Thursday, September 6, 2012

What a gyp

What is a gyp anyway? We love that expression in our house and it feels good to say it when things don't go the way you want them to go. I believe that expression is the equivalent of the outdated 'what a ripoff'. It's also possible the word gyp is even more outdated than the word ripoff, but I'm bringing it back.

When hubs birthday rolls around the phrase, 'What a gyp!' springs to mind. He turned another year older this past weekend and I'm a big believer in celebrating that fact, it's just the timing of his birthday always throws me. Why is that? I know its coming but every year I struggle to pull something fun and memorable together. There are reasons.

Or excuses, but I prefer to call them reasons.

His birthday always lands on or near the Labor Day weekend.

Kids aren't home.

People back away from the carefree every-day-can-be-a-party tone of summer and adopt a more sensible back to school attitude.

Daughter2's birthday is the very next week and since she's on her own living in another state I really put a lot of thought and effort into making her day special.

Hubs almost always buys his own gift.

On that last one, in my's not that I don't want to buy him something special, it's just that when he decides he wants something he buys it. I suggest he wait and let me get whatever it is for his birthday, but his motto is carpe diem. He'd rather just go ahead and get it when it's convenient, hence the brand new punching bag in our basement that was put to good use a full week before his big day.

I was mentally scrolling back thru our married life and I think we managed three extra special celebrations on his birthday. Three in the 30+ years I've known him. What a gyp!

When hubs turned 25 we were newlyweds living in Knoxville Tennessee. Brand new newlyweds, as in married less than 3 months. We had tickets to see the Vols play in Neyland Stadium on hubs birthday and watching the Vols live and in person with 90,000 of your closest friends is always fun and never boring. We had plans to go to dinner with several other couples before the game in a place called The Butcher Shop. I don't know if its still there but it was one of those restaurants where you choose your steak and then grill it yourself too. Or have hubs grill it for you, kinda like if you were eating on your back patio only you're in a restaurant and paying for the privilege. Nevertheless it was lots of fun because your friends were grilling right along beside you.

I wanted there to be some little surprise for his birthday so I arranged with the restaurant ahead of time to drop off a birthday cake. Our waiter would bring it to the table and have everyone sing. The restaurant was huge and the kitchen was on the complete opposite side of the building from our table. That waiter did not think things thru carefully and he went ahead and lit all 25 candles on his side of the restaurant and then carried that flaming cake aaaaaaall the way across a very large and crowded room to hubs. It was hilarious. I wish I had a picture of the fire on the platter as he approached. 25 candles is a lot of flame and thankfully the place didn't burn to the ground.

Fifteen years later (I know!) hubs was turning the big 4-0. Does it only take 15 years to get from a youthful 25 to the big 4-0? I guess so. Anyway, you should know that hubs loves nothing better than a party so we decided to throw a bash in honor of his big day and declared our theme 'the seventies'. We settled on this theme mostly because we had just purchased the most awesome CD set of 70's tunes and needed an excuse to play them for our friends. We had a crowd, friends and family both, and everyone came dressed in 70's garb.

I have a bunch of pictures but I'm still friends with the friends and am not sure they want the whole world to see them dressed from head to toe in clashing polyester so I'll refrain. Not that the whole world reads my blog. ahem.

Oh okay, one picture...

And the cake... I will show you the cake-

I had hubs high school picture, circa 1978, put into the icing. The mustache...the lapels...the my grandma would say-'Oh my stars!'

So eight more years fly by (yes, really) and we're now living in England. Daughter 2 had just started her senior year of high school and daughter1 was packing up in preparation for her flight across the pond where she'd begin her sophomore year of university. Hubs and I cooked up a scheme to surprise the girls with a trip to Disneyland Paris for his birthday. If you're a parent that sentence makes perfect sense. I secretly packed their bags and hubs secretly loaded them into the car.

We told the girls Daddy wanted to see a castle on his birthday and pointed the car in the direction of Paris via the Chunnel. The road to the Chunnel just so happens to pass beside Leeds Castle so they assumed that was our destination. While our girls were always up for visiting a castle or twenty, they were mostly putting on their pretend happy faces so Dad could enjoy his day. As we zipped by Leeds Castle they naturally started telling us we'd missed the turn, and as hubs would say-PSYCH!

We had the most fun weekend (I wrote about it on my blog here) and essentially that was his last super-d-duper birthday celebration. What a gyp!

While there was no big party this past weekend, there was sea air so hubs was happy. My sister and brother in law invited us to spend the long weekend on their boat and there is nothing hubs likes better than being on the riv-uh.

Unless maybe it's stopping at my mom's on the way to the boat for some of her homemade enchiladas. They're a lot of work to put together so she doesn't make them too often anymore. Only for hubs and only on his birthday. What a gyp!

As we were driving down to my mom's hubs said, 'So did you put a post on your blog for my birthday today? Like you do for the girls?" I had this one in the works, but actual life kept getting in the way of me finishing it up. What a gyp! Thank goodness for sisters with boats and mothers who make enchiladas, right?

Shortly after we arrived at the marina we saw this-


Not surprisingly hubs suddenly thought of something he wanted for his birthday. Ha! There was no jet pack handy (what a gyp!), but there was a tube and a boat which would have to suffice.

Who needs a jet pack?

Hubs makes his own air.

In addition to the tubing there was also fabulous chocolate cake shared with family, lovely views, and some uncle-nephew bonding on his actual day-

Oh, and I completely blocked forgot to mention the scary boat ride back across the bay in a lightning storm Saturday night. Hubs likes his adrenaline flowing so I'm sure he puts that little adventure in the pro column. Some of us may see it differently.

To sum it up (finally!)...Happy Birthday hubs! It wasn't a gyp after all. And I'm not really late with this know I think a birthday should last a full week.


  1. Happy (belated) birthday to your Hubs! I enjoyed your walk down memory lane. You two really know how to celebrate :)
    P. S. I laughed out loud at the photo of the jet pack! What some folks will do for a thrill...

  2. It certainly seems as though the birthday treats were a big hit. Happy belated birthday to your hubby.

  3. Once again... My Hubs is exactly the same way regarding gifts! Wants nothing and if he does he'd rather just go get it. Or even purchase something for everyone to use/benefit from. {sigh}

    It looked like the perfect birthday weekend!

  4. My husband is the same way regarding gifts. He buys what he wants when he wants it. Also he has no hobbies so I find it hard to buy for him.

    My birthday was always fun - Sept. 4 - usually the day the kids went back to school. What a birthday present!

  5. Well, gee, Joyce. Thanks so much for reminding me that we have a similar situation around here. :) You've made me realize that the husband has been given 3 birthday parties by me. No, 4. And that last one was because his mother passed less than a week before and I thought it would be nice to cheer everyone up and have his family around him. And I really should be better at this--we go all out for the lovelies' birthdays. And even for BestSonInLawEVER. I am going to put some serious effort in this now. And, by the time June rolls around again, there's going to be some partying going on around here! Unless I forget. Or get busy.

    So glad he had a good weekend! Hope your girls are well!

  6. Oh my. What a gyp! My Dear Heart has only had one party ever. :-( I'm bad. However, he is the one who chose our wedding date to be two days after his birthday (so he would always remember it.) And he is the same way about gift - I'd rather buy it myself. ;-)

    I really like the Disney Paris surprise and the cake with his pic on it!

  7. It looks to me like your husband got a gyp-free on the tube and a lightning storm thrown in for good measure.
    Party on!

  8. I had to google gyp to see for myself. I have never heard that one.

    Happy Birthday to your husband. Looks like it was a fun weekend! The tubbing looks like a blast.

  9. Well, what a fun, fun post to read. You and your family never have a dull moment for sure. In fact, I think everyday with your family is a birthday celebration. :o) Blessings!

  10. My husband has such obscure taste and interests he has to tell me exactly what he wants and what obscure web site to order it from. Since he uses his birthday as an excuse to buy something he would not normally justify buying, he usually only asks for one thing... So he ALWAYS knows what he is going to get. Pair that with the fact he's an introvert who rarely will go along with any kind of party... His birthday always seems like a gyp to all of us!

  11. Sounds like a lot of fun! Happy Birthday to your husband!

  12. Happy Birthday to your husband. Sounds like a great day to me. My husband's got a little overlooked this year too. It was the day we checked into Disney World and we were all really excited about that. He seemed really happy though.

  13. sounds like you had a great time--we do birthday weeks at our house--long story :)

  14. My husband is the same way about buying whatever he wants when he wants it. Consequently, he is so hard for me to buy for. Tubing and boating sounds like a fantastic way to spend a birthday. I have a teensy little boat obsession though. :)

  15. Okay, so I feel worse than ever now because I don't even remember when my husband had a real birthday party. He just doesn't want them, so I guess that's okay, kinda. But I sure enjoyed reading all about the birthday parties, albeit few, that you had for yours. :-) I'm not sure if this is true, but I always thought gyp was short for gypsy. And that reminds me of the old gypsy caravans we saw when in England, but I digress. Nice post, Joyce. :-)

  16. Cranberry Morning is correct, the word "gyp" is a derivative of "gypsy" and originally referred to the old belief that gypsies made their living by selling low quality goods at too-high prices. Only real word nerds know that, so I don't know that anyone would find it offensive these days. My family always said it anyway. (Of course they're a bunch of southern rednecks, but we won't go there...) Was a fun post to read, in any case.