Monday, May 18, 2009

Birthday Eve

Birthday flowers by delivery. They're always a most pleasant surprise and in a vase, well, that's just living large. Set them on the counter and I feel like a rich lady on TV.

I got my first bouquet of flowers on my seventeenth birthday. My dad was living in New Orleans at the time and a basket of tiny pink tea roses was delivered to my house in Philadelphia. The classiest thing to ever happen in my young life. I guess so pivotal for me that I saved the envelope and card in a scrapbook. Vaguely, I remember feeling I must be growing up in my father's eyes for him to send me such a grown up gift. And I think I was touched and felt a little sad for him, that I could imagine that it must be hard to see one's child grow up. And then I'm sure my thoughts drifted gently to how and where I would get some beer for my birthday.

Cut flowers may have been an extravagance at the time unless it came from one's own garden because I don't have memories of flowers inside houses that weren't plastic...or dusty for that matter. My mom tended a few beautiful rose bushes in our side yard and we would cut a few stems when the bush got too full and I would take them for my teacher. They were crooked and thorny stems but the blooms were huge and a velvety deep purple-red and we would wrap the ends in a wet paper towel and cover them in tinfoil. I vigilantly protected them against the rabble on the school bus until I could get them to my teacher's desk and more than once bled from a thorn as part of my trouble. The look on my teacher's face was surprise and delight, totally worth the extra effort of getting them to school in one piece. The back of my school bus was a wild place for twelve years and is probably worthy of its own blog entry at some point. A mobile mosh pit replete with sex, drugs and violence at various points.

Today, a knock at my door.
"Hey, those must be for me."
"Are you Julie?"
"It's my birthday!"
"Well, happy birthday!"

What am I? Six?

Thanks for another classy birthday, Daddy.


  1. Happy birthday, old girl! I'll sip prosecco in your name today!

  2. If I wish you Happy Birthday here on your blog, will you hold it against me if I don't wish you happy birthday on Facebook? Do I send a card as well? Should I email you? If I call, do I need to use both home and cell? Voicemail on both? How about texting? If all your peeps wish you happy birthday in every possible personal medium, it could take you til June to get through them all.

  3. happy birthday to you. read your blog today. those are some nice bday flowers.

  4. A birthday I know as well as my own and my kid's.

    Happy b'day, Jul -- an occasion I'm pleased to have helped celebrate for a number of years. (Even if the paper card is "in the mail" -- my internal clock something else you've known for, ahem, a while.)

    And happy Dad-iversary to Boo, too. Devoted dads mean all the world to their daughters -- who better to celebrate.