Here's the Scoop: July 18, 2012

Happy Birthday...again and again
When is a birthday not a birthday — when the celebration goes on and on and…
That type of rare occurrence happened to my wife this year. Oddly enough, the situation wasn’t planned — it just sort of unfolded — as the best things in life often do.

Because of a series of conflicts, marking the occasion was not going to be convenient on the true “Annual Acknowledgment of Earth Arrival.” (After a certain number of years have passed, the term “birthday celebration” doesn’t really fit).

Still, even though folks say that their birthday is “just another day,” it’s not a good thing to forget. And, as we all know, Facebook greetings don’t really count (unless there’s an accompanying present en route from UPS).

So, we carry on the time-honored tradition of making birthdays special occasions. In my wife’s case, one of her siblings was visiting, so that boosted the “non-celebration.”

Here’s a nice gift!
A day out on the town (read: shopping) started the action. Fortunately, I had a yard trimming appointment and gladly traded nasty weed allergies for the violent shaking fits I get when watching my wife try on shoes. Just kidding, naturally.

I finished the yard work in time to meet the gang for dinner. Because my wife had taken a few days off from work during her sister’s visit, the paid days off were equal to an ongoing (and hard-earned) present. The leisure time was an unwrappable, incomparable gift.

But that didn’t mean that more traditional gifts weren’t welcome. A few small items were issued at dinner. More mementos were “presented” after a home-cooked dinner at our son-in-law and daughter’s house the following evening. The “neighbors” were setting off fireworks, so that added to the special feeling.

A loooonnnng party
Some other friends joined in the non-celebration. It was fun. And exhausting. The events of several days seemed to meld into one long party.

By the end of the evening, my wife proclaimed with a laugh, “I’m ready for my birthday to be over.”
There was one problem with this, though, her “real” birthday wasn’t until the following day. I had to work, so it was another day out for my wife and sister-in-law, exploring regional sites. As the day passed, I grew a bit anxious, because her true present was one that needed assembly.

Me putting something together (and not throwing a complete swearing fit during the process) is like an aging Roger Clemens trying to strikeout out young All-Stars without the benefit of Performance Enhancing Drugs. Not that he used them, naturally.

Well, there are no drugs that can help my “building” skills. Fortunately, when I purchased this item, the description called the assembly “easy.” This was obviously meant to increase the pressure on my mechanical “skills.”

The good news was, she liked the gift. The bad news was, I think my wife had a gnawing fear that Mt. Brian was going to erupt on her birthday cover the event in hot expletive lava. My sister-in-law, having never read the guidebook about the special nature of seeing Mt. Brian blow up, stood passively by as “the holes didn’t line up with the pegs.”

Then, in what has already come to be known as the Birthday Miracle, I figured out the problem, everything fell into place and the present went together smoothly. This would truly be a birthday that was long remembered. In more ways than one.
— Brian Sweeney