Binder of Yummy

William Wallet

Wife-made cupcake

Today is my husband’s 48th birthday. Happy birthday babe but WTF? How did I end up married to someone so old? Ok, so he’s only two years and three months older than me but somehow, 48 just sounds old. Like you’re talking about the guy down the street who’s already a grandfather and drives a tan Buick LeSabre.
Truthfully though, you wouldn’t think he was so old if you saw him in action. Like working 50 to 60 hours a week in his restaurant. Putting all of his much younger employees to shame with his stamina and his dedication to perfection. Boy, do they respect him, respect his knowledge and experience.
And you wouldn’t know how old he is by his joie de vivre. Hanging out with our family and friends. Being goofy and always laughing at my stupid quips about life. Going on our 45 minute power walks even when he doesn’t want to. Getting excited about hitting the 10th race at Aqueduct. Or trying to teach our kids the meaning of life and the value of the dollar while keeping his sense of humor.

And you wouldn’t know how old he was by the way he acts in the bedroom. But we won’t go there. I’ve already written way too much about that. Suffice it to say, all the equipment is in prime working order and I have a hard time keeping up with him. No complaints there.
So hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting older.

But some times are harder than others. Like the incident this past summer, when he was looking at a picture from our trip to Saratoga Springs. There was a guy in the picture with his back to the camera. The guy had what we jokingly refer to as a “yarmulke”: a roundish bald spot on his head right where a real one would be. My husband wanted to know who that guy was because he didn’t remember meeting him. And the guy was wearing a shirt suspiciously similar to his. Sadly, and holding in my laughs, I had to tell him that the guy was him. I mean how was he to know he was balding? How often do you see a picture of yourself from the back and from above. Poor guy. I think he was a little crushed.

So I wanted to make him feel extra-special this year but it’s not easy buying him a birthday gift. Clothes? Forget it. His idea of a good shopping expedition is the local Goodwill Thrift Shop, especially on a day when they’re offering an additional 30% off. (Hmm, $8.99 less 30% equals $6.29. Bargain.) And sure he’s gotten some nice shirts from there. Even a like-new Pringle short sleeve shirt. But I can’t buy him someone’s unwanted clothes for a birthday present.
And cooking him a romantic dinner? Not on your life. It would be like me giving a guitar lesson to Dave Grohl. Pointless and painful for all parties involved. My husband is the best self-taught chef I have ever met. One of the many (ok, main) reasons I married him was so that I would never have to cook again in my entire life. And so far that is working out well for me, except for the extra weight I carry around on my ass.
No, for his birthday this year, I bought him a not-wallet. I saw it in one of those in-flight magazines when I was traveling over the summer. It’s called the William Wallet and is made by Wintercheck Factory, this cool little company based in Brooklyn. The wallet is really just two pieces of aluminum held together by a heavy duty hairband. Industrial looking and completely functional. My husband hasn’t used a wallet in years. He just stuffs his driver’s license, credit card and a myriad of currency in to his pocket. I’m hoping this will work for him. If not, I’ll be happy to take it over.
And I also compiled all his loose recipes from over the years into a binder, organizing by main ingredient and giving each recipe a home in a plastic sheet protector that can be taken out when needed. It was fun to search in the kitchen drawers for his favorite recipes, coming across some of my all-time favorites written in his very recognizable handwriting and framed by stains of meals and cocktails past.
And just because everybody needs to make a wish and blow out a candle on their birthday, I made him cupcakes. He doesn’t really like sweets but he’ll appreciate the gesture. Especially when I show up at the restaurant today, cupcakes in hand, and embarrass him. He says he doesn’t like the attention but, after being together for almost nine years, I know he likes it a little.

He is probably one of the most under-appreciated people I know. He’s generous and thoughtful and takes care of me and our family like we are, well, the most important things in the world. And I want him to know how much I care about him, how much I love him and how much I appreciate all he does. (This doesn’t mean he’s perfect. But he’s perfect when he needs to be.)

I hope he has a great birthday. And gets what he wants. But of course, all he probably really wants for his birthday is a blow job. And maybe some anal. Thank goodness it only comes once a year.