As he pulled me to give me a hug good-bye, he said into my ear "What do you want for your birthday?"
I I think I even told him I felt it was a loaded question. I mean, he is a sadist. There is no right answer to that question or all answers are right - depending on the angle you look at it.
"You don't even have a pie-in-the-sky wish? Like a gold plated Ferrari?"
It's funny because how do I explain that it is hard for me to make wishes like that or have birthday lists. How do I explain that as a kid, making a list usually resulted in uneasy glances between my parents as they try to sort through what they could afford to buy - if anything - on that list. How do I explain that as a result, I'm like my dad - happy with what I get - usually more worried about what others gets than myself. How do I not sound like an adult who still feels like that kid - afraid to want material - being happier with what I have.
And while that last one is very Zen/Buddhist or whatever you want to label it, it also saddens me a bit. While I am not that kid - and my family is not that family in terms of the financial woes - I still can't bring myself to dream about the what ifs in a way that is not pragmatic.
Hell, ask G how many times I'll mention a "what if" that is really feasible - and he ends up buying it for me because he knows I will not. My first DSLR? It took me 6 months before G finally said "buy it yourself and get what you want - or I'll buy it for you - but you are buying it." I wasn't wavering back and forth because of the price or because I wasn't sure what model to buy - but because I kept saying to myself "I don't need it." Ironic now that I cannot imagine my life without it.
So, what do I want for my birthday?
I'm not sure.
Just to be happy. To be healthy. To find normal again. To laugh more than I did last year. To stress less. And to be with those I care about and love on my day.
Granted, after watching so much Top Gear, I doubt I will turn down a Porche 911 GT2. :)