It’s my best friend’s birthday today. One does not discuss a lady’s age without her permission, but I will say it’s a Big Deal Birthday. A Milestone birthday, as it were.
Not that it matters. As far as I’m concerned, every single one of her birthdays should be a milestone.
And so, every year, I end up playing the “What do I get you for your birthday” game. (Well, in my head, at least. I don’t actually ASK her that. Figuring out her present is my job, not hers.)
It’s tricky, because as I said, every one of her birthdays should be a milestone. It’s not an exaggeration to say that she saved my life. I was in a dark place and she showed up with some candles, looked around at the cave I had backed myself into, and declared, “This sucks. We’re going to the beach. Get your stuff.” I didn’t really WANT to go to the beach … or the mall … or out for burritos … at first, but you don’t argue with this woman, so I went. And before I knew it, I DID want to go out. Before I knew it, I was moving out of my cave – squinting in the sunlight, but outside. And laughing. Sometimes crying, but mostly laughing and remembering what it felt like to feel happy and ALIVE.
What do you give someone who’s given you THAT?
What do you give someone who thinks your stupid jokes are all funny? Who laughs every time – EVERY TIME – you say, “Hey, you know who’s in that movie? Matthew McConaughey-hey-HEY-hey!”? Who believes that you deserve the best and that anyone who doesn’t agree with that statement is a complete asshole? Who not only tolerates your cat, but actually loves her as though she’s her own? Who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth gently when it’s required, and bluntly when it’s not getting through? What do you get that person?
I can’t tell you what I did get her (because I didn’t give it to her yet) but I can tell you this: whatever it is, it’s never enough.
Happy Birthday, Kristen Flink.
You’re the best.