Bookman with cake

Bookman with cake

Yesterday was Bookman’s birthday and we have been having a wonderful few days together just relaxing and celebrating. There has been cake of course. Bookman chose a chocolate mud cake but sadly it turned out more mud than cake. But the sins of failed cake can be hidden. Into the collapsed center between the layers went a thick slathering of strawberry jam and all over the top and sides went chocolate ‘buttercream” frosting. It looked a little worse for the wear but it tasted good and that’s what matters most, right? Along with the cake went homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. Delicious!

The day began yesterday by going to our favorite cafe for breakfast. Only we discovered when we got there they are no longer open on Tuesdays. So back home we went, disappointed and hungry. Bookman filled us up pretty darn good though with some fluffy French toast. I am happy to say we went back to the cafe this morning where we got our breakfast this time.

The failed attempt at breakfast out yesterday was just the beginning. I had decided to get Bookman some vegan Birkenstock sandals. He had some but they wore out a couple years ago and he never got another pair. It was about time. So we went to the dreaded Mall of America where there is a shoe store that sells Birks. Vegan Birks? No, sorry, you need to go to a place over in Edina where they will be sure to have them. Oh, ok. But while we were at the Mall we went to Sears to get Bookman a new shirt for work and a new tie or two. We’ve had great success with both there before so we were nonplussed to see their men’s department fairly gutted. Bookman has a dress code at work that says he can only wear certain colors. He also prefers Oxford button collar shirts. But there were none. And ties, sure there were some but they were all silk. Where did the big rack of non-silk ties go?

To help with once again being disappointed we went to the Barnes and Noble also at the Mall. There we each got a book because we needed something. Bookman got Stephen King’s Joyland and I found a gardening book.

Next, to Edina where they were sure to have vegan Birks. The store turned out to be a mostly Birkenstock store. The helpful man in the store showed us some plastic sandals. Um, don’t you have any like these? I asked, waving my be-Birked foot at him. You know, ones that look like suede but aren’t? Sorry, he said. They stopped making those a few years ago, but these plastic ones are great, same arch support and they float in the water. So the only vegan Birks now are those plastic ones? Yeah, sorry. Well, thanks anyway.

Home we went, very disappointed. Also, knowing they don’t make vegan Birks anymore, I suddenly don’t want to wear mine anymore because when they wear out, that’s it. At home we looked online hoping to discover a last cache somewhere but no, we even struck out there. Sigh.

So all Bookman got for his birthday was a semi-failed cake, a belated breakfast out, and a consolation book. But, being the great guy that he is, he focuses on the fact that we have gotten to spend four whole days together, that we’ve gone for walks and spent time in the garden and had lots of unhurried conversations and just time to be. And so I find myself thanking Bookman for reminding me that birthdays and celebrations aren’t about buying things but about the intangibles that we give to one another and that taking time out to recognize them is the best gift of all.