My aunts, Nana, mom and brother took me to out to dinner to celebrate at their favorite restaurant where the fish tastes like fish, the chicken tastes like fish, and the hush puppies taste like ketchup. The only thing offered on the menu that doesn't have Fried or Fish in the title is "steak", and I think you probably only need 1 guess to figure out that I would have done just as well to order the Fish.
I'm pretty sure they would have gone to my favorite Thai place had I not suggested their favorite everything is FRIED and FISHY fishplace, but it turns out I have not yet become a selfish brat. Which means I still have something to look forward to.
That's probably why presents followed dinner. There were cards from my aunts and Nana, each containing folded Folding! Money! I am more the type to read the card than investigate paper money in public, and it wasn't until I opened the last card and the money wasn't folded that I realized they had each given me forty dollars.
Because I'm forty now. You probably made that connection quicker than I did, and I was the one holding the money. Whomever said I was smart has obviously never met stoopid.
The grand finale of dinner was chocolate frosted butter cake that my mom made for me~ probably because she didn't want anyone becoming dead over my having been denied chocolate frosted butter cake~ and awesomely it didn't taste like fish.
Then mom gave me 2 presents so perfect for me that they prove beyond any doubt that I am a product of my mother. Also of the 80s.
For someone who has always been into astronomical mystery, who's favorite 80s thing (right after parachute pants) was her acid washed jean jacket with the leopard print leather front and who always carried a purse big enough to house 2 adults and 3 small children, THIS IS THE BEST USE OF DENIM EVER......
Hello Ruby Rd. Where have you been for the last 25 years?
And finally, because this is my favorite thing about turning 40...
I got married when I was 18, which was way too young (for me) to be getting married. Blah blah yadda blah. Ups and downs and we were kids and one year he forgot our anniversary. He never mentioned it so I never mentioned it and instead took back the expensive watch I had gotten him. In the process of returning the watch I saw the most gorgeous PINK ICE ring and while it was kind of beyond my means at the time I decided I didn't care. I bought the ring and loved the ring and the ring was my precious...until I layed it on a counter at work while clearing off tables one night (bartender, age 22) and turned around to find it gone. I was heartbroken. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I missed that ring more than the husband. (We'd gotten divorced a few months prior) Not so much the ring itself, but what it represented to me....finding a way to push through the ugly in life to find the beauty.
My mama can't remember that I don't like ham, and she sometimes forgets things we've talked about 100 times. But she remembered that ring and what it meant to me all those years ago,
So she gave me this~
Happy Birthaversary, Mom.
Thank you for bringing me into this world
and for not taking me out of it
even though you probably wanted
to once or a hundred times.