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4:16 p.m. - 2011-01-22
She has so much more than things.

Wolf has turned the upper part of the driveway into a bobsled run. He goes whizzing past the office windows giggling and whoo-hooing, the nearly sub-zero snow crackling beneath his sled. I often wish he had a pal, a neighbor kid to whoop it up with, but such is the times we live in. (Kids leave their own yards? Make buddies of the neighborhood kids? But…but…they'll be killed! Maimed! Molested! Kidnapped! *sigh…*) Me? I'm too creaky to get out there and batter myself to bits on a sled. Such is also life and the reality of Wolf having an older mom.

And older I am. Thank you for all the birthday greetings and well-wishes. You guys are great!

I had a lovely birthday. Despite the snow and the less than loving missive from my elder son who chose my birthday to lay all his life's woes and failures at my feet. Way to go, kid. Whatever. If he wants to make me cause and reason for all his griefs, okay. What else are mothers for but to blame? I screwed up? Was a less than perfect mother and person? I'll cop to that. When my elder son stumbles onto that trove of perfect people who score 100% plus bonus points on the parenting test I'll be delighted for him. Hope when he becomes a father he gets kids as happy and easy and loving as mine were.

Otherwise we had a very nice day. The 'MIL and me' birthday lunch was postponed until Monday (see above about snow), but I did get out for a lovely steak dinner with my guys. The food was yummy and our server was a delight. So much so I made sure to speak to the manager. The manager said she'd make sure our server got a new pin and there'd be a raise in her (the server's) paycheck to reflect the positive customer feedback. Good deal.

If recently it seems I've become LA- Champion of Waitresses, it's only because as I face my return to being a working stiff I am especially aware of how damn hard some of my past jobs were and how great it is when I come across someone who gets it right despite the challenges.

Birthday loot? I know y'all want to hear about the loot. Mick gifted me lavishly and large. There were Olay products, the luxe cleansers I refuse to buy for myself because they're a little pricey. A dvd of 'Julie & Julia' which I had to watch last night. I remember going to see it at the theater with Darling Deb and it was only not being able to giggle with her that kept the viewing from being perfect again. There was a wicked cool pair of shoes. Lace-up oxfords of the nerdiest sort. Great with jeans. Funny and offbeat with a denim skirt. Warm, comfy and non-slip to be cleaning up spills in aisle 3 when I finally get a dang job. There was a cake. A delicious cake with artsy icing swirls atop butter-cream frosting that covered moist vanilla cake. With sparkly candles, no less. That I blew out in one breath and am thus guaranteed my wish will come true.

Then there was THIS. A Pandora™ bracelet!

Now you guys know I'm no status hound. Not usually impressed with name brands and the cool 'It' item of the moment. But something about those Pandora charm bracelets fetched me. Maybe it's because I had one of the old-fashioned kind in high school. Quite the fad in the very late 1970s/early 1980s. My sisters and I each had one and the charm bracelet solved all our gift buying questions for many years. Our boyfriends liked them for that reason too.

Anyway, Mick gave me a starter kit for my new charm bracelet. The bracelet chain itself, which he thoughtfully got large enough to encircle my less than lady-like chunky wrist, with room to spare as charms are added. And the first charm for my collection- a gorgeous circlet of sterling silver and pink crystals with a peace sign dangle. He said he'd wanted to get me the birthstone one but was taken aback by the prohibitive cost. Not that I'm not worth such an investment, but budget realities will intrude on his spoiling of me.

Now Mick, like the boyfriends of yesteryear, is all set for many, many gift giving occasions to come. A new charm suitable to the holiday and he's all good. Though I know Mick and there will be charms given for no reason at all except that he loves me and it gets him high when he can surprise and please me. I also know myself and I'll be hinting hard toward non-Pandora™ charms that look great, mean as much, and don't cost the Earth.

Jeeze. I've mentioned money/cost a lot. Makes me sound like a miser or a whore. But neither fits exactly. True enough I get no especial joy from equating cost with value and status. Hell, you only have to look at my wardrobe from the Houses of Old Navy and Payless to know that. Compared to my Chanel Grandmother and my own mother, She Who Would Wear Dior, I'm a bum. It's more that Mick will not let me do without. Refuses to let me cheap out on myself and get by on scraps and crumbs. As I always have. Only ever felt allowed to have. So that's what my pretty bracelet means. Not that I got a guy to part with a wad of dough. But what my pleasure means to him. That it's important to my man that I be happy. If I have a heart's desire, be it a fried egg sandwich or an expensive frivolous trinket, he will make sure I have it. If it will offset even a little bit of the hardship and sadness of the time before he came into my life. If I have a tangible symbol, a real-life piece of his love to carry with me then he's content.

At least until the next birthday/holiday/anniversary. Then he'll bring another charm, another symbol, so I can add that to my collection of ever-growing love.

Be happy with me, won't you? ~LA

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