Monday, January 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Julie!

Julie Slick, probably the most gorgeous twenty year old in the universe. Okay, so I'm prejudiced, but still...

Yep, Julie turns twenty today. A moment of silence while I recover from the shock of it all.

Alas, Drexel University does not allow time off for birthdays, so she is headed out the door with boyfriend Matt for a fun-filled day of classes and then we're going out to an early dinner somewhere in the neighborhood because Matt is taking her to the Franklin Institute at 8:00 p.m. to see the Bodyworlds exhibit, which is too cool for words. Go check out the website -- man, it's intense -- an anatomical exhibition of real human bodies. Here's a taste - it's called "Man Playing Chess"

Heh. Looks like something in a Neil Gaiman book, huh. Okay, that's enough Gaimanizing. I'm finally over it and plan to spend today calmly reading/memorizing the story I've written for the Community College reading tomorrow. Yikes, I found out I'm reading last -- there's only three readers -- but holy cow, I have to follow Randall Brown, who is one of my favorite short story writers. Oh, the pressure!

Wait -- hang on. Gaimanizing? I do believe I've just invented a new, wonderful word. I just did a quick Google search and I cannot believe it, no one has ever used it before. How is that possible? Hahahahaha - hey, if you saw/heard him in person, you would know just how brilliant this is and I think I should contact Websters and Wikipedia at once.


So as I mentioned the other day, on Friday Julie and I had our annual birthday lunch at Le Bec Fin. When we sat down, our waiter asked us if we'd like a glass of champagne. Okay, I'm a terrible mother, my daughter is not twenty-one and legal yet, but I said SURE, and this painfully handsome sommelier poured us each a glass and then the infamous owner, Georges Perrier, came over to our table and like every other man who sees her, gasped over Julie but then was kind enough to include me in his comment "To what do I owe the pleasure of these two beautiful women in my restaurant?" and Julie blushed prettily and I, ever the nervous bigmouth (see Gaiman post below) blurted "It's my daughter's 21ST BIRTHDAY" (I guess so as not to get arrested for allowing my daughter to underage drink -- oh my god, I really am such a dork it's pitiful)...anyway, he made a fuss, kissed her hand...I had insanely delicious salmon; Julie had some fish I've never even heard of...then we had desserts and I say desserts because we both had like five slices of each -- and here's a fun fact -- did you know that "stressed" backwards is "desserts"? In this case, it makes perfect sense, because when our waiter handed me the check, it was for $207.00. I blinked and tried to focus my eyes -- I thought I was seeing wrong; Julie saw my face and looked over and she almost fell out of her chair -- because oh my god, it turns out that our slender glasses of champagne were $48.00 (ha ha - I guess if you are wealthy enough to eat at Le Bec Fin, you don't bother to ask the waiter how much the champagne is when he offers you a glass)...but um, $207.00 for lunch is a little outrageous though Julie and I had a good laugh over what idiots we simply cannot take us anywhere. Because after we realized we'd drunk $48.00 a glass champagne and how expensive lunch was, we sat there giggling uncontrollably though Julie did manage to gasp "Mom...seriously...please don't buy me a present, too - this lunch was my present" and I'm like, okay, right, sure, whatever...but of course in Julie's world, every day is her birthday -- she has both her father and me eating out of her beautiful little hand all year.

I will also give you a brief synopsis of this day twenty years ago. I went into labor, called my doctor, and you know, the contractions were coming pretty quickly and he said get to the hospital. It was the coldest day ever - it must have been fifty below zero, and because I'd been confined to my bed since October of that year because of all kinds of complications, I never bought a winter coat which would accommodate my pregnancy. So I wore this big old black coat with a huge beaver collar (arghhh...don't shoot me, PETA people, it wasn't mine) I'd inherited from my late mother and naturally because I hadn't been outdoors since October I had no gloves, no winter shoes, nothing available. Gary was like "No problem, Rob, we'll park in the inside lot adjacent to the hospital, you'll only be outside for a minute."

Cool, right?


We parked in what was the soon to be demolished indoor lot at Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia. There were no available spots, so Gary kept driving up and up and up and up until we were like on the 17th floor of this thing and by now, the contractions are really coming hard and fast and I was starting to freak out. We get out of the car and head for the "EXIT" signs. Only one problem. Every door was locked. We then raced for a sign which said "Elevator"...only, the elevator had a sign "Out of Service". So then we tried to find stairs. Meanwhile, it may have said "indoor parking" but of course it was probably a hundred below zero in there; it was all open and we were up high in the wind...and I was in freaking agony.

We must have walked around that parking lot for a half an hour, me convinced I was going to die in there; Gary out of his mind altogether. Miraculously, we finallly stumbled on the one unmarked door that was actually unlocked and led to a staircase...only to walk down several flights to learn that the door on the ground floor was locked. Gary started pounding and screaming "SOMEBODY HELP US SOMEBODY HELP US!" At that point, we were both frozen solid and I didn't even feel the contractions anymore. Anyway, a pissed off looking attendant opened the door and said "What the hell are you two doing in here" and Gary started cursing at him about the conditions at the parking lot and I'm like "Um...I think I'm dying here" so we rushed into the emergency room and a couple of hours later, Julie made her appearance and life as we knew it would never be the same again and I swore she'd be an only child.

And six months later, I was pregnant with Eric.

In case you haven't guessed, I've adored being a parent and I've got a little sob caught in my throat right now as I realize Julie is no longer a teenager...and life is changing for me bigtime once again.

A little too rapidly.