You'd think I would have remembered. Perhaps it is akin to childbirth - traumatic enough to block out of your memory for survival. In any case, when my sister nudged me a couple weeks ago, saying her birthday fell on a Friday this year and, like last year, did I want to take the day off and spend it with her, I should have found any excuse to say no, but for some reason, I emphatically agreed.
Maybe it's because I have a summer birthday, but in all my many, many years of having a birthday, I have never once had a to-do list for that day. Especially not one written in ink on paper with many many items. If anything, my birthday to-do lists include mental notes to sleep in, read a book, stay in pajamas all day and maybe, if anything, eat an amazing meal that I didn't make. That's it. Great day.
The fact that my sister takes the day off from work does not in any way indicate that she is not going to do things that I would consider work on her day off. When I asked her the night before what our plans were, she said, "I have to get George on the bus, but then I'm ready!" After reading this text, I turned to The Mister and said, "She thinks I am coming over to her house at seven in the morning on our day off?!? What are we possibly going to do at seven in the morning!?" While I am up with The Mister many mornings at 3am, and I can be known to be at school two or sometimes three hours before school starts, on a Friday, on a day-off, I see no reason to be anywhere or doing anything until after 8.
We ended up out the door and headed to, of all places Verizon before ten. We actually had to come back to Verizon because they weren't even open yet. We spent the day driving around town, crossing items off her list as I shook my head constantly and remarked how different we are. Jules finds no contradiction in listening to "Silent Night" while shouting at the driver that just cut her off. She was thinking of the location of stores she needed to go to as a deciding factor in where to eat lunch. I had to remind her that it was her birthday and we could eat ANYWHERE she wanted. But no, it had to follow a logical route. The day was very task-oriented. There was no browsing, wandering, lingering.
When we finally headed back home, we decided to head to my house for an adult beverage and some relaxing conversation. I thought we were finally going to enjoy the day when she came out of her house and climbed into the Jeep with a bag full of presents and wrapping paper. "What are you doing?" I asked.
"Bringing something to do. I can sit on your floor and wrap gifts while we talk," she replied. I stopped and stared at her.
"Koehns don't multi-task," I replied. "You are supposed to just sit and enjoy and relax! You don't have to DO anything else!"
I was fighting a losing battle, however. She came and wrapped, and so I put together tomorrow night's lasagna. We did, however, squeeze in a lot of laughter!
I think, next August, I will ask Jules to take my birthday off. And I will demonstrate for her the proper way to spend a birthday. We might watch a chick flick, or read an entire book without stopping. I might make her lay in the hammock and take a nap. I'm sure she will twitch without five things to do at a time, but she'll make it through. Afterall, I survived Verizon, Toys R Us and Target all on my day off!
Happy Birthday, Jules!