Today is my brother Vin's official birthday. Since his boyhood, we have usually celebrated his birthday on Thanksgiving weekend because a lot of people had off for the long weekend. For his eighteenth birthday, we conspired with a bunch of his friends to get him out of the house for a few hours so we could gather a ton of his friends in our house, making sure that they all parked around the corner, out of sight. Vin was completely flabbergasted when he walked into the living room and was confronted by dozens of guests all shouting, "Happy birthday!" My older brother, Sweetums, displaying impeccable timing, snapped his picture as he stood there, jaw halfway to the floor.
This year, we had a couple of birthday celebrations at Vin's place in Alabama. On Friday, one of his army buddies came over with his wife, their two beautifully mannered sons, and the family dog. This buddy of his, dubbed 'Sweet Pea' as a teenager because of his almost pretty good looks and gentlemanly nature, was a regular at our house... he's been family for over two decades. I hadn't seen him in a long time, but it was as if the years melted away, and we settled into our old, jocular routine. He hasn't even changed much in the intervening years. His wife, a good sport, was immediately inducted into the family as well, and the boys were an immediate hit with us. On Saturday, Vin's neighbors who lived next to house he rented when he first moved to Alabama came over. They are a retired couple- she volunteers in a pet rescue, he plays various instruments and runs an open mic night at a local coffee shop. I immediately took a liking to them, as always Vin has exhibited flawless taste in his friends.
Happy birthday, Vincenzo! It's always a great multi-day extravaganza, so I have no doubt that it will continue all this weekend.