It was Sheila’s birthday, and after an amazing birthday that I was given a few weeks back, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to reciprocate. I must say, Sheila set the bar quite high. For days I attempted to think of what to get her, but to no avail. It wasn’t until I approached Sheila’s mother, Tita Helen, and began brainstorming out loud that I came up with an idea.
Sheila loves to take pictures when we’re out. Heck, she even takes pictures when we’re NOT out and when we’re just lounging around inside the apartment. So because of this, I gave her the nickname “Ms. Paparazzi”.
Back to my idea.
What I decided to do was to buy a shirt and have it custom made so it would read “Ms. Paparazzi” across the front of the t-shirt. I thought it was clever. One problem: I didn’t know if any business existed that could make my idea come to life. Luckily Tita Helen had spoken to Sheila’s brother, Mark, who’d informed her of a kiosk in a mall located near the apartment that could do it. Score!
So Tita Helen drove me to the mall where I had the shirt successfully made. Immediately after I purchased the shirt, I walked to the adjacent jewelry kiosk and bought her a silver ring as well. My work here was done.
On the afternoon of Sheila’s birthday, Tita Helen and I finished some last minute errands before Sheila returned home from work. We bought a few birthday cakes, ice cream, balloons, and pancit - a famous Filipino cuisine consisting of noodles. It’s so delicious. It might very well be my favorite dish in the Philippines. And the balloons that I bought were . . . well, different. I thought I was buying a handful of balloons that I could tie to a few kitchen chairs or hang from the ceiling, but, instead, what I received was a balloon arrangement that looked sorta like a boutique of flowers. Very strange. I felt so incredibly cheesy walking through the mall carrying that.
Unfortunately, Sheila arrived at the apartment before us.
“Happy Birthday!” I said to her, and I handed her the balloons.
“Okay, I know what you’re thinking,” I continued, as she looked a bit baffled as I handed her the balloons. “This isn’t exactly what I had in mind either, but . . . here you go.” She laughed.
Sheila's immediate family and a few friends came over to celebrate her birthday.
The moment of truth had arrived, and Sheila began opening her presents.
I’m happy to say that Sheila enjoyed her gifts. Phew!
[Yes, I’m aware that 'Paparrazzi' is misspelled. D'OH! There should be only one letter 'R'.]