human, being

Napa for Steve’s Birthday
January 27, 2009, 10:02 am
Filed under: life, love and relationships | Tags: , , , , ,

Steve turns 40 on March 13. It’s appropriate that the day is a Friday, because he was born on a Friday, and Friday the 13ths are his favorite. Forget the ridiculous movies, with not-so-virginal hotties getting slashed to death. Friday the 13th rocks in Steve’s world. They usually bring him good news, or good things. And he’s lucky, because there are three of them in 2009: February, March and November. More good things for him are, well, a good thing.

That said, he also hates to celebrate his birthday. I’ve not yet gotten to the bottom of why. He’d rather I not even mention the occasion. But who am I to honor his wishes. After all, I LOVE BIRTHDAYS. Not the getting older part, but the celebration part.

This will be the fourth birthday I’ve spent with him. The first year, his dad took us to dinner at 17th Avenue Grill, and it was the last time they spoke. Suffice it to say that if I would have stood naked on the table and sung Hello, Dolly! at the top of my lungs, his dad still wouldn’t have acknowledged I was there. I have never been treated so coldly or rudely in my life, and it was the first time I’d met the guy. My mere existence (he’s close to Steve’s psycho ex) galled him. Add that to old business, and the relationship was ruined. I was so glad when, once back in our own car and nearly in tears, I asked Steve if he’d be OK if I never, ever, saw that man again. I made it my mission to make sure that Steve had a glorious birthday every year thereafter.

Two years ago, I took him Brook’s Steakhouse, bought us a bottle of Opus One–his favorite–and took him indoor sky diving in a wind tunnel near Park Meadows Mall. Skydiving is a life experience he’s always wanted to have, and it was as close as I could get him on a snowy night in March.

Last year, I bought him a beautiful watch and took him out for dinner. It was a quiet night, just the two of us. Those are the best kind.

This year is big. The Big Four-Oh. When I was trying to figure out what to do for him, I asked if I could throw him a dinner party. He blanched, and I realized that he’ll tolerate my making him the center of attention, but he doesn’t want to be the center of OTHER people’s attention. I looked around for a weekend trip close to home, even considering three nights in a downtown Denver hotel with nothing but room service, which he’d love. Then, I saw a post from a Facebook friend about Southwest fares for $39 and up.

Steve traveled a lot in his early 20s, when he was single and then with the Army. But since then, he has only left Colorado once, with me, in April 2006, and the only time he’s spent away from home has been the few long weekend trips we’ve taken in the past three years. So, I decided to stimulate the economy a bit. We’d talked about doing a honeymoon in Napa, but since he won’t have significant time off until 2010, that won’t happen anytime soon. I logged on to Southwest and found fares to San Francisco on his birthday weekend for $69 each way, per person. Then, I found an online coupon for an Alamo car rental for $30 for the weekend. Then, I found a cute motel in Napa for $89/night. So, for the cost of three nights at the Hotel Teatro downtown, we’ll spend three days in northern California.

I was going to keep it a secret, but I suck at keeping secrets. So I told him on Friday that I’m taking him to Napa for his birthday. No, it’s not exactly in our budget, but I’d rather spend $500 on an adventure we’ll remember, to a place he’s never been, on a very special day, than spend $500 on things that can be lost (such as the watch, which disappeared recently) and trips 10 miles from our home. He was shocked at first, then a little thrilled. I don’t know if he’s excited yet. But I am.

I know we’ll go to one particular winery, but that’s the only plan I’ve made. He’s never been to San Francisco, so I think we’ll spend at least a few hours in the city, probably on Sunday. The cost of food will come out of our regular budget. There’s a Whole Foods-ish market across the street from our motel, and a fridge in the room. I think we’ll have a wonderful trip, one that makes memories for us.

I know now that he feels pressure to do something big for my 40th, which is June 11, in case you’d like to send dozens of roses, chocolates and diamonds my way. Or a house cleaner. That would rock. I do want something great to happen on my birthday, too. He’s always hit it out of the park on my birthday, so I’m not concerned. But that’s not why I’m doing this for him. I’m doing it because he’s had one hell of a year, and we both deserve to have something nice in our lives to look forward to. And since we’re now eloping, which costs almost nothing, I’m not afraid to spend a little money on a short trip. I can’t wait to get him on the plane, to get him to the hotel, to drink yummy wine with him, to spend one-on-one time with him and only him, no distractions. That’s my part of the gift, what I get out of it.

And maybe, someday, I’ll get him to admit that he secretly does like his birthday.


2 Comments so far
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awesome! I live in that area. I go to school in napa and san francisco is where my heart is. I’ve lived here my whole life between the two cities and just saying if you’ve never been to san francisco, i can almost gaurantee you that you will spend more than just a few hours there. It’s addiction especially if you are a city girl like me and love food and culture.

My boyfriend came in from England last summer and i took him there for “a few hours” at 9 in the morning and we ended up almost missing the shuttle home at around 10 pm. You guys will have a blast. Check out the metreon and of course the cheesecake factory on the top of macy’s in the Great Mall 🙂

Comment by 8traq

BUSTED, secret agent girl. Can’t get away from this one.


Comment by growingupartists

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