I didn't feel the post-Christmas letdown like most everyone else. Why? Because the day after is my birthday, fool! God! How on earth could you forget???
Well, those who didn't forget made it one of the nicest birthdays I've had (even though I didn't get any knitting needles or yarn). Dave drove me to work and dropped me off with a kiss, and throughout the day my siblings called to wish me a good 24th birthday. Sweet!
At lunch, Dave made his way upstairs to my office with a bunch of pink Gerbera daisies! They're so sweet! (They're what keeps me cheery in this bleak oak-paneled hell.) We then went out to lunch at Landry's Seafood restaurant, which was nice, too. What I really enjoyed was the walk to and from lunch. We strolled, partly with my camera out, down to the West End (the really super touristy part of downtown that has since become decrepit but still houses the Sixth Floor Museum from which you can gaze the line of sight that Lee Harvey Oswald used to shoot JFK). We talked and laughed -- I hadn't felt so happy in a long time. It was incredible.
When we got to the restaurant I felt so relaxed, it was nice to have an intimate lunch all to ourselves, with me not worrying about getting back to the office on time. We used to do this a lot when Dave was working in a retail outlet and had Wednesday off, but now he works straight 8-to-4 at the corporate headquarters and our lunches are but a memory.
I hated to leave him at the parking area, but I trudged upstairs and returned to the grind.
That evening we went to dinner with his parents, after which a big fat Italian guy sang some Italian version of "Happy Birthday" and embarassed me so terribly that I buried my face in Dave's jacket. For dessert I had chocolate mousse with a vanilla ribbon. It was terrific.
Rewind to Christmas Eve, well, that was an experience. It was my first away from the "Jemison Clan." My first Christmas as an England. We had a very non-traditional dinner at my in-laws on Christmas Eve and opened each others gifts. I had knitted my mother-in-law a scarf and framed a photo of Dave and I at Lombard St. in San Francisco. We also gave her a box of sweet-smelling potpurri and the most awesome scented candle you could imagine. It was "Mexican Pumpkin" and good enough to eat.
On Christmas Day, well, it was my turn to pay it all back. I cooked a stuffed loin of pork with a spinach gratin, wild mushroom risotto and fingerling potatoes. This being not just any dinner, I made it all full-flavor, full-fat. That's right, I used real butter, fresh ingredients and prime pork loin, lightly trimmed. Everything was delicious, and it was incredible having my mother-in-law in the kitchen helping with the meal. By the time we were done, she had been washing the dishes as I dirtied them, leaving nary a one in the sink while we served dinner. That was such an incredible help. She can help in my kitchen any day!
Ahh... just thinking about all those wonderful leftovers has gotten me hungry!