While the white gold ring I received with my favorite quote (Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined) engraved was definitely up there, the best gift I ever received, hands down, was a scrapbook. Now, it’s not like the noodle necklace you receive from your five year old, where you sort of have to love it just because it was made with so much love and paint and paste, somehow.
For my thirtieth birthday, The Suitor hunted down my friends and family and demanded they include a story, or photo, or something for the book. Each page is dedicated to a different person who’s influenced my life. He found photos of me with my parents when I was three, had my parents write me letters. I cried, I mean really sobbed, with the flip of each page. He set the viewing to music, including CDs for me to play as I navigated through the album. He’d orchestrated all of this behind my back, and normally, pulling off something so grand without my knowledge would raise a knee-jerk red flag. I’d cough up a “capable of being deceitful.” But he used his powers for good. It wasn’t a love fest of just us. It was that he included all my friends and family, assembled with care, late at night with adhesive spray, stamps, stickers, and paint. I never felt as loved. And it’s something I’ll always have, a reminder of my life up until I turned thirty. I still look through it every now and then when I miss my friends. I feel so blessed. It’s amazing how efforts like that trump anything money can buy. I know it sounds like a cliche, but really, they’re cliches for a reason. They’re just true. Love is simple that way.