Burritos shouldn’t bounce

kitten-burrito.jpgUnless they look like this:

Other than that, foodstuffs wrapped in a tortilla shell should be soft and delicious, not rubbery and chewy. This is the lesson that I will pass on to you today now that I am older and wiser: Do not attempt to get a delicious hot breakfast from Starbucks. After the “this is actually the 3rd Tuesday of the month, and we do not have free bagels this morning” debacle at the gym, I was forced to get my own breakfast. I chose the only vegetarian option at the coffee emporium of note: eggs, spinach and sun-dried tomato in a wrap. It was the most over-processed foodstuff I have had all year. The grease from the bag leaked through so much, it left a small puddle on my desk. When I picked up the wrap to dab it a bit and let it fall, it really did bounce. And as for the taste? As Marge Simpson once said, “you may say the secret ingredient is salt.” If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think you may want to purchase this item: don’t. You are better off creating some kind of edible product with the free packets of sugar, honey, low-fat milk and napkins available at the fixins counter.Β  And that’s today’s advice from this side of 30.

As for this past weekend, let me start by telling you all about the Most Awesome Present Ever. On Saturday, I went to New Jersey to have dinner with my parents. Afterwards, we went back to the house, where my mom made me sit on the couch with my eyes closed. Upon opening them, I was presented with my bassinet. You know, the wicker console where I slept 30 years ago. Inside it, under a baby blanket, were 30 cards and envelopes. (Our family has taken a sort of pledge to give all our gifts in re-usable or recycled materials, and my mom elevated it to the next level.)

Each envelope was numbered from 1-30 and contained both a birthday card and an item from that year of my life. Card #1 was for a 1-year old and contained a tee-shirt that I wore when I was one. Card #6 contained my 1st grade report card (I excelled in creative writing). Card #18 had an invitation to my college graduation. Card #26 came with a postcard I sent to my mom from the Louve declaring simply, “the soap is liquid, it was fiction!” (We both had the same problem with the tracking-dot in a bar of soap scene from The DaVinci Code.) Since I have most of the mementos from my late 20’s, a few of those cards contained George W. Bush postcards with something stupid he said on the front, a countdown the number of years left in office from that year on the back.

The best of all was the one for my 30th birthday. Not only was it the prettiest card, it also contained an envelope that was sealed on June 1, 1978. Inside it was a letter that my mom wrote to me when she was just a little bit older than I am now. If ever there was a time for sentimental tears… I don’t want to say exactly what it said, but it really is too bad there wasn’t a blogosphere 30 years ago. My mom would have made an awesome blogger. Perhaps she still will. Anyway, after all is said and done, this is what a bassinet full of 30 birthday cards and 30 years of my life looks like:
Birthday Bassinet
And in the coming days, I will share with you the book of “The Great Oz Trip,” copyright 1985 by yours truly.

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17 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! That really is the most awesome birthday present ever. It made me kind of teary just reading about it. Your mom is just too amazing.

    It made me teary being there!

  2. Posted by Michelle on January 15, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Sweetest. Present. Ever.

    Seriously.

    I would have bawled my eyes out in private.

    Admittedly, I had to wait a few hours before I could open the letter.

  3. That is amazing. Your mom is the best. Also, I zoomed in on that photo. “I can make up imaginary people and remember them”? Hee. I love little Noelle. πŸ™‚

    I’m glad someone zoomed in. Sadly, I think I’ve forgotten most of the imaginary people now.

  4. Definitely the best present ever. Wow.

    I love things that are all about me…

  5. My god, that is about the most wonderful thing ever. Just the idea of that letter got me all misty. (And yes, I second a vote for a Mrs. Christmas Tree blog.)

    I set one up for her once, but she’s going to need some more convincing.

  6. Posted by supersobe on January 16, 2008 at 7:52 am

    This is incredible – I am so doing this for my daughter. I have her cards and things. Thank you for sharing!

    The hardest part is going to be the 30 year wait!

  7. Absolutely the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever heard of. And from parents no less. Kind of makes turning 30 not so bad, huh? (Take that all you young-uns who think 30 is “old”.)

    It seems like an age of retrospection, but still, not that old.

  8. I second you on the Starbucks breakfast ban- their stuff looks so good, only to be so, so disappointing.

    Also, I love that your Mom saved everything for so long and planned it all out to give to you on your 30th.

    Ooooh, and I can’t wait for The Great Oz Trip!

    I forgot to ask her how long she spent planning it. Everything was pulled from “my box” that had been sitting untouched for years.

  9. Your mom is incredible, not that you didn’t know that. And you should’ve saved the kitten burrito for another post. The combination of cute and sentimental is almost too much to handle. Maybe the kitten would be better utilized if you worked it into a downer post. Something like, “I have cancer, but here’s a kitten burrito!”

    I was just so mad that my breakfast tasted like rubbery salt, I couldn’t resist throwing that in there. Hopefully, I will not be announcing cancer anytime soon.

  10. That is such a cool gift! Way to go, family!

    …and yuck to the burritos. And mistaken un-bagel day. 😦

    Whenever I’m sad about breakfast, I look at that picture and then I am happy.

  11. Posted by EvilKate on January 16, 2008 at 9:38 am

    the picture of you in the birthday crown could totally be your header.
    your mom is awesome, this is such a thoughtful gift…I wonder what she has planned for your 50th? πŸ˜‰

    I wish the pictures from my childhood were digitized.

  12. That is an amazing gift!

    And I am glad for the heads-up on the Starbucks breakfast items. My brother gave me a generous Starbucks gift card for Christmas, not realizing I don’t share the family love for daily coffee, (not that I don’t enjoy it occasionally, but I’m an iced tea fan primarily) and I’ve been trying out the food items. Now I don’t have to waste my time on the rubber burrito!

    If they have fresh fruits, that can be okay. Otherwise, load yourself up on coffee!

  13. That is the most fantastic present – how thoughtful is that? At first I thought the bassinet was a hint for you, until I kept reading.

    I’ve not tried Starbucks food before, so I’ll keep that in mind. Ick.

    OMG, I can’t even imagine what I would do with a baby! But sometimes I think about how much fun it would be to announce it on a blog. Not a reason to procreate, though.

  14. I got chills reading about this gift. What a fabulous idea your Mom had!

    She’s the bestest!

  15. What a great mom! It’s so cool that she decided to give you that present 30 years ago and stuck with it this whole time. That really is the best present ever.

    I think I should clarify that she only worked on the present recently. The letter was intended for “sometime in the future” but she never knew exactly when.

  16. The basket is such a nice idea. were there old cards from when you were a baby or did someone just buy all of those and get them filled out for you?

    how sweet. and I’m glad you had a good birthday. my boyfriend’s turning 30 this year too and it is a little unnerving to him…hopefully we’ll make it through untraumatized.

    My mom works in a card store, so she had access to new ones. I also forgot to mention that most of them were filled with adorable rhyming couplets.

  17. Posted by Flick on January 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    That is by far the BEST birthday present I have ever heard of!!!! I wish I had the creativity of your mother!! 😦

    ( perhaps someday when I have kids I’ll start planning for their 30th birthday when they are BORN!… love your mom!)

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