when i woke up today, i looked like one of charlie's angels.
i assure you, this was an accident. but a happy accident.
i like this look. thanks, farrah!
as i've tried to remind you frequently, and unapologetically, friday is my 32nd birthday. and if i am to believe the dull hurried clomp of steel toed work shoes and the recognizable hiss of a brown UPS truck from three weeks ago, hidden somewhere on this block there is a present. and it is for me.
i like this.
i assure you that i am not some sort of present monger. a sort of drooling, googly-eyed toddler with chocolate cupcake frosting embedded in my fingernails, all coked up on pony rides and balloon animals yelling gimmee gimmee gimmee. i just more like the idea that there is a surprise. a surprise is like a mystery. mysteries are meant to be solved. what i'm really trying to say is: i like trying to figure out what i'm getting as much as -- if not more than -- actually receiving a gift.
closets were big in my family. my parents had a walk-in closet. if there weren't presents hidden in there, there were at least a half of box of girl scout cookies squirreled away on my dad's side. the double-door closet in our den had a little waist-high ledge that could hold holiday loot. there was a closet beneath the steps ... but hiding anything in there smacked of amateurism.
i conducted all sorts of wild present hunts through high school. the loft in the garage. the trunk of my parent's car and my dad's unmarked squad car. hell, i even looked under my own bed. once i surveyed a box in my mom's nightstand. it was one of those Y necklaces that were all the rage in the fashion senseless 90s. i'd asked for a Y necklace, but i didn't like the one i was getting. i considered returning it without telling her, then opening the one i'd selected on my birthday.
whatever. i didn't do it. i'm not that big of an asshole.
but i am a big enough asshole that as i held each pre-evaluated gift, i'd say things like:
"this must be my clock radio!"
"i bet this is a frog wind chime!"
then act surprised when i was right.
at first i liked imagining that chuck had gotten me a key-tar and that we could start a little band. he could sing "hit me baby one more time" in a gravelly punk rock voice and i'd stand behind plunking the keys and adding the essential oooohhhhhs.
then one day at target i saw the game wii boogie. i decided that this was what he probably got me. i don't necessarily understand exactly what the game is, but i believe it requires a microphone and may incorporate dancing.
"did you get me wii boogie?" i finally broke down and asked him.
"i thought about it," he confessed. "but i decided that would be like buying your kid a drum set."
now i like thinking that it is a black puppy named jake that he has been hiding in his trunk for three weeks. packed snuggly into a cardboard box (with holes poked into the box, you PETA freaks! no one here is cruel!) that we'll be riding along, jake will bark, chuck will growl "quiet, jake."
"quiet, jake?" i'll say coyly.
"whatever. i said 'breaks'," he'll respond tersely.
twice in the past two weeks i've held chuck's car keys in my hot little hand and known that if i wanted to, i'd have ample opportunity to crack this surprise, solve this mystery, prematurely find my birthday present. but then i'd have nothing to think about for the next 3 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 49 seconds.