Thursday, October 13, 2011


Ok, well, it's taken me long enough, it's only been three weeks since my birthday and I still haven't posted about it.  I know, shake your head with me, but think of it this way, I'm juggling a full-time job, 12 credit hours and a boyfriend...not easy to squeeze a blog post in between all that.

So, I've hit the big 4-0.  Ok, it's not much different from 39 or, for that matter, 38.  The big difference between 38, 39 and 40 is that I got Ace for my birthday this year.  It's the first birthday I've had with a man around in two years.  It's like the rest of the adjustments you make when you have a new influence in your life, you just have to be ready to tackle it head on.

Ok girls, help me out.  How many times in your dating life have you heard a man tell you, "I'm different than any guy you've ever met"?  If you are anything like me, you know they ALL say that.  Guys should really be told "don't ever say that" because it's one of the oldest lines in the book.  Well gals, stand up and cheer because I've found one of the few guys in the universe that is actually different from any man I've ever met, and guess what, he never said he was different, he was just himself, said nothing and let his actions do all the talking.  Ok, guys like Ace need to be cultivated so there are more like him out there.

After 39 years of frustration, disappointment, mess cleaning, distractions and whathaveyou, I finally found someone I can stand toe to toe with and enjoy every minute.  But, let's talk my birthday:

Ok, I won't lie, my birthday wasn't the most banner of days.  It just didn't want to go there for me.  However, thank goodness for my chrome plated knight and his diesel-driven steed, he really fought for me hard.  The night of the 24th going into the 25th, Ace decided he wanted to have oysters.  Ok, y'all know me.  Oysters?  Really?  Well, yeah.

You first have to remember that I'm not adventurous with my palate.  I'm pretty much a picky eater from hell.  However, since Ace has shown up, I've made the conscious decision to try something new every day.  Ace was a chef at one time, so he's fantastic in the kitchen.  Yep girls, he loves to cook.  I know, "shut up...", right?  Uh huh...and oh is he a good cook.  He is so masterful with a chef's knife...I can't wait for my nephew and niece to meet him.  I told y'all already that he grows his own tomatoes (that are so floral that they could seduce whole countries), his own bell peppers (which he made a special trip to deliver some to my dad) and his own jalapenos (ok, I got lost around the jalapenos, those are just a "no" for me, but who am I to judge?  If he likes them, more power to him.)

So now that you know all that, I realized that I couldn't just stick to my boring diet around him, I needed to try new things if I'm to keep with him, so I stepped up to the Oyster Bar at Palace Station and tried my very first raw oyster on the half-shell.

Here's me before the oyster...
Here's me after the oyster...
Before I swallowed it, Ace whispered in my ear..."Don't chew."  I had been told that before about oysters, and kind of knew the drill, but that was the first time I ever swallowed one of those slippery suckers.  For those of you who are chicken and just won't do it, I'll tell you a secret:  With the way Ace doctored the oyster, all I tasted was lemon, cocktail sauce and horseradish, I didn't even taste the oyster, so all in all, it wasn't bad at all.  After digesting the fact that I had eaten an oyster, I got daring and went for another...and this is where it all went south.  Oysters have beards.  Didn't really know that, but the experienced oyster eater will tell you that they do have them...and well, on my second attempt with an oyster, I ended up with the beard doing funny things in the roof of my mouth and it was disgusting.  So, my oyster adventure ended there.

After the oysters, Ace had ordered us a creole pan roast which was filled with Andoulle sausage, shrimp and a few other things.  What makes it funny is that when the waiter took our order, he asked Ace how spicy he wanted it, and since Ace knows me pretty good, he ordered it very mild, to which the waiter replied, "Whimpy."  Ok, that didn't help, but when it came out, it was spicy!  Oy!  Yeah, I'm the world's largest wuss when it comes to spices, so to Ace it was like dishwater, to me it was burning the roof out of my mouth.  But, I ate well, I embraced the burning sensations and just went with it.

Later on, as we were walking back out to Duke, Ace's diesel-driven steed (a beautiful blue Ford F-350 diesel that's lifted about four feet higher than stock), I got a case of the giggles, BAD.  What Ace failed to mention up to that point is that the reason people eat such spicy food is because of the endorphin rush that it gives.  Ok, didn't know that!  I sat cackling my butt off over nothing!  I didn't even have anything alcoholic to drink yet, and I sat there just a-gigglin'!

I had so much fun with the oysters and spicy food that I went to sleep thinking that 40 had been my best birthday I ever had...well, until the next morning.

The next day, I couldn't get comfortable in my own skin, even if I had paid to be able to do it.  It just wasn't a good day.  My sister, mom and dad put together a beautiful birthday dinner for me including brisket, green bean casserole, potato salad and all of my favorite foods, including a beautiful strawberry cheesecake...

My family was so awesome for my birthday and I can't thank them enough for everything they did for me and for the gifts they gave me.

But then, as is tradition, we left my sister's house to head to Spago for my ritual birthday dessert...and guess what...they didn't have it.  No Créme Bruleé.  Ok, while you may think it's no big deal, to me it's a major tragedy.  12 years of Cremé Bruleé brought to a halt.  While I did have my regular glass of champagne, my dessert was replaced by "Coconut," a Coconut Pot De Crème with chocolate ganache and shortbread cookies.  How very delicious, as coconut is my favorite flavor in the world, but still, it had no zip or classicism to it, not even a "Happy Birthday" written on it, so I was extremely disappointed.

Now, I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, but Ace likes to make believe he's blue collar when really he's a white collar guy who likes to dress up as a blue collar guy.  Backwards?  Maybe.  Different?  Heavens yes.  Ace is the original rich bum.  He just exudes it.  The guy can bend wrenches under the hood of a car and get filthy and two minutes later he's decked to the nines with his CEO attitude to carry with him.  Yikes, what a unique mix, right?  Well, I took him to Spago in the way he loves to dress, a gorgeous flowing silk shirt with denim cargo shorts and birkenstocks (that show off his gorgeous feet, what can I say, he's got great many men can you actually say that about???).  He sat sipping a Bushmills while I took in my dessert.

All day long and into the night I had emotional trouble, not being able to be comfortable in my own skin and Ace really went to the ends of the earth for me.  He really did make my birthday special, and what topped it off was what he got me.  Talk about a guy who knows his girl...he got me a 2 terabyte external hard drive for my computer.  AWWWW!  How sweet!  (He's so awesome.  I love it!)

So, while not the greatest day in the world emotionally, Ace and my family really came through, from oysters to champagne and coconut.

Many thanks to all that posted birthday wishes on my Facebook wall, I really do appreciate it.

So that's it for the big 4-0.  I'm over the hump, it's all fun from here.

For the song of the day, I'll send this one out to Ace with a fat wink...Newton Faulkner's "Gone in the Morning."

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