Monday, April 16, 2007

Just When You Think Your Birthday's Over...

... Something else comes along to surprise you--at least if you're as lucky as I am and have a partner who is just amazing. So this past Friday night, Jess cues me up to have dinner out, ostensibly with her brother and sister-in-law. I amble along happily, and find myself sitting at the bar at Schiller's, sipping a Pimm's Cup and waiting for the in-laws to appear. Round about 8:05, Jess grabs me and says "Eric and Duff couldn't make it, so I had to bring in a stand-in couple." She says this with a look on her face that makes me think that there's no way in hell I'm going to be happy to see who this stand-in couple might be, so I start hissing in her ear about how I'm going to kill her and wondering why in the world she'd keep this kind of secret from me...

...and then I turn around to see none other than my friends Cameron and Jenn standing behind me with open arms. It was amazing! And surprising! And truly wonderful to get to sit down with them for a meal to catch up, and to know that Jessica had totally, completely gone out of her way to give me a fabulous birthday treat. Jenn and Cameron and I have known each other since high school (which is a frighteningly long time now!), and though they live in Boston, which doesn't seem so far away, I don't get to see them nearly as much as I'd like. So getting to spend some good QT with them was heavenly. I was smiling from ear to ear.

At dinner, Jessica explained that they had tried to get our other good friends, Lis and Laura and Ford down to the city for the celebration as well, but that Laura was busy with tax season and that Lis had been stymied by both bad weather coming out of VT and an inability to find a babysitter for her son Izak. In both cases, I totally understood and didn't give it a second thought--since I hadn't been expecting anything at all I hadn't had my hopes up about seeing folks. So I went to sleep that night totally stoked to spend the next day just hanging out with Jenn and Cameron, running around the city.

When we woke up on Saturday morning, Jess and I went on our newly ritualized 2 mile walk up 1st Avenue, then came back and got ready to meet J & C for brunch. We walked over to 51st and Lex, where we were scheduled to meet up, and waited and waited... and then finally, I saw them coming towards me, walking east on 51st Street. And then one of them grabs me (I was so stunned I can't even remember who it was) and says "Sorry we're late, but it just keeps getting better." And they step apart and there behind them are Laura and Ford... and again, I was totally, 100% shocked and amazed and surprised and elated. And I hugged them all because I was so happy to see them and so moved by their caring, and hugged Jess super tight, too, because she was the one who brought it all together. I am one lucky woman.

So suffice it to say, I had a glorious weekend, surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world. (Alas, Lis really couldn't make it, for the reasons outlined above, but we tried to party on in her honor.) The six of us did brunch and Bloody Marys at Danal, then wound our way over to Soho, where Jess and I did some shopping for an upcoming baby shower, Laura and Ford tested chairs at Room & Board, and Jenn got some dope new kicks. Then we all had beers, napped, and met up again for dinner that night at Sala, where we were joined by our little buddy Katie Sherwin and Laura's friend Susan.

Good times, man. Real good times. :-)

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