This is my husband, James. It’s his birthday today. Happy birthday, James!
Many years ago, James came to visit me in Boston for his birthday. I wanted it to be special, so I drew him a drawing and baked him a cake. I didn’t have a lot of money when I lived in Boston, so I did something I normally wouldn’t do, that being the baking.
I thought I’d read and followed all the instructions on the box (I didn’t have the tools nor a world-wide-web quite wide enough to figure something from scratch), but when I pulled the cake pans from the oven, the cakes parts looked kind of funny. Deflated. And when I tried to flip the cakes out of their pans, they stuck. A lot. I realized I’d forgotten a key ingredient that holds cakes together and makes them not stick to pans or crumble to bits. Eggs.
I made a new cake before James arrived that time. But I told him the story about the eggless cake and showed him the remains the morning after. Almost every year since then, I have baked a cake for his birthday. And every year that I do, even though all the rest of the cakes to this day have come out perfectly (except that one that got chocolate cake crumbs all over the vanilla frosting during the frosting process), we laugh about that first attempt. That disaster of a crumbled pile of cake, which my roommates and I actually did eat by the handful during our various daily passings through the kitchen, and really, it kind of tasted fine.
All this to say to my husband that I love this birthday tradition, even the part where we remember that dumb thing I did. I love that I get to spend every birthday with you, even if it’s just our little family here together and we only do something small like go to dinner. Even if I can’t afford to buy you a new HD TV like you want, I am glad that the cd and case of beer made you smile. You smiled a lot tonight, and so I guess that means that your son and I did a pretty good job wishing you a very happy 31. We love you.