely. Thanks my darling. That's very kind of you.
The Daughter: I know. And this one is perfume.
(she was right. After she opened it, it was perfume. On this score, it must be mentioned that The Incubator is a truly fabulous woman. This perfume, which is my most favourite, is almost impossible to find. But she tracked down the very last bottle from Dallas. Go The Incubator. You're all kinds of rad.)
TD: And this one is a grey jersey.
(She was right.)
TP: Oh wow! Thanks my darling. I love that.
Within ten minutes, she had opened all my presents, but had told me what they were before. And she was mighty chuffed. She tried on the very special bra she'd chosen - one that promises to instantly add two cup sizes (was she trying to tell me something) - which she then declared a dud since it didn't fit her snug.
Step Five: The Luncheon
I don't know how this happened. But I invited a good mix of people for lunch at the parental's - and I ended up cooking. Such was my birthday busy that I forgot to put a face on and by the time I remembered, my hands were covered in egg & flour from dipping brinjal pre-creation of the famous brinjal parmegianos that it was just too late.
But I also got to spend my day with The Brother. (Who, upon arrival, told me we don't hug but he could bump my side to show an acknowledgement of the fact that it was my birthday.) And The Daughter's BF & her parents (who are seriously the most amazing people in the world. We've just spent a glorious five days away with them over Easter and I have to tell you, that it was, by far, the best beach holiday I've had in years. The Daughter and I have the tans to prove it.)
And what would a birthday be without My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Touch My Inner Thigh? Apart from having the skill to make me feel like the most wonderful woman on the face on this earth, he sure does know how to thrill a girl.
This is the card I received from him:
He knows me so well, because the message inside the card reads:
Sure, birthdays are a drag.
But honey, at least you're still smokin'!
Ah, bless his cotton socks.
And just to complete the radness of birthday love, I'm dining with The BF, my people tonight. (Roast chick and veggies, if you're reading, please).
My life is full of such lovely people, that I don't even mind getting older. In fact, I welcome this 20th birthday with open arms. Again.