It seems that this week contains the celebration of birthdays–not mine, but I get to be part of the celebrations which is even better.
Yesterday’s luncheon on the island (Alameda) was in honor of two 87 year old high school friends, and Friday’s soiree is for a couple of 70 somethings. We were missing one of our group yesterday. It seems that she got a wrong number the night before at her home, and while in the midst of explaining that they had reached the wrong person, she got a coughing spell, which alarmed the caller to the point that they called the police to come take a look at her. The first she knew of it, the police were shining bright lights through her front windows and pounding on her door! Nice to know there are still strangers who care, but still she elected to opt out of our gathering the next day. Maybe she was still coughing. Who knows? She missed a lively party complete with small fancy cakes and the whole restaurant singing the “Happy Birthday” song.
Speaking of the police, the husband of one of our birthday girls had been a policeman. She related the story of a peeping Tom who kept showing up wherever she happened to be for a week or so. Her husband had been in the hospital for a few weeks when she first noticed the peeper. After the husband came home and was resting on the sofa one evening, the guy came to their front door. Her husband leaped from the sofa, grabbed his gun and chased the fellow down the street while streaming expletives at him. They never had any more problems along those lines.
I had a phone call from my much younger cousin the night before asking the date of my anniversary. It is about to be 68 years, and she mused that I had been married nearly her whole life. She had been a flower girl tossing rose petals up the aisle in her white dress our grandmother had made. An adorable little redhead whose braids were wrapped around her head European style. She told me it was the first wedding she had been to, and I told her it had been my first as well. One of the ladies yesterday had been in our wedding and I would have asked one of the others but she got married the week before me.
Since I was such a wedding novice, and our was shaping up to be the “wedding of the century”, I had fits of terror and tears beginning at about 1 p.m. My father, at a loss as to what to do about this dramatic display, assured me that I did not have to go through with the affair, even though the trap had been set: flowers and cake and gifts already arrived and in place. Nevertheless, I made an appearance at 4 o’clock on my father’s arm still dripping tears throughout the service while wiping my nose on the back of the wrist of my lovely borrowed dress which a cousin had lent, and the future Dr. A. whispering “Stop that!”
Our waitress, who takes care of our group regularly, is clearly amused and bemused by the sight of 8 ladies of a certain age who still connect to renew old memories. She was fascinated yesterday by the story of one of our group telling about the time she found an orchid on her front porch delivered for her husband’s birthday from an old girlfriend of his. She and the girlfriend had the same name, and were referred to as “old Helen” and “new Helen”. The orchid was from “old Helen”.
I plumbed their memories about a girl who insisted upon calling Dr. Advice at his office and at our home after we married. She had been some other fellow’s girlfriend in High School so there wasn’t a personal connection, but I guess she was just hopeful. I don’t blame her, he was pretty cute. (Still is.)