Friday, June 8, 2012

61 Candles

I was had.

Played like the five of hearts.

Set up.

My dear friends invited me over for pizza and beer. That is an easy one. What time? Earlier in the day I should have recognized the signs. Why was everyone wishing me Happy Birthday on June 7 when my birthday (even posted on FaceBook) is August 31? I am all for merry pranking but this one had me scratching under the cap. By the time 5:15 rolled around and I finished off a decent but demanding 10K in the park, I was very contentedly sitting on Bernie and Linda's beautiful deck sipping a delicious Red Hook ESB.

And then Cindy showed up claiming to need discussion about the Historical Society. And then Chris and then Stephanie. Then came Bob and Kathy, Ruthy and Vince. Before I know what (the heck) was going on EVERYBODY was in the kitchen with food, grog and big smiles. A banner was hung. There was laughter and commotion. Party on!

I keep asking, innocently, what is going on? 

It's your birthday party, silly. 

But it's not my birthday.

We couldn't wait till the end of August so we thought we'd celebrate early, do you have problem with that, Scrooge? 

Not hardly.

Then let's celebrate.

Roger to that.

And we did. Incredible selection of food talking me three plates to sample, enough exotic ales to last a month and a birthday cake with 61 (Babe Ruth is smiling somewhere with me at the irony) candles. I make a wish and listen gleefully to a monster version of HB to you. 

What a blast.

We go outside for a group picture and a tiny bike is brought out as a prop. This is fun I am thinking, all my wonderful friends hanging out in celebration of life.

I hear a chorus of oohs, and look  left in time to see Tom wheeling in a blindingly beautiful (and brand new) Felt F1SL (Dura Ace). 

I am still in fog. Dots remain random, unconnected. Tom hands me the bars and I am speechless, stunned. After a few minutes it finally registers on my radar that this is a birthday present, so I ask, making sure I finally get it.

Is this mine, to like, keep?

Eyes roll, laughter refills air with an encore of YES.

And now I get it. 

I have been blessed with an extraordinary group of friends. They plotted and schemed to make this special gift personal and poignant. OMG, my friends all chipped in to buy me a new bike. I still don't know what to say, so I mumble some thank yous and you shouldn't haves but cannot seem to find the rhetoric to express the warmth, joy, gratitude and camaraderie I am feeling. 

With as much sincerity as I can muster, I thank everyone for extreme generosity. And congratulations on what may have been the best surprise party ever, or at very least the last 61 years.

Now I get it.

Pic: The new Felt 54 SL might have come complete with nickname. Test ride this afternoon should confirm our suspicions about flying capabilities. Results shall be well documented. Thank you again.

No comments: