Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Morning, 10 A.M., Sky Harbor Airport.

The day has been a smashing success so far. I haven't been killed, gotten lost, or been otherwise inconvenienced. Besides stupidly walking through security with a bottle of water in my backpack (can we say major oops? I'm lucky I wasn't strip searched) my trip through the airport has been uneventful. Somebody who works for American Airlines has explained to me how I got a first-class upgrade; it's a perfect storm of empty first class seats, frequent flier miles, who checks in first, and whether or not they're willing to part with a few bucks. And now I'm sitting outside a bar -- not open on account of it's Sunday and before noon --and writing this, while munching on a breakfast burrito the size of my head and some little fried potato thingys that taste primarily of salt. And sipping another bottle of water. And hoping to God that the woman behind me in the check-in line with the yappy Papillon is not on my flight.

But never mind all that. How did the speech go, you ask? Uh, surprisingly good. In fact we might even say shockingly good.

As I believe I mentioned, I had no idea what I was going to say. My sister tried to help me out. She wrote us notes about various time periods in my mom's life, certain facts that were interesting and pertinent, funny stories and so on. But I think what did the most good was when I broke out of the speech notes and said something like, "My mom likes things to run smoothly and be well-organized. She likes everything to have a plan. She likes everyone to get along. And then, she gave birth to me. I think this was a grand cosmic joke on someone's part. But on the other hand, maybe it was a test. Can she continue to have everything run smoothly and be well-organized while she's raising me? Possibly the most challenging child in the universe to raise, apart from all the ones that end up in jail? And I think she did a fine job. Rose to the occasion. Never shrank from a challenge."

At which point my sister grabbed the microphone back out of my hands (it was, to be honest, probably time) and tried to say something about how much it meant to her to have a mom that raised her to be an independent young woman. Tried to say it. She burst into tears instead. And that brought the house down.

We spent most of the rest of the party shaking hands with near total strangers and saying "Thank you" when they told us what a great job we'd done with this party. (My sister did most of it. I just showed up and helped decorate.) And was a good time had by all? Yes, I think so.

Anyway, my mom is 70. I'm 43 in June. My sister's 41 in March and yes, actually, both of us do a pretty good job of taking care of ourselves. And yes, that's mainly my mom's fault. She rocks. Happy birthday, Mom.

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