On the occasion of my husband’s 50th birthday

Rob and I made it back to Chicago. Have a drink.Today, Robert turns fifty.

I know. We are bemused by that number as well, although it follows naturally after forty-nine. He is a minimalist and a hermit, so thinking of a gift to honor this occasion is difficult. What is wanted is not an item to commemorate, but instead a way to demonstrate my affection.

So I present to my husband a single gift, my love, as represented by a collection of ephemera in five parts– one for each decade of his life.

  • Part the first: For your birthday, oh best beloved, in recognition of your hermit tendencies, I give you the gift of a free calendar. We have flown on vacation to a town you love, and I have alerted no one that we are coming. You may rest, and walk, and wander in solitude, or seek company when you wish. But it is quiet, unplanned time.
  • Part the second: A copy of today’s New York’s Times, so that you may sit and read it and feel a connection to the world, without having to be in the world.
  • Part the third: A rhubarb pie. The tart acidity, mixed with such sweetness, is a perfect match for your temperament. It is your favorite pie, and I will not adulterate it with strawberries.
  • Part the fourth: The ingredients to make your own grenadine from scratch. (Pomegranite juice, orange blossom water, & rose water) You are not easy with leisure, my love, and so this is a toy to play with that will scratch your love of tinkering with flavours, but is not wine and so does not count as work.
  • Part the fifth: While we are on vacation, I will eschew the internet. You are so supportive of the demands of my various careers on my time, and do not complain that I am gone. Much. This week, I am yours without distractions or interruptions.

Happy birthday, best beloved.

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