It wasn't that I was completely broke. The first time I was ever with Richard on his birthday, I gave him a pair of socks and a cd. This year, I was doing a little better with the budget. The problem was that I had not been thinking far enough ahead to shower him with abundant surprises, material or non material, like video messages from his family and friends, or something equally meaningful. I did not make reservations at a nice restaurant or take him out to the movies. I did not write poetry or make him anything handmade except for a card.
I even forgot to put the candles on his cupcakes.
But he was completely surprised when he opened his card. Inside was a gift certificate to a brand new resort in our area. I discovered that with any purchase of a spa service (such as a massage or facial), a person can enjoy everything from a sauna, whirlpool, fitness center, steam room and pool for the entire day. What a bargain! I could afford one of the services so Elliot and I dressed nicely and made our way to the next town for an impromptu field trip. Even though the Grandhaven resort is intimidating, we did not feel insignificant or out of place as we walked in a gave ourselves a little tour. Elliot said he felt like he was going back in time as he walked past the enormous stone fireplaces and climbed flight after flight of stairs in the lobby. We walked down lush carpeted hallways, past board rooms where meetings were taking place, past a little cafe, and down to the spa. We peeked in through a crack in the door and knew that this was it!
We were very excited to share this gift with him, and indeed, Richard was very surprised! But when it was all over, I know in my heart what made Richard's day. It was this hug...
And this song.