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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse

Turning 50

Last weekend, the Carpenter celebrated his 50th birthday in grand style. And do you know why this was a grand event? Because I planned it. Because birthdays matter. Because I say so.

You may recall last month, on my special day, the Carpenter pulled a last-minute birthday surprise and while it was super thoughtful, it was a last-minute thought because he doesn’t think birthdays matter. Because he is wrong. Because birthdays do matter. Because I say so.

To prove my point, I thought it best to show him what a significant celebration looks like - and let’s face it, 50 is a big birthday. Having known this man for half his life, I wanted to celebrate his awesomeness in a way he would appreciate. Because that’s what birthdays are about: celebrating the life of the individual. Sheesh.

My original goal was to fly the Carpenter to Seattle in September to watch his Seahawks play at Century Link Field. Romantic, right? I started a savings account for this trip and began planning. I was willing to fake interest in football and I was willing to pay a small fortune just to see him fulfill this dream. But life had other plans.

Our roof needed repairs. The clothes dryer died. The car needed new brakes. The list goes on. While it sounds very romantic to say “just take the trip and worry about the money later,” the Carpenter and I know too well how it feels when the ends don’t meet. Bank accounts dwindle fast when you only make withdrawals. Reality check. Trip cancelled. Sack the quarterback. Heart broken.

Plan B: stay home, make a nice dinner, keep the guest list small and manage our debt load. Less exciting, sure. Romantic? No. I needed a Hail Mary. Then it hit me: if we couldn’t go to Seattle, why not bring the Seahawks to him? Fumble recovery. So I planned a Seattle Seahawks-themed birthday (the key word here is “planned” - like, ahead of time). Two weeks before his big day I went online and ordered him two Seahawks golf shirts and the brand new 2017 baseball cap (a ball cap is the Carpenter’s number one fashion accessory that both hides and creates the receding hairline). Field goal. Cue the cheerleaders.

But that wasn’t enough. What’s a 50th birthday without a Seahawks birthday cake? I found a local cake master who was up for the task and ordered him a double-chocolate two-tiered treat with a caramel centre. Touchdown. Happy dance in the end zone.

On the day of the party, I even let him nap (he is 50, so naps are super important). Then we had a sweet gathering with our family and laughed like fools into the night.

I know the Carpenter would have been fine if we did nothing at all for his birthday. But I also know that life is short. Fifty years of living is a gift not to be taken for granted. This was a celebration fit for a man who deserves to know he is adored by his family.

Because he is. Because I said so. Because he’s my Carpenter.

Vol 50 Issue 32


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