Dear Future Stella,
Your daddy turned 42 this past week- on Oct. 21, 2015- probably the coolest date of birth EVER. This movie came out in 1985 called Back to the Future II. In the movie the characters use a time machine to travel 30 years into the future and the movie takes place on your dad’s birthday this year. I wanted to re-watch this movie so that I could see how close the writers came to real life in 2015. I am constantly trying to guess what life will be like in 20 years so if Hollywood could do it then I have a shot. Here is the frame from the movie when it shows that they travelled to your Dad’s birthday
The movie predicted that it would be raining on your Dad’s 42nd birthday. Not only was it dry as a bone on Oct. 21, but most of 2015. However, the character knew exactly when it would stop raining by using a feature on a wristwatch and that is pretty accurate thanks to the Apple watch that came out this year. In the movie everyone had flying cars. Way wrong. The main character wore Nike high-tops with electronic laces. I will give them points for knowing that Nike high-tops would be in-style again, but we still have to tie our own shoes. They thought the fashion would be to wear your jeans inside out. In 2015, only kids learning how to dress themselves, aka Current Stella, do that. All of this takes place in the first 10 minutes of the movie so I will spare you the rest of the comparisons. I really think you should hunt this movie down and watch with your dad on his birthday this year and see if it finally resembles modern day.
In real life, your dads birthday was warm and pleasant, neither of us wore Nike high-tops, and we traveled by foot to reach our destinations. We met for some drinks at this cute little wine bar in our neighborhood before going to our dinner spot. I made dinner reservations weeks in advance for this new place with a well-known chef and I had succeeded in keeping it a secret from your Dad. I love when I can pull off a good surprise for him because it’s not easy. One of the first things he said to me at the wine bar was, “Want me to guess where we are going for dinner tonight?” Keep in mind we had never even talked about this restaurant with each other so I was pretty confident he wouldn’t guess right, out of all of the restaurants in all of San Francisco.
Well, he guessed right on the first try. He is just the worst. At least he didn’t go on to tell me all of the horrible things he had heard about the restaurant, because he has been known to bust out Debbie-downer type comments moments after I excitedly tell him my pick. He will say things like, “Huh. Interesting. Hopefully they have improved the cockroach situation. Who knows, though, maybe its good, I just have only heard bad things so far. No, but we should totally try it- I am sure the 2 stars on Yelp is just internet trolls trying to ruin their life….” Did I mention he’s the worst? However, tonight I didn’t hear any negative commentary.
Worse than telling him what restaurant we are going to is giving him his birthday present. For about 10 years now he has asked for the same thing for his birthday, Christmas, our anniversary, and even for Easter. Its a watch that costs thousands of dollars. I have no business spending more money than most people spend on a car for a luxury that his cell phone already performs quite flawlessly (time). He still asks though, year after year. He likes to make comments all day regarding the anticipation of getting his watch. He will say things like, “I purposely didn’t wear a watch tonight so that when you give me my present I won’t have to wear two.” Or when I pull out his present he rubs his hands together and says something like, “Honey, using a big box for a small watch- oldest trick in the book.” Except its not a watch and even though I know he’s joking, I still feel sort of shitty because I would love to buy him that watch. I also feel shitty because IF it was the watch, his comments would take all of the fun out of it. My gifts used to be well thought out, and always generous, but it never felt like a win because it wasn’t the watch. That is why a few birthdays ago I decided to go with a different strategy and get him something I know he won’t like so at least I won’t feel letdown. For his 40th birthday I got him 40 pairs of plain black socks.
This year I got him a book. Your dad doesn’t read books, much to my dismay. The last book I saw him read was on our honeymoon eight years ago. We were in the beautiful Bora Bora. Each morning I would gather my book and head to the beach to park it for the better part of the day. I wouldn’t even get two pages in before your Dad would be staring at me and he would ask, “So, what do you want to do now?” All I wanted to do was nothing, and read. He wanted to swim with sharks and jump off rocks. I needed him to just relax though, so I convinced him to read the book I had finished on the plane- a book called Water For Elephants. He did read it, and every time I would peer out over my pages and see another one of his pages turn, I would smile to myself and think how easy it is to train a man to be exactly who you want them to be and I would daydream about us sitting side by side in our bed reading the same book and discussing it at the end- a Couples Book Club. Well, that never happened and he has not read a book since. He reads though- magazines and online news, just not books. So I got him a book. It was a miss for sure, but no more than any other year and I had already anticipated the disappointment so I was fine with it. One of these years I am going to bust out that watch, and even though I already know something will be wrong with it (wrong size, color, microscopic scrape on the inside band) that he will point out immediately, I still can’t wait for it.
His birthday dinner was really, really fun. There were no cockroaches and the food was excellent. Your dad is such a smiley person when he’s in a good mood. Look how adorable he looked eating the first course, which was a pomegranate popsicle.
I like how present he is in this next picture, just soaking in our night and really enjoying my company. After all, I am the best gift and he really made that obvious to me here.
The rest of the week was business as usual, with a few exciting moments. For one, Gail the Puppy got a new collar. Her old collar was diamond encrusted but most of the diamonds had fallen out of their prongs, turning it into a very dangerous weapon. It was sort of like a collar made out of barbed wire and that just didn’t really mesh well with kids. Current Stella would come crying to me with blood on her chin, complaining about Gail’s collar. I would tell her to be more careful and to anticipate when the puppy would want to leap towards her face to give her a kiss and to quit being such a crybaby. After no more than 4 accidents, I finally broke down and purchased a new collar.
This past weekend your Dad went fishing with my dad for a couple of nights. I have no idea what is so exciting about catching a fish when you don’t even eat fish but whatever. We have way too many pictures of your dad holding up a fish, all proud and jolly. It disturbs me every time. I know that eventually they put the fish back in the water and it swims away completely fine but it would be like if some dude gave me a heart attack, took a picture with my lifeless body and then resuscitated me and sent me on my way. Why? I don’t get it. I noticed he didn’t pack his new book with him on this trip so I have been spending my nights reading it and I have to say, I picked a good one. I have also been slowly making my way through your Dad’s wine collection. Its been truly glorious.
One of the nights he was gone, I took Current Stella to dinner just the two of us. While we were waiting for our food, I became aware of my right foot under the table just tapping away in mid-air. It is something I often do without knowing it. It just bounces away at rapid speed for no reason and it always trips me out when I finally tune into it- Like, how long have I been doing that and why? This time, I looked over at Current Stella’s legs and she was doing the exact same thing with her right foot! I smiled so big because there is something so cool about seeing your kid do something that you also do. She didn’t get my hair, or my eyes, or my left-handedness, but she got my involuntary right leg bouncing leg motion thing and thats pretty cool. During this dinner I also interviewed Current Stella and I cannot wait to share her answers on another post.
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, thankfully you have moved on from beginning every sentence with Maw-ma, BUT you have replaced it with something far worse. I honestly didnt think it was possible. You now begin EVERY SENTENCE with, “Maw-ma, I have something to tell you.” No shit kid, its called a conversation. Here’s a tip, save that phrase for when you are about to say something heavy so the person you are saying it to has time to prepare for what you are about to say. You do not need to say it before telling me that you are hungry (you just ate), that you can’t find your Elsa socks (I hid them in the trash), or that you want to play Barbie with me (the answer is always no). Also, in no situation that I can think of should you ever have to use that phrase multiple times within the same conversation- just FYI. It also shouldn’t be used before asking questions because you are asking something and not telling something. The other day you said, “Maw-ma, I have something to tell you. Is there anything inside the sky?” Next time you have something to tell me, hopefully it’s the answer to that question because I have absolutely no clue.