Which isn't to say that I didn't think it was important to somehow mark the occasion. If there's one thing I've learned in the past four decades, it's to really celebrate the milestones and moments that give you the opportunity, as they are less about you and more about taking joy in the people you love and surround yourself with, who make your life worth celebrating. Cammila and I have been so busy with work and GBear's school and the band and our house and all the mundane minutia that fills up your life. I knew that adding anything else would be a contrivance. I just wanted to take the day off and be with Cammila in the humming four walls of this home we've made. These are the things that engage me, make me present in the moment, and excite me to be alive.
So Cammila set the tone: she made vegan pancakes, and ordered me to open gifts. In the back of my mind, I still wondered if I would regret not jumping out of a plane or crossing the Andes. But honestly I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else on Earth.
"Mini-gifts" included some awesome model airplanes (which Gbear will also love), as well as my favorite candy, black licorice -- Cammila long ago introduced me to the single best brand ever made, Panda, and if you like black licorice you should try it , it makes even the fancy imported kind taste like plastic. Cammila also found me some perfect vintage 70's deadstock flares (just in time for Anchorman 2!), though those hardly seem like a "mini" gift!
However, nothing prepared me for the "Big Gift." She went back to Blurb.com (God knows when she found the time). Cammila designed this gorgeous 250 page book for me, and had it printed and bound. Much like the first book she made me for our one-year dating anniversary, it's a chronicle of our life together. It details the last three years of she and Gbear and me with photos, transcriptions of lyrics, notes, even shots of memorable book inscriptions. Everything from backyard snapshots to love poems to Gbear's art to pictures of us playing out with the Canastas to Gbear making her first Valentine. All laid out chronologically.
Let's just say, I didn't even make it to our Wedding photos. I was completely overwhelmed with joy and began bawling my eyes out. Stone Henge, cliff diving, a sweat lodge ceremony -- none could ever compare to the cathartic flow of memories and emotions I felt looking at this book.
My life is a cliff dive. I am so enthralled to be a part of this.
Going along with my own strange request and inspired by a conversation about a restaurant scene in the 1977 thriller Marathon Man in which someone is served mint jelly with their dinner, Cammila made me a mint jelly vanilla bundt birthday cake.
I have weird obsession with crazy looking cakes. The slime green frosting was an an unintentional masterstroke on Cammila's part and one I completely endorsed. Margaret helped us decorate it with various toys (because the green frosting and purple sprinkles weren't enough), and when we realized we didn't have forty candles, we opted for just one, with Christmas colored stripes and a big yellow star on top that immediately started melting. It was all very strange looking and very Halloween appropriate. I loved it.
It was insanely delicious, by the way.
I feel like these words aren't fully conveying what awesome bliss this day was. It was so simple. We spent much of it wrapped up in each other's arms.
What can I say, this is 40. It feels really good.