Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Birthday Parties

Tdub and I have alot in common, and yet, there are several key ways that we complement one another. Our opposing approaches to certain issues, if woven together correctly to bring the best of each forward, make one really great person in many ways.

We differ greatly in our approach to significant, sentimental sorts of "events". Birthdays would be the most common example. The first year we were married, Tdub threw me this very nice "surprise" birthday party. I was turning 36 years old. It was a very sweet, wonderful thing for him to do....and yet....I was a bit taken aback at the lengths and time he went to, and expected my friends to go to, in order to attend and/or make it special for me. I know how busy my friends are and I actually felt guilty that he expected them to take a school night (most of them are teachers), dress somewhat nicely (it was at one of our best local restaurants) procure a gift (they didn't have to, but of course they did), and show up there to go on and on about me in ways that I should be going on and on about them. It wasn't a "milestone" birthday. It was just another birthday. There were a few other factors which I know affected his decision to celebrate me that me, it was just overkill. Later, I commented something like this to him, "I hope you're not planning on doing that sort of thing every year! I mean, it's not like I'm SIX or something!" I probably hurt his feelings by saying that....even though I DID and still do appreciate his efforts. But, things like that are important to him. He likes to mark significant moments with much pomp and circumstance. And yes, he continued to throw parties of one fashion or another the first few years we were married. augh! Kinda drove me crazy! He finally stopped the year I turned 40...thank the LORD.

The thing is, I believe it's more important to attempt to treat each other in a somewhat celebratory way all year long. To me, it's not how awesome you can make that one day, hour, or event.....but how well you do at serving and submitting to one another ALL YEAR LONG.

Now....I have a very dear friend, KB, who fusses at me for giving Tdub a hard time about his desire to celebrate my birthday. She thinks it's the sweetest thing ever and such a wonderful example to the 4 boys of how they should honor their mother. I know she's right. And I know that it's important to Tdub to do these sorts of things. It's just one of the ways we are innately different. Which is okay.

The good news is this. Even though I've never been a big "party thrower"...(even for the's sad, really....we have parties for them...but...I just don't get that into it... go ahead and deduct points from my mother-of-the-year tally sheet) anyway, the good news is....Tdub has not yet turned 40. HeHe! So....I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. until the day that I throw the most humongously extravagant and outrageous BirthdayPartyOfALifetime for him. We still have 2 years to get it together....and you're all invited. Mark it down.


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em said...

Looking forward to the party of the century a la Grace! Feel free to pull me in for planning! ;-)

That was a great post; good fun!

Angie said...

Poor Tdub... doesn't stand a chance, does he! Regardless, I'm all about a party... Count me in!

grace said...

Em: Thanks! I know Tdub will very much appreciate your help! ;)

Angie: No...he really doesn't stand a chance...there are just TOO many people who will enjoy this moment of fun at his expense....Our mutual friend being one of those at the top of that list! By then, you'll practically be part of the family, I'm sure. ;)


Brett and Jenny Perkins said...

Brett and I are total opposites in this regard as well. He celebrated his 30th just this past year. I started planning a party for him, of course. Nothing too elaborate (since I know that's not his style), but a party none-the-less. After all, it was the big 3-0! He then quickly informed me that he would NOT enjoy a party and would love it if we could go to PF Changs with one other couple friend of ours. I was a little sad and hurt (and was really looking forward to the party), but I realized that it was HIS birthday so we should do whatever HE wanted. ;) I then, of course, quickly informed him that when my 30th rolls around in the not so distant future we WILL be having that big party I started planning!

Rex said...

If I'm driving around one day 2 years from now, get lost and find my way in the Austin, Texas, I'll drop by.

grace said...

Jenny: Hey girl! Just do the 40th thing for him, no matter what, and let your boys help...they'll be old enough by then to share some GREAT dad stories and get a huge kick out of the whole thing. Sometimes...what we "want" isn't what we "need" huh? Which is sort of Tdub's ultimate point in the parties he always planned for me. You must try and make it to the one we'll have here in two years!!! I'm certain you have other connections here...or...will by then!

Rex: There ya go! Just forget about that silly school in London you want to go to...or all those Ivy League places...and become a Longhorn at UT! I could deal with that...anything but OU (Oklahoma)is fine with me. Austin is still a few hours from here...but...I'm sure we could swing it!


Rajan R said...

grace: Haha. It's just a goal (to go to wherever) to keep me motivated, but it's wishful thinking too. But if wishful thinking keeps me behind my books, wishful thinking it is!

Oi, America is too big. I mean, Singapore is a few hours from here - that's like almost another country! A few hours away from each other in the same state? How alien...

tdub said...

Now i told grace that when The Event does occur, I just wanted a small gathering of my closest friends. She gave me that look that said “good luck with that” knowing full well that I have many, many debts to pay to people whose milestones I might’ve, er, exploited in some small way. (Although it's important to note I was exceedingly kind and gracious when she turned 40....)

[clears throat]

The issue of "paybacks" combined with a recent comment I made in defense of the boys’ big “blockbuster” bday parties: “It’s just so important for them to be surrounded by their friends and the people they love for just one day…to play with abandon…to be celebrated…” (We do these “invite your 15 closest friends and eat pizza and play basketball and super-hide-and-seek at the church building” parties…only now sans the sleepover; we’re just too old for that part.)...played right into her plan.

Yeah. She was listening to me . . . so I can’t really say a word. Essentially, yeah, I was saying, "I want everyone who loves me (or heck, even remotely likes me) to be at my party." [Yes, it is amazing for someone like Grace to be married to someone this shallow!]

The reality is: I no longer go to huge lengths on anyones’ party invitations (although our kids' are always wicked awesome, especially the ones she does the drawings for) or insist on those stupid party favor things. Haha And as far as she’s concerned, I’d rather do something big for her each year, but she insists on very little fanfare…which leads me toward more creative, meaningful expressions. Plus we were broke this year and instead are settling for the new stove and TV we got in December as our “2006 celebratory giftages.”

Anyway, this exchange leaves me with one question:

Grace: I know you’re working hard on the "BirthdayPartyOfALifetime" 2 years from now which is great … but … what are we doing THIS year?!?! [laughs out loud]

Seriously: thanks for getting me and loving me in a language I like to hear. And many happy returns. ly

kurt_t said...

My 40th me and the better half went to Disneyland. Had birthday breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel. Pluto and the Mad Hatter sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Well, Pluto doesn't really sing, he kind of pantomimed it, and after I blew out my candles, what should they start playing but "The Circle of Life" from "The Lion King."

Then I went and got my picture taken with Winnie the Pooh and rode Alice in Wonderland about five times.

And it worked. I did NOT feel old. Not for one minute.

grace said...

Tdub: you are my hero. in so many ways....i admire you...i respect you...i submit to you...
and yet....
i CAN'T WAIT to totally HUMILIATE you on your 40th birthday!!!!!! ha. ha. ha. ;)

Kurt: do you have kids??? is your wife like a "disney freak"? there must be SOME reason you allowed yourself to be submitted to this sort of...uh...."disney-a-go-go" sort of experience...unless you are that into Disney, not that there's anything wrong with that....;)....what gives, dude???
Whatever it score major points for submitting to it...even though it all sounds like a TON of fun...for real! :)


tdub said...


I wanna go to DisneyWorld for my birthday!!! Wouldn't that be a blast? We could go for all our birthdays! :)

kurt_t said...

Wife? No. I'm actually one of your many gay male admirers.

Poor Grace, you must feel like you're turning into Cher or something!

Anyway, I'm a big Winnie the Pooh fan. I was part of the first wave of Winnie the Pooh kids in the U.S. The Milne stories weren't well-known in the U.S., and when Disney came out with the Winnie the Pooh shorts (which were eventually compiled into "The Magical World of Winnie the Pooh"), that's when Winnie the Pooh became really popular in the U.S.

Here's a picture from my birthday. That's me on the right.


Winnie the Pooh has his own ride at Disneyland now! But if I tell you how many times I went on it, I'm going to start to sound weird.

grace said...

Kurt: Oh! Well cool! That's a cute picture. I always loved Winnie-the-Pooh stories as well. The whole idea of the Hundred Acre Wood just sounds like heaven to me....and that scene of Christopher Robin's room before the movies begin...I always wanted that room. I also love those little books of "wisdom" from Winnie-the-Pooh.

Can I be Bette Midler instead of Cher? I like her taste in clothes more. ;)

kurt_t said...

If you want to be Bette Midler instead of Cher, that means you're 27 pounds heavier. On the upside, you have better taste in clothing and a wider vocal range, and you were never married to Greg Allman. I guess it would be a net gain, huh?

grace said...

27 pounds, huh?? Dang!
Ok, fine, I'll be Cher!