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Tell a Friend A lady named

It'll Cost You


Today was my birthday.

I heard the trumpets sound, and caught a quick glimpse of the marching band outside. There were so many flowers in
my room, amidst heartshaped balloons, I simply couldn't see. And ah.... Mr Happy, wearing only a smile and holding a tray filled with all my breakfast favourites. Breakfast in bed! I feel like a PRINCESS! This is the best birthday of my whole life!

"...with a high today 9C, scattered showers tapering off this afternoon to sunny skies. A little Santana should take the edge off............. *guitar riffs....*"


I reach over and slam off the alarm.
Still smiling.
My eyes open.
The normal bedroom scene is before me.
Where the heck are the balloons, the flowers?
I don't hear the trumpets.
Racing to the window, I don't see the marching band either. All I hear is Mr Happy gurgling in the shower and two demons fighting over who gets to hand him a towel.

Well damn. Dreaming sucks.
I lay there until they all move into the bedroom, so Mr Happy can get dressed. The kids pile on the bed.
I sit up, rubbing my eyes, and propping my pillow behind me. Smiling, I say good morning to them all.

"Hey Dave"
"Mornin' Dave"
"Where's my socks?"
"I can't find my toothbrush Dave"
"You better get up, we slept in"

Clothes are thrown.
People are dressing.
I frown.

"Hey!" sez the birthday girl.

All heads turn.
They look at me blankly.

"Is that all you have to say to me today?"

I suddenly feel like Molly Ringwald in "Pretty in Pink"

They look at each other.

Damian gets an excited look.
So, in reaction, *I* get an excited look and smile.

"I need two bucks, it's cupcake day at school"


I get up realizing they probably have the kitchen all ready, hot coffee, eggs, bacon... sure, that's what they've done!

Racing out, I see a cereal bowl with two dead Fruit Loops floating, some toast crust and half a glass of juice, which Mr Happy chokes down on his rush out the door.

"See you later" *slam*


The boys gather their coats while I make their lunches, my brows furrowed. I stuff their lunches in their backpacks, they give me hurried hugs and kisses and race out to the bus stop.

I look at Grover.
She looks right back at me.

"Don't YOU even have anything to say to me this morning??"

She cocks her head to the side before quickly twisting to gnaw on her leg.

Well damn.


Dad phones, and sings Happy Birthday to me.
My neighbours phone, THEY sing.
Even my LIFE insurance guy phones.
I get my email and with pleasure open several e-greetings.


Just after my shower, I hear Mr Happy pull into the driveway and the smile wraps almost around my head. That dear sweet man! He just wanted to wait for the kids to be in school, and for me to wake up a bit!

I race to the door and open it for him.

"Forgot my invoice book"

*fumbling through stuff on the table.

"Where did you put my invoice book! I CAN'T FIND MY.... oh, here it is."

I'm watching him.

"By the way, I'm probably working late tonight"

*small kiss on the cheek*

"Bye Dave" *slam*

It's a ploy. I know it's a ploy. He isn't working late. He's just trying to get me all goofed up thinking nobody remembered my birthday. Ha ha. Ok. I'll play along.

The rest of my day is practically silent.


Mr Happy calls.

"Not working late, partner is tired, I'll be home around 5, bye Dave *click*"

I'm beaming.
The kids get home, while they're making a mess, I primp, I preen, I dress in nice stuff, and wait for Mr Happy figuring we're going out for dinner.


He comes home.

"You look nice. What's for dinner?"

Ok, you know what? It finally sinks in.
He forgot that today is my birthday.
He truly, sincerely, STUPIDLY forgot.
I don't want presents.
I don't want diamonds.
I don't want flowers.
(Well ok, flowers might have been nice)
I would have been well pleased to simply hear "Happy Birthday <<insert spontaneous endearment here>>".

I slam my mouth shut, as it was basically gaping open at the realization that Mr Happy, my husband, who has been celebrating birthdays with me for 15 years, forgot that today is the anniversary of the day the earth was blessed with my presence.

For two hours, I went out of my way to say nothing about it. To avoid starting all conversations, and trying to not look mad. Trying to not look disappointed. Trying to not look like I was calculating what I was going to do or say in order to make him realize this grave error.

7pm struck on the clock with a knock on my door.
My neighbour Brian bursts through the door with a big bottle of home-brew. Mr Happy, me and the demons are standing in the kitchen.

Brian smiles at all of us, holds the bottle out to me, and does a really... well a really poor but sweet rendition of
"They say it's your birthday.... it's my birthday too yeah...." complete with air band guitar riffs.

Three sets of eyes open wide, looking from Brian to me. Two demons wrap their arms around me wishing me a happy birthday before going off to play.

Mr Happy stands there.
His mouth is moving but nothing is coming out.
His arms spread wide, in a gesture of helplessness.
I lean against the table with my arms crossed over my chest. And smile beautifully. Brian stops singing. He leans to Mr Happy.

"You forgot huh"

I snort.

Mr Happy does the helpless, mouth flapping sans sound thing again.

Brian tells a few jokes, scratches his head, looks at Mr Happy with a great deal of sympathy, says Happy Birthday to me again and quickly vacates.

I have a seat, cross my legs, pour a small drink, and wait.

He moves to my chair, leans down, kisses my cheek.

"Um, Happy Birthday honey. Uh... I remembered, but I thought today was the 6th, not the 7th."

I examine my fingernails.
He moves much closer.

"I had my whole morning planned to do a quick job, then get you some flowers and your favourite bottle of wine.... yeah... and I was going to come home for an hour (sexy grin) before having to work again... It's true! Really!"

I barely stifle a yawn and sip from my beverage.

"Want to go out for some dinner?"

His voice cracks.

"It's 7:30, the boys go to bed in half hour"

monotone reply.

"You have to work"
"Ok... uh..... I have to work Thursday night too, I leave Friday... then um... Ok how about next weekend?"

I stare at him.

"You're working Thursday night?"
"Yeah, just till 10 or so"

I sit up quite straight. I clear my throat.

"Thursday, *DEAR* is our 15th wedding anniversary"

He stands.
He walks to the refrigerator.
Stands directly in front of it.
And begins to gently bang his forehead against it.

I cross my legs again, fold my arms across my chest and quietly watch. Trying not to laugh and spoil this wonderful moment. Wondering how long this will go on, and if I had enough time to get the video camera out.

30 seconds pass.
He looks at me now as he bangs.
With each bang, a word comes out of his mouth.


I shake my head.

"dinner out?"

I shake my head.

He winces, squeezes his eyes shut.

"Quote on a new computer?"

I smile.
He stops banging and looks at me hopefully.


 T O P

M O R E from D A V E


Unless otherwise specified, all material Copyright 2000 by Dave



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