“So what did you get me for my birthday?” she asked Todd as he began dozing off while they watched reruns of Gossip Girl on her couch.
Startled and confused, Todd gave her an answer that he’d soon wish he could have thought through more before letting it come out of his mouth.
“Isn’t your birthday not for another, like, ten days?” he responded while looking innocently puzzled.
She sat up on the couch and contorted her body to completely face him. As she reached over to grab the remote control to mute Netflix, Todd cleared his throat and became anxious for what was about to be said. Running her hands through her hair and pulling her hair into a ponytail before beginning her diatribe, the silence in the room was almost worse than the conversation to come. Almost.
“If you don’t have anything for my birthday,” she began, “Then you need to figure that out, well, as soon as humanly possible. Did you even consider thinking about, oh, I don’t know… how long it takes to get something shipped? Or if something is sold out, how long it will be backordered for? Or maybe what will happen if it does ship but doesn’t arrive in time? Did you think about any of that? No, you didn’t. Because you never think about any of these things and just assume it will all work out.”
Halfway through, Todd took both of his hands and did a double-handed face wipe to end all double-handed face wipes. He racked his brain for a response, an apology, anything, but he soon realized that it would be more prudent just to lie and act like he’d already figured everything out long before this conversation even took place.
“Baby, baby, of course I got you something. You think I want to ruin the surprise?”
“Todd, do you even know what day my birthday is?”
Todd knew her birthday was in February, but dates had never really been his thing. Just a week ago, she asked him if he knew what color her eyes were, only to answer “hazel” because it covers all the bases. Luckily for him, he was correct. But that wouldn’t help him when it came to coming up with her birthday, which he knew was next Friday but was fuzzy on what day of the month that actually was.
“Are you serious?” he jokingly asked while mentally counting the days until Friday.
“Yes, when is it, Todd?”
Just as the question left her lips, Todd came up with the best possible guess he could conjure up in such a short period of time. “February 5th!”
And then there was silence. He didn’t know if he was right or wrong, and considered blurting out another day — the 4th or the 6th — in an attempt to act like he was kidding the entire time. But thankfully, her pursed lips turned into a closed mouth smile the prompted her to lean forward and give him a hug.
Todd’s head, situated on her shoulder as her arms wrapped around him, had a wide smile and even wider eyes. He would’ve fist pumped in celebration, but there was no way he could do it without her seeing his elation.
“What do want to do for it?” Todd asked as they situated themselves on the couch, yet again.
“Well, I’ve kind of got it all figured out. I know it’s not my golden birthday, but I’m turning 25 on 2/5 so the hashtag for it is obvi going to be #TwoFiveOnTwoFive. I already talked to Caroline and Katie, and we’re all going to do a couple’s dinner at Plate on Friday before going out that night. Because I’m not inviting some people to my actual birthday party at Luxxe on the following Friday, I figured we’d just do a little birthday brunch this Saturday because we’ve got my cousin’s wedding that night. We’ve got another birthday brunch with my Aunt Claire on Sunday morning, which you have to go to because you still haven’t met her. Next week is pretty open, but we’re doing birthday cocktails on Tuesday with Megan and Alex, and then we’re doing a ‘girl’s only’ night on Thursday at the Corked Wine Bar on 5th. I’ve got a 12-person reservation at Luxxe, but we may have to make it 14 if Alex brings that fucking mystery guy she’s been parading around with since before Halloween. But like, I just want it to be a low-key birthday this year, you know? I don’t want to overdo it.”
Wondering how any of that could be considered “low-key,” Todd shook his head in agreement all while trying to figure out what he was going to get rush ordered to get there in time for the dinner the following week.
“Todd… are you even listening to me or are you still trying to figure out what color my eyes are?” .
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