**Lastly, the title of this was all because the line in Bridesmaids when Helen Harris III has a voice-over reading her invitation in a French Accent,"répondez s'il vous plaît, ....Yay! Cracks me up.....so there you go.
Here's the thing. My family isn't super big on birthdays. Don't get me wrong - my mom threw some great parties when we were younger - one of my favorites being my roller skating party in wild and wonderful WV (closest rink okay?) - but as we got older birthdays weren't a HUGE deal. I realized this my senior year when my mom sort of shall we say.....forgot her baby girl's birthday....ran to the store and bought a frozen cake and we had to jackhammer through that thing to take a bite.
There we all stood in our rental house kitchen - with the bare necessities - moving frozen cake around in our mouths, pretending it was yummy - and smiling. I was a bit ticked - but that had more to do with being a teenager than anything else.
So, we celebrate birthdays some years - and some years we do not. I remember some friend's birthdays and most often I do not. I'm sorry. To all my pals. I really am trying to grow in that arena.
This brings us to my older-yet--shorter brother, Chris. He turned 38 this year and for once, we were able to all get together and celebrate. However, old habits die hard and I totally opted out of buying him a birthday gift. I didn't forget - I made an intentional decision based on our familial culture to not buy one. We don't do that sort of thing (well Auntie Rhonda does for us and we love that) -but Chris walks in with our new, favorite, Jen - and he is all like, "Hey Elizabeth, I got you a gift" or something like that. (her birthday fell just a few weeks prior)
I started to freak - I mean - what has gone awry in him that he is now doing the birthday thing. I had no gift - and there was no where in Giles to go find him something - except Goodwill - which I've given him used things before but.....so I thought through this situation - why Chris has gotten his act together and what as I to do for his birthday gift......
1. Jen is why Chris has his act together - sending thank you notes - and getting people gifts. Obviously, its Jen.
2. I would improvise
Later that night I told Chris, "Rather than buy you something you don't need, I'm going to make you a video for your birthday." So I ran around our favorite restaurant, The Palisades and had a blast - for Chris of course.
I'd never made a video - and couldn't figure out how to turn on the video feature that AM but I said I would....so I did. The ending is odd because I don't know how to use the software - but disregard. When the screen goes black - it is finished.....
And here it is....Happy Birthday Chris! I love you and think the 38th year is going to be great!