Today is Becky’s birthday. It is her seventh that I have been with her. Here are the things I have done.
The first year, we went to her favorite restaurant in Fargo. There also happened to be fireworks. Then we went to a coffee shop.
The second one, we were super poor, but we managed to save change to go to an Italian restaurant. On the way to dinner, I keyed up her favorite sappy songs on my ipod shuffle. We stopped at the main park in Fargo. The leaves were getting crispy dry on the ground. Winter was in the air. In the gazebo, we shared the earbuds and slow danced until we couldn’t feel our feet anymore.
On the third birthday, I took her to a resort in Detroit Lakes. We swam, relaxed, and I asked her to marry me.
On the fourth, she went out with friends for her bachelorette party, including a manicure and other pampering. I was unemployed at the time.
For the fifth one, she got a spa day and fondue at the Melting Pot. I also got her a passport – her first one ever. We’ve used it once since then. I hope we use it many more times.
For the sixth, she got her spa day and I made her a special dinner.
This time, she’s getting a facial, mani/pedi and massage. We’re eating at Yum! One of her favorite local spots. She’s getting her facial as I write this at a nearby coffee shop. Scheduling things is a bit difficult this year. She had to move the mani/pedi because of a job interview.
Even when we had nothing, no money, little hope, I always did my best to give her magic. I want her to know how special she is to me. More importantly, early on in our relationship she told me about several things that had happened on her birthday. I won’t share what, but I will say it’s the sort of stuff that scars you internally forever and makes the idea of celebrating the anniversary of those horrible things rather repugnant.
So every year, it’s my challenge and hope to make her birthday something special with lots of pampering and flowers – the things she loves – to erase the past as much as possible and show her that there is a Before Joel and After Joel delineation in her life. I try every day to make her feel good. Some days I do better than others. Right now, it takes some extra special effort after 5+ months of job interviews and rejections. I’m hoping that will end soon. She deserves to be happy in a job where she fits and is appreciated for what she can bring to the team.
I want more than anything for her to be able to wake up with hope, with happiness, without the invisible chains of the past rattling behind her with every step. I know a new job will unlock a whole lot of those chains. I will be right there with her when it happens. She’s going to rock the world. I believe in her and love her to pieces.