holidays

The birthday boy… “I really don’t care, do u?”

Today is Bill’s birthday. As a gift to him, I told him I wouldn’t complain if he orders Indian food for dinner. This is a big deal, because I don’t really like Indian food very much. It’s too spicy for me. Yes, I know not all of it is spicy, but I just never got on the Indian food appreciation bus. I wish I did like Indian food more. It would make things easier.

When I regularly used to play Cooking Dash 2016, there was an Indian restaurant. I don’t play Cooking Dash 2016 anymore, because I beat all the games and playing everyday became a chore. Anyway, some of the food used in the game looked really good. I was particularly fascinated by samosas. But then I tried to eat one in real life and it set my mouth on fire. I could not finish my very first samosa, and didn’t find eating it a pleasant experience.

Bill, by contrast, loves things hot and spicy. I think that applies to his women, too. He likes women who are a little bit difficult… not totally difficult, you understand. Just a bit spicy. I think he keeps me around for that purpose. He likes a challenge. If I were as bland as grits, he’d get really bored. Personally, I love grits, and other bland foods like potatoes and pasta… must be all that British/Irish heritage I have. Bill is happy to have flames coming out of his mouth.

Actually, to be honest, I told Bill that maybe we should go out to dinner tonight. He went looking for a place to go, but found little availability for tonight in Wiesbaden. He wasn’t too upset about it, though. Bill says that when a person gets to a certain age, birthdays aren’t that important and don’t need to be celebrated. So then I said, “I guess we should stop celebrating my birthdays, then.”

“No, no, no…” Bill said, “I like celebrating your birthday.” And he does, too, because it’s an excuse to go on a trip and/or eat a really nice meal in a restaurant. We usually do something fun for my birthday. I like celebrating Bill’s birthday, too. It gives me a reason to buy cool stuff.

He’s catching on!

This year, it was guitars. Last year, it was a cut crystal mixing glass for cocktails that I noticed him admiring when we went to Cologne last year to see the Eagles. In other years, I bought him knives from Japan or Germany. He started out loving the German Wusthof knives and graduated to Japanese knives. Our taste in knives has expanded. When we met, I was still using shitty Farberware knives.

Ten years ago, we were living near Atlanta, and Craft Atlanta was still operating. Bill had been wanting to go there, so I told him we should book a table. He hesitated, but I insisted that his birthday was worth celebrating. We ended up having a fantastic time, especially when I encouraged Bill to order a $61 steak. It had been dry aged for thirty days and I remember the waiter who looked after us got a look of sublime pleasure on his face. Maybe it was because of how good the beef was… or maybe it was because he was expecting a big tip, which of course he got. I remember coming home from that dinner with lots of amazing leftovers. I was so sad when I heard that Craft Atlanta closed. But then we had to move, anyway… and now, eating in a restaurant is a huge hassle.

Sweet ride…

I recently reposted a picture from that evening. Bill was driving my then new car, a 2009 Mini Cooper convertible. I still have that car, and it still has under 50,000 miles on it because it doesn’t get driven much. We may take it on our upcoming trip, though, because it’s fun to drive it at this time of year, with the top down… I look forward to spending some quality time outside, maybe swimming and taking pictures, reminding myself why it’s better to hang around here than peace out.

Last year, on Bill’s birthday, we were headed home from Leipzig, reeling over picking up a new car, seeing Mark Knopfler perform, and running into him and his band in the hotel restaurant. Six years ago, we were on our way home from Virginia, having just visited my father on his death bed. He died two days later, and we spent the rest of the month preparing for our move to Germany.

He’s no longer “Schfifty Five”…

As for Bill… he’s downstairs at his computer, working from home. I probably ought to make him a cake or something… or give him some birthday sex. Unfortunately, the door on the washing machine is on the fritz, so it’s probably better not to risk getting jism on the sheets until we can get it fixed. I don’t know that 2020’s birthday will be as exciting as past birthdays have been, but just so everyone knows, of course I care that today is Bill’s birthday. I thank God his mom was able to have him, because he’s a real gift to me.

Happy birthday, Mr. Bill! Yes, you can have takeout Indian food… and maybe we can have birthday sex, too. 😉 Or at least a hickey…

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Ex

A very special blog post…

As promised to a few friends who already know why, today’s entry is entitled “A very special blog post…” Last night, Bill finally got his daughter’s gender reveal video to work. She’s shown sitting at a table with her husband’s family, biting into a cupcake made by her mother-in-law. The inside of the cupcake was pink, which revealed that her next baby will be a girl.

I had a feeling that the next baby was going to be female. So did Bill. I think he’s excited about it, although he still hasn’t seen his daughter in person since 2004, and he’s never met his grandson. They all live in Idaho, and we’re in Germany. I do think Bill will probably try to go out to see his daughter and meet her family in person. Once again, I’m not sure I’ll be joining him. It depends on where the meeting takes place. I already wrote about my feelings regarding a family gathering on my old blog, so I won’t rehash the reasons here. Suffice to say that I am in favor of Bill going to see them, even if I opt out.

The baby is due sometime in early July, which could mean she will be a “birthday present” for Bill. Or maybe she’ll be a present for her aunt, Bill’s older daughter, who was born on Independence Day. It’s amazing how much I know about these people I’ve only met one time, fifteen years ago. Technically, they’re family… and pretty close family at that. But they have been kept out of my life, so they’re also strangers. It’s a very odd situation that I never thought I would be in.

One of my friends quipped that now I’m “Granny”. That’s really not true. I had no part in bringing up Bill’s daughters, and Bill was only there when they were very young. I have only met Bill’s daughters once, and that was in 2003. Although technically, I am their stepmother, I don’t really know them and they don’t know me. Maybe someday that will change, but I like to be realistic. I tend to expect the worst; that way when things aren’t the worst, I’m pleasantly surprised.

It’s great to see that Bill’s younger daughter has reclaimed her wonderful dad. She’s obviously smart to do that. So far, we’ve seen no indication that she’s up to anything more than simply being family again. It’s still kind of hard for me to trust her, although I am impressed by her survival skills. She is very resilient, and I respect resilience. As much as I dislike Mormonism, I am also glad she found some church members who were willing to help her escape the situation she was in as a very young woman. I don’t think she’s quite finished college yet, but she’s well on her way. And she and her husband appear to be doing fine, which is more than I can say for myself when I was her age.

I just hope that the real “Granny”– that is, Bill’s ex wife– stays far enough away from them that she doesn’t wreak any havoc on their happiness. Based only on what little I’ve heard about what it was like for younger daughter to grow up with Ex, I can only imagine her own concerns about how her mother is going to behave. It’s really something when a child declares that her mother is mentally ill. I’m sure it was heartbreaking and scary when she came to that conclusion. Ex apparently did go out to Idaho to see her grandson, but according to younger daughter, Ex spent most of her time on her phone and wasn’t really engaged with the boy.

This brings me to another observation… it seems like Ex sees everyone as an extension of herself. She doesn’t seem to know how to form genuine bonds with people. She does things like arrange visits and includes all of the trappings of a celebration, but she doesn’t emotionally connect with the people involved. Instead, the celebrations often turn to shit.

Case in point. One Christmas, when Bill’s daughters and ex stepson were small, Ex decided they must have a grand Christmas. So, even though Bill was underemployed and they were having serious financial problems, Ex went out and bought a truckload of presents. My mother-in-law visited them during this time and she said there were so many presents, they wouldn’t all fit under the tree. And she bought tons of food… stuff that little kids probably wouldn’t even want to eat. She bought a $75 platter of baklava that didn’t get eaten. It was all for show. The celebration itself, despite the decorations, presents, and expensive prepared foods, was a disaster. I think it’s because the celebration wasn’t about family and the love that families and friends share. It was about optics, and what other people might think or see.

Now that younger daughter is about to expand her family, I would not be surprised if Ex decides it’s time for another one of her trademark “celebrations”, which are all about show. I have been through enough of these kinds of “shows” with my own family to last me the rest of my life. They always take me weeks to get over. And my family doesn’t even come close to being as fucked up as Ex is. I imagine having a mother like Ex is a special curse. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

But anyway… I am truly delighted for younger daughter and her husband and son. They deserve every happiness. I know Bill is excited about the new grandchild, especially since it’s a girl. I guess I am, too, although for me it’s more surreal because the only bond I have with his daughters is from afar, and mostly based on stories I’ve heard and emails I’ve read… and blog posts I’ve written, that make other people think I’m the crazy one.

In other news… Bill is taking today off, since he will be working overnights for the next 18 days with no break. I’m going to have to find some trashy television to watch.

P.S. Special thanks to dreamstime.com for the public domain image of the pink booties.

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