Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birthdays are not all about presents. But...

I recently celebrated a Major Birthday Milestone. I'm not one to cry over spilt birthdays, and in fact, I attempt to derive as much enjoyment as possible from the things that traditionally go along with birthdays: presents, attention, presents, cards, people saying nice things to me, and presents.
Well, as it turns out, I had the best 50th birthday in the history of 50th birthdays. Many people celebrated with me, made noise with me, toasted and appreciated me--and some even gave me presents. Birthdays should not be all about presents when a person is 50 years old--but when said 50-year-old's love language is presents, chances are there will be some unwrapping going on. And there was.

But first: You know what else I love about my birthday? I love it when people write or say nice things to me or about me. My crazy group of Vagina Dialogue peeps wrote me a "screenplay" called "Ten Things About Eve" in which they said things that I am too embarrassed to repeat here because they just totally hyperbolized my good qualities. They also gave me some nipple bling, but since this is a family-friendly blog, we'll just leave that alone.

Even though I actually posted my birthday wish list on this blog, I told Mr. Peevie that the one thing that I really really wanted for my birthday was a hand-crafted card produced by my friend Queen, who's blog nickname I am officially changing to The Producer. I got it--and it was everything I had hoped it would be. Any card that references the music of Hildegaard von Bingen is destined for the Handcrafted Card Hall of Fame.

The actual highlight of the celebration of the anniversary of my auspicious birth came from Mr. Peevie, who always distinguishes himself in the Department of Presents. Mr. P came up with a gift that makes me feel sorry for every man, woman and child who is not married to him. Here it is:

O.M.G. Have you ever seen anything so beauteous? Such an artisanal masterpiece? Such a mother-lode of awesome?

This gift knocked my socks off. Mr. Peevie bought me my accessory of choice, a purse. But What a Purse! Mr. P. heard an interview on NPR about two years ago with Caitlin Phillips of Rebound Designs. He bookmarked it.

As my significant birthday approached, Mr. P. contacted the creative and talented Ms. Phillips and custom ordered this recherché handbag. He specified not only the title of the book to use--my favorite writing resource book, The Chicago Manual of Style--but the particular edition (14th). He also selected the fabric for the lining as well as the handle.

Now that is love, no matter what your love language is. Everywhere my bag and I go, we attract the admiration of others--and I tell the story of the best gift a girl could get for her birthday: love in the form of research, thoughtfulness, and effort; love that feels like being known by the lover.

[Adjectival props go to my frabjous friend, J-Ro, who gave me an autographed copy of Better Than Great: A Plentitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives by Arthur Plotnik. Thanks for giving me a gift that fits my heart and soul--although I may have overdon it a bit in this post.]