Today is Frank's birthday. While it's
certain that neither of us are at the
point in life where there's much to
celebrate, we feel obligated to do so.
And what could be worse than forced
festivities? That's why we're playing
it low key and simply dining out.
I've decided to go for the gusto and
booked a table at Casina Valadier
(thanks "A". ) Sitting high above
Rome in the Villa Borghese gardens,
it's sure to be a memorable evening.
Now if only all birthdays were so...
As a child I was certainly indulged.
Given I was adopted (but unaware
of that fact) my very presence was
considered a miracle by my parents.
Hence each year we celebrated my
progression with much pomp and
circumstance. While a plethora of
pictures chronicle said events, this
boy can't remember being at those
parties. Nor do I recall the presents
heaped upon me. All that remains
is the knowledge that I was truly
loved. What better gift than that?
For whatever reason as an adult
I don't like birthdays. Given they
remind us of our mortality, that's
reason enough. I can't understand
what all the fuss was about. In
theory is that for one day it's all
about you. However I've never
subscribed to any form of limited
self indulgence. Instead every day
is all about me and whoever I'm
with. Why wait? After all your body
clock is ticking so why not enjoy
whatever time you've got left?!
I do adore a traditional birthday cake.
Never chocolate - always vanilla.
Except for one variety that my dear
southern friend "J" made many years
ago. Imagine a magical mixture of
butter and ripe mangos slathered all
over layers of a densely moist butter
cake. A slice of tropical paradise on
a plate! Long before cupcakes were
chic, I did enjoy annually trotting to
school with a shirt box filled with
sweet gems on my anointed day. If
nothing else, Ethel could bake!
Last year in Manhattan we celebrated
several of our friends and loved one's
birthdays at Le Grenouille. It seems
to be the best place to acknowledge
the advance of age given the lighting.
Sitting bathed in a peachy pink glow
would make even a cadaver look like
an ingenue. Maybe that's why most
of our fellow diners were ancient.
One thing I've learned is the older...
the lower the lighting! By the time
I'm eighty I'll be sitting in the dark!
Thank God for dimmer switches.
There are many reasons to celebrate
the progression of time. Every day
I learn something new and grow to
appreciate what I have even more.
As the hours pass, Frank and I grow
closer. And somehow I continue to
mellow. The past months have been
all about stepping back and truly
appreciating what God has given us.
I guess that's why I opt to celebrate
life daily rather than annually. You
know what they say... here today...
gone tomorrow. TEMPUS FUGIT!