I spent last Friday with my wife and friends to celebrate my 33rd birthday.  It was truly a relaxing day that began with sleeping in until 10:30, a luxury I enjoy because I don’t have to go to work on Fridays.

Monika woke me with a bed full of presents that I unwrapped while still shaking off sleep.  Her choices were both practical and desirable, and her knowledge of my stylistic taste is spot on.  She gave me a jacket and vest, an antique, monogram tie clip, an awesome Fedora  (my first), and a pair of the most excellent ties I’ve ever seen.  (Check out the tie shop for yourself, listed on the right under “Wares and Wears.”)

First, Monika and I had to head to deep South Jersey to pick up Poe, our second cat, who had gotten fixed the night before and was waiting at the animal hospital.  She was not happy about being in a kennel overnight, and though I’d like to believe she missed sleeping in bed with us the night before, in reality, she probably missed her cat companion more.

The hospital is near our good friends’ house, and luckily they were both at home too.  The kids were off at school and so we enjoyed lunchtime fried tofu and Bloody Marys.  We hadn’t gotten to see one another in the past few months.  In fact, it’s quite possible that the last time we saw them both was at our wedding in May where she served as photographer and he was a groomsmen.

We got our wedding pictures and once I choose a few, and Monika doctors them a bit, I’ll post my favorites.  We talked about the Holidays and life while watching the drama of a freshly cut kitty explore the domain of a dog and two other cats.  They were relatively cordial to one another, to our relief.

For the evening, we opted to dine alone.  We hardly go out to restaurants, and almost all the time, it’s with other people.  There are only a few times a year that we decide to dine alone:  our birthdays, and our anniversaries.  We went to Swanky Bubbles, my favorite local restaurant, where we decided to order two dishes we’ve never had before.  Both were pasta dishes (one not vegan), and both were delicious.  I also ordered sushi, since it was my birthday, and we had cocktails.

There was a mix up with the bill, briefly, and the general manager spoke with me, resulting in a comped Sapphire Martini.  We had invited Monika’s parents and sisters to meet us for a brief cocktail hour before we headed to the club upstairs.  The gave me a new Salman Rushdie book, among other things, including a hip pair of 3-D glasses.

Facebook is amazing sometimes.  I had wanted to relax in the lounge upstairs with my wife, and casually suggested to her that we could invite some people to join us if they were up for a night out.  She made a quick invite on Facebook, resulting in at least 20 people showing up at my birthday party which was not ever really planned to be my official “Birthday Party.”

We danced, and chatted, and drank and had a great time. There were only a few other people in the club and so it made the atmosphere feel exclusively for us.  People trickled in and out over the course of the next few hours until it was only a handful of us.  The general manager wished me a Happy Birthday personally by buying us our last round of drinks.

We wandered home and relaxed until I don’t remember met with sleep.  It was quite a wonderful day and I’m glad I was able to share it with so many friends.  I’m glad everyone gets an annual birthday, so that we can repeat the good times over and over,  throughout the year.


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