When Your Life is Like a Good Book

Subtitled: The Mystery of My Wife’s Plans for my 50th Birthday

My dear wife, Shelia, cooks for me twice a year: Valentine’s Day and my birthday. This is no slight against her. She knows that cooking is a great pleasure for me much as gardening and landscaping are for her.

So as my 50th birthday approaches (this Monday, the 25th) I figured she would be doing something special last night, Friday. She relishes the opportunity to dazzle me but does not enjoy shopping. I had the day off to renew my driver’s license and run a few important errands so I offered to do the shopping for her. She didn’t have to tell me the menu, just the ingredients.

But as last week progressed, she was not forthcoming with the info which led me to believe that perhaps she was going to take me out to dinner. Finally, after cleaning up after dinner on Thursday night she handed me a list of food stuffs. Okay, she IS making dinner.

I renewed my license (a story for another blog post), ran my errands, and was home before her as she comes home for lunch every day. A little chat, etc. and then I had to run out for more errands. As I do so, she sticks her head out the back door and says: “Change of plans. Put on the clothes I lay out for you on the back of the bedroom door.” She then goes back in the house.

That was just like a cliffhanger line at the end of a chapter. One of those comments that draws you into the story even further and makes you want to go on to the next chapter. I can’t be sure if my wife has always been this devious or if being married to a crime and mystery writer has changed her.

Okay, so she gets home from work. I’m changed. She says she’ll be ready in fifteen minutes and for me to make some martinis. So far so good. But then, after a couple of cocktails, listening to some lounge music, and chatting for a bit, she seems to be looking out the front window until she finally says: “Our ride is here.”

Did you guess a stretch limo? I didn’t.

But, wait. It gets better. Inside (with a fresh pitcher of martinis), she hands me a card. It’s from my sister, Jane, and brother-in-law, Mike. They wanted to do something special and coordinated all this with Shelia. Wow! Dinner was at the Scotch and Sirloin here in Wichita, a cozy table in a corner, what I used to call “The Director’s Table” because it seemed the kind where Hollywood deals were made.

It’s not often that your life plays out like a good book. But last night was a bestseller. AND there is still the rest of the weekend AND my actual birthday on Monday AND an evening with the family on Saturday. THAT’S how you celebrate your 50th birthday.



  1. jenniferneri said,

    June 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Happy birthday!!!
    What a night!! Lucky man:)

    My wedding anniversary is the same day as your birthday! We will both be celebrating that night 🙂


    • H.B. Berlow said,

      June 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Cheers! Congratulations! Best wishes! And remem
      ber…it’s a Monday night.


  2. myrickeaton said,

    June 23, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Sometimes life can be as good as, or better, than a bestseller! Congratulations…..!



  3. Bob Donnelly said,

    June 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    That sounds like the beginning of a wonderful birthday weekend. I do believe some of your mystery writing has influenced her. Slanté


  4. Sharyl Friebus said,

    June 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I was just wondering how your night went last night when I opened up my email and saw your blog! I’m so glad it went off without a hitch. Shelia’s pretty darn good you know! That was such a sweet and awesome gift by Jane & Mike. (I wonder if you guys sat in the same great corner booth that Greg & I sat in earlier this month for our anniversary…) And so the celebrating continues… 🙂


    • H.B. Berlow said,

      June 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Shelia will describe the table to you. I was so overwhelmed, I barely recall anything. And, yes. the celebrating continues. Care to enlightenment, you sneaky sister-in-law?


  5. Sharyl Friebus said,

    June 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Nice try Tikiman… 🙂


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