Birthday Blowout

Birthday Blowout

Alex talks about her birthday surprise and Simon's outburst.

Know what I can’t believe? In the city that never sleeps, you cannot yet e-file partnership city tax returns. Federal and State can be filed at the touch of a button, yet I had to chase down first our accountant and later my husband today, in the pouring rain, for actual hard copy signatures on a piece of paper for our Big Apple taxes. Mayor Bloomberg, how can this not be organized yet?

And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the big fight in the car. Or was it? The moment it happened, I knew we were doomed. Both Simon and our driver were, after three phone calls and pulling over twice to try to solve the problem, very angry at Mr. X. This mysterious Mr. X was convinced that he knew best and didn’t want to listen to either Simon or our driver. Finally, Simon (and the driver as well) blew a fuse. I had my head in my hands because I knew exactly what it was going to look like on TV. It actually had nothing to do with me and if roles were reversed I’d have been just as angry. Mr X. still owes Simon an apology and it hasn’t come through.

That said, let’s talk about the amazing parts of my birthday. I had had literally THE WORST DAY at work. By the time I walked out of the building to be picked up, I was shaking in frustration. It was great to be able to jump into a car without having to see anyone yet – I was able to decompress and get into a more celebratory mood, which was only made better by seeing Simon on the side of 5th Avenue with roses. Side note – this is, I think, the second time since we were married that Simon has given me flowers, so this was very special. Things just got better. We usually go into the Fragments store where Ray Griffiths' jewelry is sold, so I had forgotten that his studio and workspace is right around the corner from Simon’s office. Once we went into the building I had an inkling, and was very pleased to find Ray waiting for us with champagne! We had a fabulous time looking at all his new creations, and picked out an amazing pair of earrings which I wore out of the studio. When these two Aussies got together to plan a surprise the result was nothing less than spectacular.

After the drama of the ride home…see above…we arrived to two very excited boys who had decorated the area we were using as a dining room with balloons, candles and of course cake! After an hour celebrating with François and Johan, we kissed them goodnight and headed to the next and final stop of the evening, a cocktail party for a few friends. I put on a slightly dressier top to go with my new earrings! You can see some pictures here on our friend Tia’s blog.

What else? I have to say that I thought Jill’s comparison of Kelly’s girls to my boys was a little bizarre. In one situation we have 8 and 10-year-old girls looking at pretty handbags, which they are old enough to appreciate. In the other case, we have first 1 and 3, then 2 and 4-year-old boys being asked to sit quietly and not get in the way while the adults carry on. We’ve certainly learned from the experience of working with very, very young children on camera that we no longer ask this of them, though as they grow that may change. In this season we’ve tried to only have them on camera when they are included in the scene, such as tonight at my birthday party. The boys remind me of myself at the same age, from what I remember, from stories and from pictures. I would never have sat still to look at handbags. By eight? Maybe. At four or two? Absolutely no way, no how. At that age I spent my afternoons climbing all over oil rigs, watching my big brothers dive off the roof of the house into our pool in St. Thomas and plotting against my nemesis, Croix (a German Shepherd who probably should have eaten me alive the way I tormented him.) No one ever broke a bone or was bitten, and a good time was had by all.

I’m probably forgetting something. Jill had a party at Zarin Fabrics. Brad drooled on Max. Ginger was possessed. Kelly and Max had a pillow fight and Jill raised an eyebrow. I don’t think my boys did that when we took them to the store, though I do seem to remember one of them developing an unhealthy fascination for neon green velveteen. You may or may not see that later. Ramona and Mario asked Simon about his tennis fashions – and now you know just how sick he was, that he bought those clothes that day!

It’s 10:03 and I’m just going to stop writing now so that I can get this over to the good (and patient) people at Hope you enjoyed tonight…’til next week!

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