It’s mah gurlfrand’s burfday.
Geez, that was unnecessary, but who are we if we don’t admit to our mistakes? Despite the misguided pronunciation, it is indeed my girlfriend’s birthday. I had this idea of surprising her with breakfast in bed, but things hadn’t quite panned out as I’d imagined. I had friends over last night and knew she’d be going to bed early (since she was on the opening shift at work). I thought I’d be super sneaky and sneak out after she’d gone to bed. I’d go to our handy 24 hour supermarket and pick up hash browns, eggs, bacon and orange juice for a hearty birthday breakfast.
Problem was, when my friends left I was tired enough to crawl into bed beside her. I didn’t want her to get wind of anything, so I had no idea how I’d wake up in time to cook for her. I thought about setting an alarm, but heavy sleeper as she is, I was doubtful she’d sleep through that. Plus she’d question why I was getting up so early (earlier than usual, even) on a weekend. NO BUENO. So I nixed all these plans and hoped I’d wake up early or something.
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE. I woke up around 5.30am, which was the perfect time to hatch my scheme. Her alarm was set for 7am, giving me ample opportunity to get to the supermarket, shop for essentials, come back, cook and plate. I snuck out of bed, grabbed some of yesterday’s clothing, my wallet and keys. Strapped jandals on my feet and set off to the supermarket. I came back and started to work out what this meal would look like (usually a good idea before shopping), the cooking order, etc etc. I prepped some kale, crushed garlic and set a large pan to a medium heat. I switched the oven to 150°F in case warming was needed. The pan had heated up, so I tossed a couple of hash browns in there to sizzle away. I put a smaller pan on a low heat. Oiling it up, I threw in the garlic, some cumin and smothered it in kale. Flipped the now golden hash browns and let them be. I wondered about how to present it. Breakfast in bed? But what if she didn’t want to be woken up with food shoved in her face? I cleared a tray just in case I felt like it, then felt the kitchen calling me again. Shuffled the kale in the pan, it was slowly wilting nicely. Moved the hash browns into the oven and turned the pan to high, then laid a bunch of bacon in the now greasy pan. Two slices of toast in the toaster oven meant it was all smooth sailing from this point on.
Shit, I heard stirring. Looking up, the clock had hit 7am. Fingers crossed she’d be a little groggy when she woke. I hoped my absence in bed would confuse her just enough to let me present. Placemats, cutlery, orange juice in wine glasses. I’d just started to plate it when she came out to the kitchen, obviously startled (as much as one is when seeing a naked man frying bacon). She went to freshen up and I finished setting everything.
I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy being able to do nice things for the ones I love, but sharing a leisurely birthday breakfast with my girlfriend pre-work felt like a bonus. We sat, chatted and had time that would’ve otherwise been lost to slumber. Oddly enough, since moving it, it feels like it’s been harder to find quiet intentional space just for the two of us. I guess the difference is putting in the effort to make that space. When better to find that than a birthday?
Plus now I have an excuse to drink my body weight in caffeine. It’s her birthday, but I get the presents!