It’s been about 72 hours since we arrived in St. Louis. My legs itch like crazy- I’ve literally got dozens of huge mosquito bites. It’s so unbearable and I have got to put on bug spray – it’s just that I don’t want the chemicals on my skin. Argh. The mosquitos seem to like C’s and my skin the best.
We are strangers in a foreign land. Or so it seems. It is hot and muggy and there are bugs everywhere. Before, when people would tell me well it’s going to be hot and muggy, I would think well how bad can it be? I don’t think you quite understand until you are living it. You go outside for minutes and there is literally sweat pouring down your face, the side of your cheeks and down your back. This evening, we attended a kindergarten play date at the elementary school playground and I was talking to people- watching the sweat drip down the side of their faces and I’m thinking oh my god- I just want to go home so I can stick my head in the freezer for some relief. Then I looked down at their legs and counted the number of bug bites. They swear to me that it’s a particularly bad summer for mosquitos because of the wet spring and that it should only last one more month. Meanwhile, I’m thinking- one month- I’m not going to leave the house for the next month. Jesus, help me.
Today was M’s 13th birthday. So, we celebrated with lunch at a St. Louis institution- a place called Fitz’s. They’re an old time soda shop and on your birthday you get a free root beer float and a root beer bottle that says Happy Birthday on it. It came highly recommended by one of T’s work colleagues and she was also going today to celebrate her daughter’s 18th birthday. She was very sweet and printed out the menu for us beforehand so we could take a look at it. So- funny story. We were there, everyone got their food and root beers which were delicious. M received his free root beer float. At the end of the meal, T asked about the Happy Birthday root beer bottle. Our waiter told us that unfortunately- they were all out of them. Too bad. Here’s the funny part. When T returned to work- he asked his colleague- wasn’t it a bummer that they were out of the Happy Birthday root beer bottles? To which she exclaimed- no- my daughter got hers! What? This poor lady nearly went through the roof. She called Fitz’s right up and asked to speak to the manager and demanded to know why they told us they were out of the Happy Birthday root beers? She told them they better have one waiting at the counter for her to pick up in 15 minutes. And she went right over and picked it up. So, in the end M got his Fitz’s Happy Birthday root beer bottle. Cute- huh?
We went home. We had our birthday traditions to keep to. As always and for the past 8 years, I’ve baked the Magnolia birthday cake recipe for all birthdays. I had a new kitchen to contend with- a very small one with no counter space nor island. (tear) I was dying and texted T halfway through that we must buy a kitchen island immediately! I know- middle-class problems. But still, it is hard going from what I had before. (another tear) In the end, the cupcakes were delicious. They always are.
Welcome to St. Louis. Happy 13th Birthday little man.