When she got home from work, Kim had with her two cupcakes.
One cupcake was a Southern pecan creation, easy to spot because it had a pecan embedded in icing on top, and the other was identified as a chocolate with butter cream cupcake, though it had pink icing on top. A bamboo fork provided a neat touch.
Even before that, I'd made a mad dash to Pineville to select the appropriate birthday card. And Valentine's Day card for next week (no flies on this husband).
True, it's not exactly what she originally wanted for her birthday. What she originally wanted was to travel to New Orleans and have her photo taken on the Saints football field under the Superdome.
I did email a request on Jan. 19 to officials at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Arena, but unfortunately, learned that personal photos are not allowed to be taken in the stadium.
Also, I was informed that the field was being removed that morning to accommodate the New Orleans convention season.
Scratch Plan A.
Plan B -- travel to the Paragon Casino's hotel in Marksville to see the live alligators in the bayou-themed atrium inside and see the globe-sized pearl outside that's embedded in a reproduction of the state of Louisiana. The pearl looks like it's about to be snagged in the talons of a statue of a giant golden eagle.
Kim recalls that the last time she went to the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe's resort was in 1998, four years after it opened.
So, Kim dresses to the nines -- and sees that I'm wearing the shirt she wants me seen in with her -- and away we go after running a few in-town errands, accompanied by the music of Adele on CD.
Following a 30 minute trip on Highway One past ditches still filled with rainwater, we rendezvoused with Kim's mom at "the Pearl of Louisiana" outside the Paragon.
Kim's mom then went gaming while we ate a leisurely lunch in the Market Place Buffet.
Later, she phoned Kim to say she won $75 -- after spending $100 -- which in reality means she lost $25. But she prefers to see it as having $25 worth of fun.
Meanwhile at the buffet, I ate too much, mainly seafood but also couldn't resist the fried chicken. And bananas foster with a touch of praline and rum sauce for dessert. Kim also had the seafood.
We walked the meal off by visiting the hotel's alligators that floated in the water or lay atop rocks inside a man-made bayou. I guess if the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, can have ducks ...
We ended the trip by stopping outside Alexandria at a field that had concrete culverts in it so Kim could pose inside like a model friend of hers she'd seen on Facebook.
All in all, it proved a relaxing and fun day for my wife's 40th birthday.
I had a marvelous 40th birthday myself in 1997.
Despite being unemployed at the time, I had a place to stay thanks to friends in Shreveport.
People always seems amused when I say I was living in their tool shed but it was really a small one-room house with electricity but no running water; the tools were on one side, my bed and TV the other.
My friends went all out cooking a roast beef dinner and birthday cake for me and we shared many jokes about the number of candles on the cake -- 40 is a fire hazard, after all.
Next week, Plan C for Cupid -- Valentine's Day. I already have the card.