What I Have Learned About Birthdays


Number of birthdays my husband has had, counting today: 41

Months before his birthday he starts reminding us that it’s coming up: 4

His goal race for this year: 26.2

My husband loves birthdays.

He starts prepping us for his birthday, May 15, around about February 3. As a former public relations professional, I can say with conviction that my husband has birthday PR covered.

It’s been a point of contention for us for our entire marriage, because it is, quite frankly, a lot of pressure. But as I get older, I realize that you should go all out and celebrate: A.) You made it out of your mother’s stomach–good job! And B.) You’re still alive–good job!

Here are some other things I have learned from my amazing husband over the years:

1. You can fix anything. It may involve a fair amount of cussing and some money, but almost anything can be fixed. Except for our Maytag washing machine that was only 14 months old and now serves as a paperweight in a landfill. He couldn’t fix that, and he may be worrying over it on his deathbed.

2. You can do anything as long as you work hard and persevere. Again with the cussing. But darn it, most people give up too soon, myself included. My husband Never. Gives. Up. And I think that’s pretty amazing. It makes me try for about five minutes longer than I used to.

3. When you start getting gray hairs and eye twinkles, you just look cuter. Seriously. People in fast food restaurants ask him to say things “with an English accent.” His regular talking voice makes people swoon. Okay. This one might only apply to him.

4. You should not wear white t-shirts when you eat spaghetti. Whether at home or at an Italian restaurant, plan your top covering carefully. White shirts are not recommended.

5. You should have a cooler filled with ice nearby if you are using power tools that cut things. All future cutting projects in our home will take place with 9-1-1 on speed dial and a device for keeping all limbs and digits cool until they can be re-adhered to the original body parts. All tetanus shots should be accounted for.

6. Food really is the way to a man’s stomach. Men and women may have evolved. We may all be very 21st century and breadwinner-y and independent. But if you really want to stay on the good side of a man, make sure he is well fed in one manner or another. Men–your mission may be more difficult. But keep in mind my favorite quote from Lyle Lovett: Women like to eat outside. Okay. You’re set.

7. If you see a bug inside your house, turn a glass upside down on top of him, and slide a piece of paper underneath. Take him outside. Me? I used to just stomp on them. This is my house, little bug dude. But my husband has taught me to respect all life forms. Mostly. I kill mosquitoes and roaches on sight; they are respectfully dead.

Happy birthday, English Captain America!

16 thoughts on “What I Have Learned About Birthdays

  1. Holly says:

    Yay for birthdays! Happy birthday, brother-in-law!! I don’t know how you manage to make gray hairs look cool. I didn’t realize your goal this year is 26.2–awesome!

  2. David Gentry says:

    Happy Birthday to my son-in-law, who built (with assists from his son and future brother-in-law) my dream waterfall in the backyard using local materials. I was enjoying it this morning with my coffee and thinking of you on your birthday.
    Love, Sittie

  3. Happy Birthday!! What a great post – it’s good for them to know we really do appreciate them:)

  4. Melissa says:

    Hope he has a wonderful birthday with plenty of delicious food and wine! I really hate that I can’t pick on him about getting old…..that’s the one thing that sucks about younger friends!

  5. crubin says:

    I especially like lesson #4, something you’d think I would have learned by now given how often I spill or splash. Tell him Happy Birthday from me. Not that he’ll care. In fact, he’ll probably think it’s weird…

  6. jmmcdowell says:

    Yes, #4 is a problem for just about everyone I know. But to fully enjoy the big day, you might want to hide all the power tools. An emergency room just isn’t a festive setting!

  7. Daryl says:

    Thank you for making me feel like a King. I had the best birthday (at least that I can remember) in 41 years. I’m so glad that we got to spend the day together–and run together.

  8. so, do you carefully captures and carry cockroaches outside? Because in the past two days I’ve discovered one per day, which sources tell me indicates I have a swarm hiding somewhere, and those horrid nasty things make me choke in my mouth and I don’t think I can do that. Even for someone with an English accent.

    • annewoodman says:

      Cockroaches are on my list of “kill on sight” critters. I am hoping God will forgive me; I’m thinking maybe he created them as a joke?

      • Oh good. I was feeling pretty guilty for a minute.
        And if so, He has a weird sense of humor. Altho being God and all that, I expect His sense of humor is kind of all encompassing and wise and someday we’ll see the humor in cockroaches. Which could stand as further proof for God.

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