love me like this…

June 2, 2012

“Sooooo, what do you want for your birthday?” I asked cheerfully.

“Ummm, nothin’.” he replied.

Oh my lord. This has been his answer for every birthday and Christmas for at least the last 20 years. And I never listen to him, and then there were the years where I painstakingly listened for clues on which electronic gadget I should buy only to have him buy it for himself 2 days before the holiday.

I still love to argue this maddening topic but I kept it cool.

“Well…how about a backyard party, ya know, just a few people…” I said. Inside my head this meant a Pinterest worthy garden party with 5 different amazing salads, cheeses I can’t pronounce, an insane wine I know nothing about and beef tenderloin or something else ridiculous.   And by golly, there would be a shockingly beautiful table with meaningful touches at every turn…and dancing and sparklers to close the evening…you know, like a wedding but for a guy, on his birthday.

“Yeah, like burgers and beer? You know we have that giant blue plastic bucket, it’s good for beer and we can use the tiki torches. I just don’t want you to, you know, be all stressed out and stuff. ” he replied.

“ME? Stressed out before a party?!! NOoooo….” I laughed and he hugged me tight.

Okay, I’m gonna do it, I’m actually gonna give him what he wants…yes,  I can do that. Well, almost. I started to Pinterest, just a bit and realized it was pointless.  I could settle on pulled pork and beans, corn and slaw,  and summer beer…but I couldn’t totally get rid of pretty.

I spent all day cleaning up the secret garden, and set a table with the colors of his new company and a large picture of he and Lucy, wishing I could put little story starters or notes of love for Jorge at each place setting…but I didn’t, and I didn’t even buy a cake or presents. I only got the slightest bit stressed at the end when our friends started to arrive and I still hadn’t showered.

He walked outside, summer beer in hand.

“Soooo, what do you think?” I asked.

“It’s great babe, it kinda looks like  I died, but I like it!” he said as he looked at the table with the giant picture.

And it did, it totally looked like he died.

“Oh Jorge Salgado, everyone should know how much they are loved BEFORE they die!”

he laughed…and even in my feeble attempts to love him how he wants to be loved I can only almost get it right…

…and yet this  dear man who needs no fan fare, only a cold beer on a sticky night, yummy food on paper plates, kids crawling on his lap and leaving to chase fireflies, a good razzing or story and his family and friends close…it’s all he’s ever wanted and needed to feel loved.

…to be loved like this.

my birthday love song for you my partner and friend:

Are you a birthday kind of person? Do you like them big and grand or quiet and meaningful? Tell me in the comments, I’m taking an unofficial poll. or even better, do you have some one that you care about that you are stumbling through trying to love them right?

ALSO!! Hey RVA friends, I just hid one of these in the back sleeve of the DVD copy of The Sound of Music at Westover Hills Library! If you find it, it’s yours! But take a pic and send it to me at!

6 Responses to “love me like this…”

  1. Julie Says:

    My neighbor and I are having a summer garden party in a couple of weeks. Your pictures are beautiful! Hope ours turns out just as nice. Summer beer is always a hit!

  2. Maria Holme Says:

    So often we stress out and miss the true moments. Clearly this time you didn’t and now you can weave the memories into your quilt of life. Thank you once again for sharing and inspiring so many of us!

  3. Mark Bowen Says:

    This is the absolutely perfect way to celebrate a birthday! Close friends, simple and good food, great conversation and the summer beer is a great touch! You don’t need some big celebration to celebrate the life of a great person. The most meaningful celebrations are the ones spent with family and your best friends. I know Jorge really appreciates everything you do for you and your awesome family!

  4. Jen Bailey Says:

    What an awesome party! It truly is the secret garden, but w/pulled pork! I really like that it’s a poignant & simple life celebration for someone whose family loves them ttttthhhhisssssssss mmmmmmmmuuuucchhhh! (I could add more consonants & vowels & it still wouldn’t be enough!) Happy Bday to your man. Well done & on the self restraint! : )

  5. Beth Says:

    love and “get” this so much.

  6. Bessie Says:

    I like to treat my birthday like a holiday, but most people don’t go along with that idea except for my late sister. I like the idea of doing something extra special to celebrate someone’s existence, but I like that I could celebrate a simple celebration for any occasion.

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