Monday, March 25, 2013

Kate Miller 13: Mister's Birthday

A birthday is a special day... at least it should be... or ought to be... or I want it to be... but is it really? 

13. Mister’s Birthday (Feb 2, 2013)
            Mister’s Birthday came up suddenly. Kate was going to make a double-layer lemon cake and planned a steak dinner at a restaurant. But what was a birthday with no gifts to open? Of course, Mister never seemed to care as much as Kate about birthdays, even his own. When the day arrived, Kate was pleased with herself. She had chosen a gift, and even if it didn’t arrive on the right day, it was perfect.
            “Happy Birthday, dearest!” she said as she jumped up and kissed him when he awoke.
            They ate breakfast together, and Kate laid out her plan for finishing the cake. She had to make the lemon curd filling and the frosting and then assemble it on the cake platter. But she needed to go to the store first. The morning was leisurely and at one point, she turned and asked Mister, “I think you’re gift might not come today. Would like to know what it is, or just wait until it comes to find out?”
            “I think I can wait till it comes. Then I won’t be sad if it doesn’t come,” he said with a grin.
            Well at least he’s confident that he will like it, she thought, and he will! I don’t know how he can stand to wait… Kate loved surprises. She just liked being surprised earlier than later.
the cake
            Kate made her grocery run. Actually, she made two grocery runs because she (as usual) hadn’t looked at the recipe before she dashed of to get her lemons and sugar. But as the cream cheese was absolutely essential for the icing, she was compelled to make one more foray into the cold for the good of Mister’s birthday. In due time, the cake was assembled and extremely tempting, but since it was time to leave for dinner, the cake was spared for another couple hours.
            The restaurant was packed, but Kate and Mister found a table in the seat-yourself bar area (its occupants presumably driven out by the cold wind from the door.) They ate and talked.     “I’m worried about how I’m going to react when our kids purposely push my buttons.”
            “Maybe you should think about how to hide your buttons.” Mister suggested dryly.
            After some discussion, Kate hit on the root of the issue, “What really bothers me,” she explained, “is when kids do something that they know is wrong...on purpose!”
            Mister just looked at her for a moment and then laughed. “Sooo,” he said, still chortling, “what you’re saying is that you don’t like it when children sin. I’ve got bad news for you…”
            Kate laughed heartily. “I guess so. But some sins are more annoying than others.”
            Eventually, they got around to the subject of Mister’s birthday present. Kate’s parents had left a message saying they wanted to talk to Mister about his birthday present. But Kate explained that there must have been a mistake. They were part of his gift—a group gift.  
            “How long has this group gift been in the works?” Mister said suspiciously. “You said earlier this week that you didn’t even have ideas for gifts.”
            “I didn’t. It came together a couple days ago.”
            “What happened? Did you get a sudden inspiration?”
            “Not so much. I sort of just made a sudden decision.” Oh dear, I’m giving it away.
            Mister paused a moment, understanding sparking in his eyes, but mixed with disbelief. “Did you get me a computer?!” he asked incredulously.
            Kate just laughed. She knew she had said too much.
            “Wow…That’s so exciting. But you said you weren’t going to!”
            A week ago, when Kate had asked what he wanted for his birthday, Mister had said, “a new computer.” What Kate had actually said was: “ha. ha. I don’t think so.” But a few days later, as she thought about it, she knew that he really needed a new computer, and the gift would be just deciding and ordering it for him—a gift he would certainly appreciate.
            That evening, as they drove home from Aunt and Uncle’s house with half of the cake left over, Kate turned to Mister. “Sorry to spoil your surprise. Do you wish you had waited to find out?”
            Mister grinned. It was obvious he was delighted, even giddy, if that was a word one could ever associate with calm, dignified Mister. “It’s been a great day,” he said. He reached over and squeezed her hand with a gentle, reassuring squeeze. “You’ve made it a wonderful birthday for me. Thank you.”
            Kate felt her eyes start to tear up. She sniffed. “Good,” she choked. Then she laughed as Mister looked over. “Hormones,” she explained. “I’m just so glad you had a good day.” 

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