It is a wonderful life

“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”

That’s what Clarence the angel wrote to George Bailey inside the jacket cover of “Tom Sawyer” during the closing moments of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

No man is a failure who has friends.

And I continue to bask in the glow of one of the best birthdays on record.
The emails and ecards started to roll in about 6:30 a.m.
I got to work and thankfully, no one had decorated my desk (but I had a steady stream of well-wishers). A maple log was on my desk. Coffee. A coworker gave me a card filled with scratch-off lottery tickets (no million-dollar payoff, but what the hell).
Carl bought me lunch – panang curry pork at the Thai Café (and Jeff put in his request to buy Thai on Wednesday at Racha Noodle).
People text-messaged birthday greetings (knowing full well that I dislike text-messaging, but would appreciate the joke).
I began to feel overwhelmed by the attention.
I loved the attention.
(Then Kimbolina invited me after work for a glass of wine to listen to the one troubling bit of news to come my way during the day. I am grateful for the wine – she made it herself and that’s very sexy – as well as the ear.)
As I pulled into my driveway, I noticed that my trash bins had been pulled up.
Then I noticed that the house was decorated with streamers and balloons.
Courtesy of the two boys next door.
Their mother baked me - from scratch - this huge plate of cookies.
In front of the door was a gift bag with a bottle of wine and a card, from Mr. & Mrs. Hutch down the street.
(At this point, I am in tears. Big streamers that curled around the shit-eating grin on my face.)
The mailbox was filled with cards – well-wishes and iTune gift cards and coffee debit cards.
And it wasn’t even dinnertime yet.
A New York strip at Jack’s, medium rare, with friends.
Jason and I walked to Market St. Steakhouse to toast 44 years with a bourbon.
“First, we got you a present,” he said.
Jeez, lovely parting gifts. An after-workout massage thingy and a copy of Chuck Palahniuk’s “Haunted.”
I hugged the big fella.
And as I drifted off – I let the girls, Scully and Trinity, sleep on the bed – I felt warm comfort and a peaceful clarity that I am not alone in this world.
That I have a wealth of friends (even new and very interesting ones who will help me celebrate Wednesday with wine and stimulating conversation – and no sad stories, we swore).
And I will never be a failure.


Anonymous said...

I must say that I'm concerned about my parenthetical inclusion. As a technical editor, I've been taught that if something is important enough to include, it's important enough not to be parenthetical. Although the comments aren't derogatory, well...

Okay, that's just playing. It's great that you recognize what having friends like you have says about your life, and, therefore, you. Enjoy the moments when this idea is so clear and poignant.

RachelRenae said...

Holy Crap, you do have a lot of friends. Not only are you NOT a failure, it seems to me that you're a raging success.