My BFF Ken and I have February birthdays only two or three days apart so the weekend after I turned 55 and he 54, he, his wonderful wife and children, and I went to Snoqualmie Falls Lodge which puts on a grand brunch spread. As part of the celebration, and because they know I’m a self-styled princess, they gave me a twinkly tiara which I immediately slapped on my head.
After brunch, I went into the bathroom wearing the tiara and a perky, pretty young millennial joined me in line and, since perky young millennials are innately drawn to sparkly things, asked what the tiara was for. I told her it was my birthday and she immediately exclaimed, “Oh! I have to find you a gift!,” and proceeded to root frantically around in her purse to find something, anything, to give me, muttering to herself, “I have to find you something. I have to find you something.” My haul: A half-used pack of chewing gum, a can of Diet Coke, a bottle of half-used glittery silver nail polish, and a piece of gum wrapper ripped off and on which was scrawled, “Happy Birthday! See you on the red carpet!” (I have no idea what that means but I greatly appreciate the underlying enthusiastic sentiment.)
I am passionate about moments when stories or adventures appear out of the blue and this was inarguably one of those. Not only did I love her youthful, spontaneous and generous spirit and the “gifts” she managed to produce out of thin air, but I love most of all that she gave me a story to tell about the time I turned 55 and a complete stranger had an entire birthday party for me--complete with gifts, food and a card--in ten minutes in a line in a restroom. On a deeper level, I learned how little it can take to make someone’s day. As for the haul? Chewed the gum, drank the Coke, and with the nail polish, which you might logically assume to be the most useless of the gifts, given the chewed state of my nails... I've been marking cables so I stop trying to jam them in upside-down. (The biggest one with just the dab on it is the one I did first; the other two came after I discovered how much fun it was to paint cables with sparkly silver nail polish.)
Good gifts, Ms. Millenial, good gifts.