This smiling guy is Alex, my husband. He is smiling and happy because it is his birthday! I think he has been smiling about this since yesterday.
Last night, I took Alex, his twin sister and my best friend, CT to dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Oakland called "Pican". I am going to do a separate post on last night's dinner because it was really one of the most special evenings we have had in a long time!
Yesterday afternoon, I had to do a number of things to get ready for last evening. My husband's twin, CT, is actually not his twin but was born on the same day he was (April 23rd) so we do call them twins. CT is African American; Alex is Navajo, and they are separated in age by about 10 years. Still, they call each other "bro" and "sis", and I usually introduce CT as my husband's twin sister.
I looked for a pair of perfect white gold hoops for CT yesterday afternoon. She favors classic stuff and is not inclined (as I am) toward sparkle and glitz. I have drag queen tastes in a lot of things, whereas CT is subdued, classic and classy. She is gay, gorgeous and one of the coolest women I've ever known. CT and Alex have a blast together, whether it's watching stupid scary movies after I go to bed, or smoking a fine cigar on the porch while they sip a fine brandy. They are so much alike it's scary! CT is a treasure to us both!
Of course, it's much easier to shop when money is no object. I know money is an object and that I really don't have any right now. I told my favorite jeweler that I needed something special and very cheap! I asked what he had for $50 or so, and the answer was not much and what there was would not be something I would gift my best friend with! He fixed me right up with a pair of white gold hoop earrings that were exactly right. For $150, I just couldn't go wrong, could I?
Since money is scarce, I told Alex I would take him to lunch today in San Francisco. I wanted to let Alex choose his own gift, try it on, and not spend money on something he might not really love. (See, I'm being frugal.)
Back to last night. We had wonderful Kentucky bourbon cocktails, three appetizers, and then our entree's. Oh, and there was that nice bottle of wine. The bill? Oh, about $250, and actually kind of a bargain considering the quality of the evening.
Today, we did the trip into San Francisco. I paid the bridge toll which was $4.00 but I'm not counting that or the parking cost.
Before lunch, I wanted to get him a couple of nice cotton shirts and we found a lovely little store that carried some really beautiful Italian clothing. He tried on two shirts that just looked amazing on him and I also let him add a pair of really great looking shoes. This was totaled up and came to about $500. (Well, clutch my pearls, that was kind of a shocker! I really need to take reading glasses with me when I go out. I thought the shirts were $65 not $165.)
We then went to lunch and spent $100 on a wonderful lunch that still has me full. (Yes, there was also a brilliant little Pinot Noir involved.)
I am so proud of myself for actually keeping to a budget this birthday. Uh huh.