This morning I got started out bursting with a spirit of organization. To change things up a bit, I created a real list on paper! Cute boots on, list in hand, children strapped into seats…I began my mission. First stop, preschool drop off. The kiddos asked if they could stay at school for lunch today so I obliged, granting myself an extra hour and 15 minutes of errand running and alone time.
Getting back into the car, I reconsulted my list:
1) dry cleaners (hoping they can magically remove the weird sleep smell from our comforter so I’ll stop wanting to gag when I enter my bedroom)
2) consignment store (looking to get paid for crap I don’t want to have in my house anyway)
3) farmer’s market
Easy enough, right? Before diving into my list and knowing it was only 9am (retail places don’t open until 10am, right?), I decided to see if my girl was into grabbing coffee. She was! In fact, she was at a coffee shop already. Perfect! I drove from Walnut Creek to Martinez to meet her…after all, what is that extra hour of preschool for?
It turns out that Tina is like a celebrity in Martinez. She knows EVERYONE. She knows the proprietors of the coffee shop, in fact. An hour later, as she left our coffee encounter, the barista shouted, “Hey, Happy Birthday, Tina!”
“What?!?” I said, “I thought your birthday was in June.”
Tina looked mortified, rolled her eyes, made a quiet comment which I didn’t catch, gave me a big hug and headed for the parking lot. I panicked.
The barista looked at me sideways (after all, Tina had just introduced me to her, calling me out as her super good friend). I said, “Whoa, I can’t believe I didn’t know today was her birthday.”
“Yeah, the guy behind her in line told us…we didn’t know either.”
I googled and yelped nearby florists. None of the FOUR answered their phones at 10am on a Tuesday. Ugh. Then I remembered that she had been super excited when Le Jardin at the Spa (in Pleasant Hill) gave FFF gift cards for services for our fall challenge winners. So I called them. They put together a spa package deal and gift card. I got back on 680 and sped over there, picked up the gift card, got back on 680 and sped back to Martinez. 10:22am, the time was flying but I was ok. I just had to pick up a card, balloons and a cupcake (all of which Safeway should be able to handle) and make it to Downtown Martinez before Tina left her 10am hair appointment.
10:30am: Parked at Safeway
10:43am: Left Safeway (balloons, cupcake, card and shaved Parmesan to complete my dinner recipe…all in hand)
10:49am: Arrived Downtown Martinez
10:51am: Noticed Tina walking down the street!
Window down, I shouted, “Hey You!”
Tina replied, “What’s up? Where are you coming from?”
“Where’s your car?”
“Around the block.”
“Ok, I’ll meet you there.”
Coming around the corner, I noticed her car and a free parking space behind it. Feeling like a completely awesome, I-didn’t-really-forget/miss-your-birthday-friend, I pulled out the balloons, card/gift card and cupcake and waited for her next to her car.
As Tina approached, I noticed a really strange look on her face. Thinking, “Wow, she’s really not into her birthday!” I marched on.
Huge, embarrassed grin on her face, she said, “It’s not my birthday. My birthday is in June, just like you said.”
“Huh? Wait, what’s going on?”
Taking the offered balloons, she said, “Some guy came into the coffee place after me and kept saying it was his birthday so I asked him if he was serious and he said no. Then he that it could be my birthday.
As I ordered my coffee, the barista overheard him and asked if it was my birthday. I said no, but he kept nodding his head behind me. Rather than embarrass both of us even further, I just smiled. They gave me a huge discount on my coffee so I felt really weird but I didn’t want to make that guy look like a quack.”
“Wow. I got you a spa day gift card.”
Yeah, that really happened.
Realizing that this will likely be a story we remember fondly for years to come, we both giggled our way into our cars. As she pointed out, even if it’s not her birthday, she’s feeling HUGELY loved today. And after I left her, I still managed to check off most the items on my list. Even though I feel like an ass-hat, at least I showed her how much she means to me. And now thanks to the simplicity of the world wide web, you all know too. Having a friend as awesome as Tina is rare. I am so grateful to have her in my life, so upon thinking that I missed her birthday, I wanted to make sure it didn’t pass without the fireworks and crazy amazing recognition I believe she deserves. So I charged through a ridiculous series of hoops in 60 minutes time in order to show her how much I love her. And now she really knows (and her hair looks adorns, too – don’t you think?)! 🙂