My D-Day.

My actual birthday, the day I turned 40, was a two-show day. My mom had been in town helping take care of the kids so I got to see her on my birthday for the first time since I don’t remember when. Both CC and I were working a lot of overtime so I wasn’t expecting a big to-do from anyone.

I was holding out a hope that at some point in the day, there would be cake. It was really all I wanted.

Right before I left for work I was presented with this cake, made for me by #1:

She also got me a gift certificate to MAC cosmetics which I plan on trading in for something extravagant.

So my day was already pretty great before I even left for work.

At the theater, we were programming the console, making changes, and all of a sudden some friends from my old show (across the street) came in.

Then some more showed up.

With cake.

And then more friends.

With gifts.

And I was in the middle of working but my bosses made me stop and open gifts and have cake while they kept working.

Now, nothing can truly compare to a dark chocolate box cake made by your eldest child topped with your age in bacon. But the cake that my friend Michelle made me is a close second.

She’s made this cake for me before and it’s nothing short of divine. I should also point out that Michelle is the one friend I will never bake for. That would just be embarrassing.

The cake:

Cinnamon cake, with  ancho chile chocolate butter cream frosting. You don’t notice it at first, but gradually you become aware that the piece of cake you’re eating is totally kicking your ass, and you want nothing more than to eat the entire rest of the cake and then roll around naked in the leftover frosting.

Well, maybe that’s just me.

Michelle also strong-armed our friends into chipping in on a gift.

 A really big, outrageously generous gift that I totally don’t deserve but happily accepted anyway.

So big, I was rendered speechless.

I’ll give you a little hint:


How about this:

Still no?


The Marlene Deitrich Mont Blanc.


I have really good friends. Who are afraid of Michelle.

So we shared cake and my amazed expression.

I look confused in the picture, but actually I was asking if I could stab somebody with the pen.

As a parting gift, I got a list of instructions from Michelle:

The list of what I was to bring continued:


Toilet Paper

Metro Card

1 can of tuna

Bus/train pass to get you back to New Jersey

An open mind

I was further informed that my husband was aware and in full support of these plans.

Any time someone is telling me to bring an open mind, that’s an automatic red flag. The whole Advil/can of tuna/toilet paper thing was especially disconcerting. I truly had no idea what I was in for. That’ll be my next post.

Oh, I nearly forgot the other big gift I got. When #1 had dropped me off at the train station that morning she was returning home to pick up my mom to take her to the airport. She got about a mile from home and the transmission on our twelve-year-old minivan went out.

Sweet. Sweat!

Anyway, it all got me thinking about birthday gifts. For #1’s thirteenth birthday, we wrapped up our shovel very elaborately and gave it to her. Then after she unwrapped it we made her put it away, where her real gift was waiting for her: a guitar. This year in December I called the school and told them that #3 had a dentist appointment that I forgot about, and asked them to tell her and get her ready for me to pick up. It was especially mean because she’d just been to the dentist like two weeks prior to this. When I got her out to the car I gave her a hot chocolate and then we went and got mani/pedi’s, followed by the eye doctor to get fitted for contacts, the ONLY thing on her Christmas list.

I have a couple months left to plan for a unique gift with clever presentation for #5’s birthday. Any thoughts?


19 thoughts on “My D-Day.

  1. I feel so guilty. Hubby turned 46 yesterday, and I gave him a card. You guys are creative. I’m embarrassed. *hangs head in shame* Clearly, I have no business making suggestions about birthday presents.

    1. If it makes you feel better, we both forgot our wedding anniversary until the next day.

      On the other hand, I did surprise my husband with balloons and a cake for his birthday! 🙂

  2. Fabulous. And pleased you had a great day. Look forward to hearing what happened next…

  3. Wow, I hope my 40th comes even a little close to how great yours sounds. I also hope I can be as optomistic about it! I’ve got 35 coming up, and it really just seems like the a downhill slide out of youth. But I can see how the beginning of something (a new decade, for example) changes the perspective. Here’s to the beginning of your awesome 40th decade!

    1. That’s pretty excellent! I’m not sure I trust him with matches yet. It’s a great practical joke though- all of his sisters would come out of their rooms hoping for bacon and we’d be like, “what bacon?”

  4. Happy Birthday! Great gifts, great surprises. I’m not great at perfect gifts or creative ways to surprise people, so I’m afraid I’m no help. I’m sure you’ll think of something fabulous.

  5. You (and your friends who I totally want to be MY friends now) are so damn creative and generous and FUN .. you don’t need a tiny bit of help to make #5’s birthday a smash hit. I’m just waiting to read about it and put myself up for adoption in your family! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOUNG ‘UN!
    You’re a wonderful writer, mom, beloved wife and kick-ass theatre doll — what more could one girl want??!!! xooxoxxo b

  6. What wonderful friends you have! (and fabulous children) I can only hope when my 40th shows up in (OH MY- next year!), it’s half as incredible as yours.

  7. What a glorious birthday! You ARE Deitrich, so the pen is perfect. Your journey has inspired, fueled, sparked and made me laugh out loud at times. I am so grateful that we were at one time “Ladies of the Basement.” BTW, after a very long hiatus, I am writing again.

  8. Happy Birthday! My husband threw me a dinner party, got an Ironic Mom birthday cake, and my friends got me a Kindle.

    It was fab.

    But I didn’t get bacon on a cake!

    Happy day and decade!

  9. #5? Double bacon cheeseburger sounds like a gift from heaven for him! 😆 Honestly, with a kid SO wrapped up in bacon, I can’t imagine what you could surprise him with!

    I loved Genny’s comment – you are so Deitrich, the pen was perfect!

  10. No thoughts on the gift (yet?), but I did want to say that I loved this post. And I covet that pen!

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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