To the [my surprise] picnickers: Adam, I don’t know if thanking you for the concert should be first or for watching me knead flatbread on the counter while the clocked ticked away, and you knew we’d be late, should be. The picnic was perfect, even if carrying its elements one-and-a-half-miles, from the Botanical Gardens parking lot to Ravinia, almost killed the four of us. (Oh, and FYI: my shiny, silver KitchenAid mixer is the best gift ever, and you are my favorite.) Jackie, you are Brilliant Accomplice Extraordinaire, and, I can’t believe you didn’t complain—not once—while we made you trek all that way, your knee swelling and your back killing you. I just think you should know, for the record, I could have the worst day of my life and be at the bottom of the bottom, and hearing you laugh would make everything better. And Becky, when I told you, Wish we could have heard Tony Bennett!, as we walked out the door after work on Friday, clocking out and heading to our cars, you didn’t let on in the slightest. Even later, when I yelled across the parking lot, Next time you see me, I’ll be 26! You were unmoved. Oh, you’re good, and I’m forever suspicious of you.
To everyone else: Carrie gets top billing for the most generous friend of all time, giving me the most thoughtful gifts in a gorgeous purple basket/box, on top of a cookie pie and an ice cream cake. On that note, Becky, the engraved case really did make me cry, and a Wildfire lunch! You are the best. I have been given the greatest privilege, to work with people I like. Kim, my faraway friend, I know you won’t read this in Iraq, or wherever you are now, but I was honored and surprised to hear from you. Thanks also to all the Facebook commenters and e-mail well-wishers. Lots of little notes make for a wonderful day. Last but not least, thanks, Mom and Dad, not just for the delicious dinner and gifts, but for a lifetime of such things; I love you.
The cakes, there were four in total—the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake, the chocolate cake #1 at work, the chocolate cake #2 at work, the chocolate cake my mom made, plus a box of Swirlz cupcakes—are not gone, so the celebrations will continue.
Happy birthday, indeed.