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Sep 10 2011

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Today is my wife’s birthday, and unfortunately, we’ve had so many of them together (like, maybe 4 or 5 or a dozen or so) that we sort of take them for granted and just let them slide past any more. So there’s a few things you could do to help out. You could just give her your best wishes, or you could also make a suggestion about what we could do to celebrate. I offered to take her out to dinner tonight; she said we should do that some evening when we’re overworked and short of time instead. I thought about taking her out to a movie…but Cowboys & Aliens is playing, and seriously, that’s not her kind of movie. We’re rather limited by small town opportunities, you know.

She does read the comments around here, so maybe one of you will say something that makes her eyes light up.

Don’t ask how old she is. It’s enough for you to know that she’s much, much younger than I am, and she looks it.

143 comments

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  1. 1
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    You could just give her your best wishes, or you could also make a suggestion about what we could do to celebrate.

    1. My best wishes.
    2. To celebrate, you could pharyngulate a poll, disemvowel an MRA, or select the next month’s Monday Metazoans. Or you could just cook a nice meal, get a little hammered and freaky.

    Given your advanced age, PZ, I’m surprised that you need help with this.

  2. 2
    ChasCPeterson

    I offered to take her out to dinner tonight; she said we should do that some evening when we’re overworked and short of time instead.

    oh, my. That’s doin’ it Wrong. (imo)
    Unless you only take her to, like, Arby’s or something. Then it makes sense.
    Isn’t there a decent sit-down joint in Morris where you two could enjoy a leisurely dining experience? No, I mean other than Pizza Hut?

  3. 3
    coleslaw

    Is there a roller rink in town? She could hold you up and you could ask them to dedicate her favorite song to her during couple’s skate.

    Happy Birthday, Mary.

  4. 4
    Gord O'Mitey

    Happy birthday, Mary.

    How about the two of you go for a country walk, & enjoy nature?

  5. 5
    Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals

    Happy birthday Mary!

    Spoil her rotten, she deserves it. How about renting a good movie (let HER decide on the title!) and presenting it with her favorite nibbles (chocolate? jelly babies? bacon?) and a promise of a foot massage? (I know I’d enjoy that. Or flowers. That AND flowers would make me break out in tears.)

  6. 6
    AussieMike

    Happy Birthday Mary, we’ve neve met but clearly you’re tolerant women.

    I think PZ, you two should drive out of town a ways, after sunset where there is less light pollution. Take some cheese, crackers, sundried tomatoes and a nice wine. Get some camping chairs and just sit under the stars. Then take out a small cake and with just one candle and light it. Then tell Mary, while under all those stars she is the brightest light in your sky.

    Oh boy. If this is just tooooooo sickly sweet then there is always Pizza Hut!

  7. 7
    Algernon

    Happy Birthday, Mary! To give advice I’d have to know her and know what she likes. I say go *do* something, but like I said that depends on what she likes. Pleasant hike? Stay in a fancy hotel with room service and a massage in the spa? Or my favorite, though it’s probably the wrong season: Stay in a fancy hotel with room service, go out to an amusement park and ride until you are exhausted, then come back to a massage in the spa and a long soak in those fancy woo-filled hot tubs they have in them (mmmmm…. homeopathic medicine is actually a lot of fun when it’s warm and you’re swimming in it) and then some freaking fancy drinks.

    Uh… anyway now that *my* date is all planned out :P

    Ya’ll should have been planning this a week ago though!!!!

    Too late for a party?

  8. 8
    Carlie

    Happy birthday! I’ve never been one for dinners out as a celebration myself. What about planning a little weekend getaway for the two of you? Pick somewhere within a four hour drive or so, find the most decadent resort or B&B you can, and get it all booked for sometime soon. I’m enough of a dork that the planning of it would be a fun enough celebration for the birthday day itself, though, so YMMV on that idea.

  9. 9
    Algernon

    I bet she’d like it if you walked away from the blog for the day ;)

  10. 10
    Big Ugly Jim

    Happy birthday, Mary!

    I think the best thing you can do for your birthday is grab ole’ PZ and go for a walk somewhere serene. Hold hands like teenagers and just talk. All the fabulous ZOMG BIRFDAY fun you can have is nothing compared to the love you two share.

    Jesus, I sound like a big sack of lame…

  11. 11
    HNS_Lasagna

    Happy Birthday!
    I would say you could write each other a short note or letter (or pick something else as a prize) and set each other on a scavenger hunt. My favorite is to have a phone number they have to call to get the starting clue, but to figure out the phone number they have to solve an equation. Then you can send each other all around town gathering clues and such until you find the prize!
    cheesy, but really fun and a great way to celebrate!

  12. 12
    AussieMike

    Maybe Algernon nailed it.

    For one 24 hour period you walk away from the Blog. Dont even research your next comment. Make it Mary’s day. One whole day.

    Then follow my previous advice.

  13. 13
    gould1865

    Happy Birthday Mary! et encore. May your days be merry and bright.

  14. 14
    ChasCPeterson

    For one 24 hour period you walk away from the Blog.

    Are you fucking crazy?
    What is wrong with you people, suggesting something like that?

  15. 15
    Kristjan Wager

    Tillykke med fødselsdagen Mary, as we say in Denmark. And many happy returns.

  16. 16
    Charles Wade

    If you are Happy and You Know It, Then Clap Your Hands.

  17. 17
    duckdog

    Happy birthday Mary!
    There’s a geomagnetic storm sweeping across the earth right now, and urora have been spotted down there from North Dakota to Michigan. How about a picnic tonight with liqueur, hot chocolate, sleeping bags and a dark park setting to watch for them?

  18. 18
    maureen.brian

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

    I’m not going to tell either of you what to do. There’s enough brain power chez Myers for you to work something out. For future reference, though, I recommend being kidnapped and taken to a country house hotel, as I was for my 69th. (Needs planning more than 12 hours in advance, PZ!)

  19. 19
    AussieMike

    Hey ChasCPeterson…

    I know, it was hard for me to say. But we can always jump across to Dawkins, Harris, Alethian World view or just watch some HitchSlap videos on YouTube to cheer us up.

    C’mon people we can do this!

  20. 20
    piranhaintheguppytank

    This is somewhat irrelevant, but I thought you might get a kick out of this Pharyngulaesque cartoon over at The Friendly Atheist.

  21. 21
    Dhorvath, OM

    Yay for Mary. Have a happy day. My good times generally centre around getting dirty and riding with friends so unless you like bikes I don’t know as I have much in the way of good advice on how to spend it. You can sort it out, I am sure.

  22. 22
    Blondin

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  23. 23
    criminy

    A very happy return of the day, Mary.

    Unfortunately, I have no original thoughts on how to spend the day to offer you and PZ. The “Go out into nature” ideas mentioned above sound pleasant though.

  24. 24
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Happy Birthday Mary. The Redhead and I can also be a bit blasé about birthdays too.

  25. 25
    knobody

    Happy Birthday Mary!

    if there’s an anatomy class doing a human dissection this semester, maybe you could ask to sit in, and maybe even get to hold the brain?

  26. 26
    Meg

    Happy birthday, Mary!
    I suggest daiquiris, nachos, and a rented movie (perhaps Casablanca). Celebration, time together, and still in bed by 10!

  27. 27
    ManOutOfTime

    Happy Birthday, Missus P-Zed!

  28. 28
    Cass Morrison

    Happy Birthday Mary. I hope you have a day filled with contentment.

  29. 29
    TheSkepticalStoner

    Happy Birthday!

    PZ, foot rubs and back rubs followed by a nice cuppa tea and a home cooked meal usually makes mind happiest.

    Hopefully she doesn’t ask for skewered calamari. :p

  30. 30
    Michelle

    Happy Birthday, Mary! You know, if I were straight, I’d be mildly jealous of you that you have a man like yours. He seems to truly respect women (with you at the top of his list) as human beings, instead of putting on a mere show of respecting women so that he can get what he wants. One of the few men who understands male privilege. I would wager an educated guess that he views you as his complete equal, in addition to worshipping the ground you walk on. It shows whenever he mentions you. Also… intelligent dinner conversation… such a rare thing!

    So, because of my assumptions of all these things – that PZ is a good man who truly wants to give you what you want, and that he’d be good at dinner conversation, here’s what I suggest for the birthday:

    Dinner IN. A simple spread. Nice cheeses. Crusty artisan bread. Olives (if you like them). Fresh sliced fruit and berries. Compote. Anything that works well with the artisan bread. Set it out on platters made for nibbling. Get a really nice wine. Turn off ALL the electronics, except maybe soft background music if that’s your thing. The point isn’t for this to be romantic… the point is that you’re setting yourselves up for a meal made for conversation and quiet time together. You can talk if you want, or just exist quietly. Then if you guys decide to watch a movie, that’s why we have Netflix streaming. Or if you decide you’re feeling romantic, the bedroom is right there. You’ll spend half as much for extremely fancy dinner-in food than for moderately fancy dinner-out food, and you’ll have the best seat in the house.

    Anyway, that’s my suggestion. Oh, and PZ… if you’re not used to shopping for fine cheese, and want only the best for the amazing Trophy Wife, I worked at an uber-fancy cheese retailer four years ago, while I was hunting for employment with my biology degree (damned economy). So, aside from having pretentious customers telling me that I really ought to consider going to college (GRRRRR!!!), I learned a lot about cheese, and could make good suggestions. (Also… cheesemaking and microbiology very much go hand in hand. Fascinating stuff!) The cheese “boutiques” will screw you over and charge twice as much as the cheese is worth. Trader Joe’s (if you have them up there) has very little customer service and provides a bizarre mix of very good cheese at very reasonable prices, scattered in a display with mediocre cheese, and unless you know the specific cheeses, you might bring home the cheap/lousy stuff. Your best bet is a local co-op/mercantile or a Whole Foods, which actually has decent prices for the cheese quality, and you can get a lot of help at the cheese counter there.

    And if you’re a cheese expert, ignore that whole paragraph and go get something spectacular for your Dinner-In birthday night. (And don’t forget the cupcake and candle.)

  31. 31
    Deanna Joy Lyons

    Happy birthday, Mary!

    I’m surprised no on has yet mentioned a shopping trip. My darling man and I celebrate every special occasion by picking something up at the toy store. And I’m not talkin Toys R Us, here.

  32. 32
    devogene

    Happy Birthday Mary!!

  33. 33
    Clarie V

    Happy Birthday Trophy Wife Mary!

    Have a lovely day with all the good things you like freely available!

  34. 34
    Jack van Beverningk

    that’s not her kind of movie

    Don’t kid yourself!

    I saw it with my wife and she LOVED it: I overheard her answering a friend’s question what the movie was all about thus:

    - It has Daniel Craig in it,
    - in tight leather chaps,
    - they show him from behind a lot.

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  35. 35
    theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme

    Aan Mary:

    Veels geluk liewe maatjie, omdat jy verjaar mag die Here Vlieënde Spaghettimonster jou seën en nog baie jare spaar.

  36. 36
    Jean

    Homemade. Alway go with homemade. By you, PZ. Make a card or a cake or a meal. It can be really stupid: I once gave a jar of peanut butter relabeled “from the squirrels” to a squirrel hater. He loved it. Light a candle on a cake too.

  37. 37
    MaryLupin

    Happy birthday Mary.

    Here’s what this Mary would want for my birthday.
    1)I would want to be someplace outside where it I could feel that awe that comes with having a biosphere impinging on hominid genetically-based species expectations with respect to landscape (i.e. somewheres pretty).
    2)I would want to bring my favourite book in the whole universe (at this moment anyway) and I would want my partner to bring his/hers as well. (Don’t ask. It’s complicated.)
    3)I would hand my book to my partner and take hers/his. I would read aloud favourite passages and get the same in return.
    4) I would drink my glass of wine and eat my nosh. (Then we’d probably – well, you know. Even at my advanced age and decrepitude that is still fun outside.)
    5) Once I felt elevated I would go home and take my least favourite books and perform magic on them — putting them next to another book/author that would make them really, really mad had they both still been alive. (Starhawk next to John Knox is a favourite) and then laugh, laugh, laugh imagining them in conversation. (The wine helps with that.)

  38. 38
    Cosmas

    سنة حلوة يا جميلة، يا جائزة

  39. 39
    paulburnett

    knobody (#25) wrote: “if there’s an anatomy class doing a human dissection this semester, maybe you could ask to sit in, and maybe even get to hold the brain?

    And if you get to hold it, you could cut it into thin slices, dip the slices in egg and then cornmeal and deep-fry them!

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

    Before sunset tonight, go to the highest point in the area (is there a Mount Morris?) with a westerly view and watch the sun go down and the stars come out. Then try to find your car in the dark.

  40. 40
    'Tis Himself

    she’s much, much younger than I am, and she looks it.

    There are rocks younger than you.

    Happy birthday, Mary.

  41. 41
    Acronym Jim

    Here’s to Mary,

    Another orbit of the sun completed. May you continue to hurtle through space for many many more.

  42. 42
    Icaarus

    Well I spend my birthdays listening to a jazz artist I haven’t heard before (live or recorded I take what I can get) and a rum and ginger. If that’s your thing feel free to take it. But the point is to do something you normally do to keep your sanity, just add a little “new” spice.

    Enjoy how ever you wish. And SMILE DAMN IT.

  43. 43
    Glen Davidson

    Happy birthday Mary, you metazoan you.

    Glen Davidson

  44. 44
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Happy birthday, Mary! ♥

    My younger sister is getting married (heh) today, so it’s an awesome day of celebration! *confetti!*

  45. 45
    Lisa R.

    Fire up the grill or fire pit. Assemble a gourmet s’moresgasbord: those thin scalloped ginger cookies and chocolate wafers for the outsides, caramel sauce, fruit preserves, regular and (if you can get them there) toasted coconut marshmallows. Play “Happy Birthday” on whatever instrument you can, including slide whistle if necessary.

  46. 46
    robin andrea

    There is no god, but there are definitely goddesses! Happy birthday, Mary!

  47. 47
    Lynna, OM

    Happy birthday, Mary! We know PZ would not be able to do for us what he does without your help. So, on your birthday, we take this opportunity to thank you as well.

    I agree with some posters up-thread that we should deprive ourselves of PZ for 24 hours so that he can focus entirely on you.

    I also like the suggestion to take a walk together, perhaps with picnic ingredients in a backpack carried by PZ.

    What else could we load on Poopyhead? We’ll think of something.

  48. 48
    Carol

    Have a wonderful birthday, Mary, and many happy returns.

    I think it would be delightful to receive a list of the Top Ten Reasons It’s More Fun Hanging Out With Mary Than Either Dissecting Zebrafish Or Writing About Atheism. Because you know there are more than ten.

  49. 49
    plien

    Beste Mary, van harte gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag.

    If it was my birthday i would like to bike to the nearest swimmingwater and dive in. Lukily we have nude beaches here.

    Swim till dark, watch the stars, rub eachother dry & head home to a warm shower & bed.

    But that would be what I want and i aint Mary. Which brings me to the obvious; PZ, ASK MARY! (& of course, listen to her answer, duh! ;-)

    Mary, i wish you many happy ellipses around the sun with PZ.

  50. 50
    kraut

    Actually – why celebrate an accident? My congrats are for a real achievement: that you managed to live together for that long.

    (And did it without the morality imposed by some supernatural jerk. That shows those religious idiots)

  51. 51
    BCskeptic

    How ’bout this:

    Find a nice fancy, quiet heritage hotel by a lake or ocean or forest somewhere, with a spa, fine dining, and with old heritage rooms with the old-style claw-foot deep bathtubs:

    1. Start off with checking in, and “complementary” glass of wine and chocalates in the hotel room.

    2. Next, relaxation massage and steam bath in the spa for both of you.

    3. Then, after you’re all relaxed and smellin’ nice, a romantic dinner, with a rose or two to present to her, and perhaps a nice item of jewelry…might I suggest a Canadian guaranteed-blood-free diamond of some sort? Always works for me. Some nice live music here is always nice.

    4. Then, off to the hotel room…leave that up to use you imagination. Fancy “bath products” are always a hit here, as are massages ‘n’ things.

    6. Next morning, a nice breakfast in the heritage dining room…then off to Paris for a day shopping (er…got carried away there…sorry). Drive home through the countryside, perhaps stopping at funky shops and things, before ending up at home where you give her a nice foot massage, make dinner, and do dishes.

    Or, sponsor a child in Africa in her name.

    Good luck!

  52. 52
    boggsj

    I don’t know about the fauna in your area, but here in southeast ky time is about up for catching southern devil. scorpions, which is plenty fun.

    get your jars and set out to find something weird.

  53. 53
    Mobius

    A very Happy Birthday to Mrs. PZ, aka Mary.

  54. 54
    Kapitano

    What can you give a TrophyWife(TM) who has everything?

    How about…a range of octopus themed jewelery? A bracelet with eight arms writhing around the wrist, an octo-coronet, and a necklace with eight arms – a la Alien.

    “Oh PZ, you shouldn’t have. No, you really shouldn’t have.”

  55. 55
    Patricia, OM

    Happy birthday Mary!! I hope you get something sparkly in a small box, with your card. Or a plane ticket to that place you’ve always dreamed of going to.

  56. 56
    Rorschach

    Happy Birthday, Mary !! We met last year and it was great to meet you, I hope the poopyhead takes some time out to honor the occasion !

    but Cowboys & Aliens is playing

    That is not the worst movie to come out this year, actually. Weird, but not the worst.

  57. 57
    Randomfactor

    Hail, Mary, full of grace…our Cephalopodic Lord is with thee. Use him well.

  58. 58
    CanadianChick

    Not going to make any suggestions (I like to let birthdays slide by too).

    Just want to wish Mary many happy returns of the day and agree that having had the great good fortune to have met her in Vancouver (I’m the one who brought the cupcakes) agree that she is beautiful & looks much younger than PZ. Smart move picking out a TrophyWife the first time round.

  59. 59
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Happy Birthday Mary! However you celebrate, may every day after be ever more fantastic!

  60. 60
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Happy Birthday, ceremonial Pharyngumom!

  61. 61
    Bench

    This is going to sound spammy but I assure you I am not a shill, just a fan. How about enjoying a nice RiffTrax together?

    Six words: Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

    Just a thought.

  62. 62
    Tabby Lavalamp

    Happy birthday.

  63. 63
    John Pieret

    Happy birthday and condolences on being known as the Trophy Wife.

    If you are staying in, make him buy your favorite food (whether you make him cook it depends on the chances he’ll ruin it); your favorite wine (or other beverage); put on your favorite romantic music (whether he likes it or not) and insist he pay attention to you for at least 4 hours … no blog, work, kids, etc., etc.

    Then make him clean up afterwards … whenever that may be.

    Have a great day!

  64. 64
    Brian

    Dear Mary,
    Please accept my wishes for your Happy Birthday.
    Seeing as you have been with this old bloke, PZ, for so long, you will probably want him back from Melbourne in one piece, so can I offer as a birthday gift, a promise to keep him safe from the dropbears whilst he is in Melbourne?
    Keeping him from alcohol poisoning is another thing but perhaps we can put down his behavioural changes and the loss of more brain cells down to advancing years?

  65. 65
    MrPickwick

    Happy birthday Mary!

    I wish you and all the people you love happiness! And if any of the whippersnappers you and PZ brought to the world do not remember this day and forget to give you a phone call (at least) I command the almighty Neptune to pinch their rears mildly with his trident.

  66. 66
    Mattir-ritated

    What are Mary’s hobbies? Lots and lots of hobby supplies, and a gift certificate for a weekend away at a ridiculously indulgent hobby retreat/class type thing.

    Happy birthday, Mary! If I knew you like’d yarn and sheep, I’d have plenty of suggestions.

  67. 67
    Greg Laden

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  68. 68
    Avi

    Happy birthday, Mary!

  69. 69
    susan

    Happy birthday, Mary! Thanks for your help with PZ’s blog baby. Speaking of babies, PZ– call the kids and hand her the phone. Then get her cake and ice cream, her favorite kinds.

  70. 70
    Physicalist

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  71. 71
    Lee Picton

    Happy Birthday Mary! The BOOK is not published yet, so I know you guys are not rich. Maybe PZ could get you something simple that keeps on giving. I know I would like some truly decadent French milled soap for mine. Prices vary from around $3 to $50 a bar, and they last a long time. I am also willing to give up the blog for a day if he uses the time to give you a full body rub and his undivided attention. PZ, you are one lucky poopyhead!

  72. 72
    DaveG

    The Badlands in SD are about 7.5 hours away by car. Go to sleep early tonight, get up around 3 and you can be enjoying a natural wonder by noontime. Thrill to one of Earth’s great geological wonders – and take plenty of pix you can use later to crush YECs! Have a relaxing western-style dinner at the World Famous Wall Drug in Wall, SD (what a coincidence!). Enjoy sunset there, stay as late as you wish then drive home (blow off Monday’s classes if need be). You’re also but a short drive from Mt. Rushmore, Needles Highway and Devil’s Tower (meh).

  73. 73
    Ron Sullivan

    Happy birthday, Mary!

    Suggestion: Quiet day in or out, depending on weather. Home-cooked meal with favorite beverage. Minimum-two-hour slow massage. Neutrogena body oil comes in ~unscented~, is easy to find at the drugstore, and plays well with household linens.

    Or whatever other form of sweet attentiveness comes to mind.

    I’m speaking as a longtime-paired old broad, maybe projecting a bit, but that works well for (and on) me.

  74. 74
    Ani Sharmin

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

    How about an evening spent looking at old pictures of the two of you over the years, reminiscing, and a nice dinner. Maybe call the kids and tell get them to make and/or buy you dinner as a present.

  75. 75
    KG

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  76. 76
    Loki

    Lots of sex time.

  77. 77
    PurpleElephant

    well since sky diving is out, share:
    glasses of wine
    plate of sliced apples, grapes, & cheese
    photo albums
    comfy couch

    Happy Birthday!!

  78. 78
    Susannah

    Happy birthday, Mary!

  79. 79
    Tom Clark

    Happy Birthday, Mary!
    Today is my mom’s birthday, too! She’s 46.
    Here’s to another (insert your age) years more.

  80. 80
    guest

    yay! Happy Birthday! Hope you are getting balloons and cake (good cake, not the cheap safeway cake) and dinner out or take out and hugs and things that are censored on the internet! ;)
    and many happy years to follow with your husband!

  81. 81
    Lauren Ipsum

    Buon compleanno, Mary!

    I suggest making cookies — whatever kind you enjoy making, but particularly the ones you can decorate. Make several batches. Cooking together takes the stress off, and you can be as silly, sexy, or serious as you choose with each cookie adornment. You can put a candle on a cookie from each batch and PZ can sing you “Happy Birthday” repeatedly.

    Plus you get to lick the bowl. What’s more fun than that?

    (P.S. If you want to lick the beaters too, just remember to turn the mixer OFF first.)

  82. 82
    F

    Happy birthday, Mary!

    I, too, have ignored my birthdays since I was rather a wee child, and when I’m aware of the date, I spend my day hoping no one else notices as well. (Well, there’s always mom, who, in an alternate universe ruled by the supernatural, would probably continue to call me on my birthday from beyond the grave. She’s like that.)

    To celebrate: Do what you will. Doesn’t have to be on your birthday if you’d rather do something on another day. Just use the birthday leverage to get whatever it is you want, since most people respect the birthdays of others, and PZ is quite obviously your devoted servant. Make your powers work for you. :)

  83. 83
    Veganerd

    Nice picnic in the country. Make a nice meal, bottle of wine, what better way to spend a end of summer day. Not sure what its like in morris but its perfect here in the cities.

    Happy birthday

  84. 84
    speedwell

    I’m with the commenter above who said take one day all for Mary, just for Mary, only for Mary. Take all the weight and stress off. You don’t need to do anything where she has to dress up. Don’t do anything where she has to perform. Just let her be Mary all day, and follow her lead, and just give her your whole day’s time being glad she’s Mary.

    And at the end of the day, let there be birthday cake, with just one candle to say age doesn’t matter, but wishes do.

  85. 85
    Blaine

    Outsourcing wife b-day suggestions to the internet horde. Tisk tisk.

  86. 86
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    I have no suggestions nor advice. As my dad said when my wife observed, “Pop, it’s amazing. No matter how bad off your kids get, you never offer advice, or try to intrude,” (to which my dad replied) “If I gave ‘em advice and it didn’t work and everything went to hell, they might end up moving back in with me. I spent three decades getting rid of them all.”

    So I offer no advice, in case it backfires and PZ has to crash at my place for a time.

    Instead, I shall simply offer my best wishes for a year as good as the best you’ve ever had, as joyous as a celebration of your life, and as rewarding as the love of your friends and family.

    In the colloquial: Happy Birthday, Mary.

  87. 87
    earlycuyler

    Happy Birthday Mary. And it is also my birthday too! Hooray for September 10!!

  88. 88
    Data Jack

    PZ, Dawn and I sometimes have an indoor picnic – a bottle of wine, music, candle light, and a basket of food (fruit, cheese, bread, etc.). Move some furniture and put down a blanket, or just have it in bed.

  89. 89
    Gyeong Hwa

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  90. 90
    Hurin

    Happy Birthday, Mary.

  91. 91
    Patrick

    Wave of Bliss, baby!

    http://www.amazon.com/Art-Sexual-Ecstasy-Sexuality-Western/dp/0874775817

    I’m actually quite serious. My wife and I have been practicing tantra for a couple of years and you can get into some amazing states together. Just treat the woo bits as metaphor and meditate together.

  92. 92
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Happy Birthday Mary!

    I’d go for the pampering (fave meal prepared and cleaned up after, with cake and chocolate) followed by full body massage under candle light.

  93. 93
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    Happy Birthday Mary!
    I don’t have much in the way of suggestions, but I go with gold jewelry and massages for my wife for special occasions. She seems to like it.

    Cheers & Happy Monkey,
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

  94. 94
    Christopher

    Red State, Kevin Smith’s film, is on Video on Demand, and rentable on iTunes, Amazon and such.

  95. 95
    cag

    Happy Birthday, Mary.

    Thanks for looking after PZ for us. Look after the both of you.

    Every day I do not pray for your well being.

    Robert.

  96. 96
    Eva @ Mostraum Viewpoint

    Happy birthday, Mary!
    I wish for you to celebrate it in you favorite way!

  97. 97
    Newfie

    Humpty Burpday, Mary!

  98. 98
    Samantha Vimes, Chalkboard Monitor

    Happy birthday, Mary! Thanks for Metazoan Mondays and Molly management.
    I’m going to nth the suggest that PZ drop his internet addiction for a day and give you his full attention.

  99. 99
    Sili

    It’s enough for you to know that she’s much, much younger than I am, and she looks it.

    You were held back in first grade repeatedly?

    –o–

    Happy birthday, Mary! I hope I get to meet you again.

  100. 100
    Pierce R. Butler

    Don’t Minnesotans traditionally celebrate the 10th of September with igloo-building and snowball fights?

  101. 101
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Happy Birthday!

    All the pampering and/or enjoying nature suggestions sound great; my first thought was along those lines as well: If the weather’s nice, borrow or rent a convertible, find a high spot to drive to tonight, get in the back seat with a bottle of wine, and look at the Moon (which was gorgeous ’round here last night).

    I thought about taking her out to a movie…but Cowboys & Aliens is playing, and seriously, that’s not her kind of movie. We’re rather limited by small town opportunities, you know.

    Wow. I thought I’d lived in some small towns, but I have never in my life lived in a place where there was only one movie showing within a reasonable drive! Is it smallness that matters here, or remoteness?

    (BTW, I agree with those who point out that C&A [a] is not the worst movie of the year and [b] does have Daniel Craig… and Harrison Ford, too, for some generational range.)

  102. 102
    Kol

    I see a lot of references to “petting” but this is Monday Mary we’re talking about here ya fuckin hooligans. Show some respect!

    I’ve got two things in mind regarding showing appreciation.

    1. Offer up some options that stimulate different portions of the brain.

    Tandem skydiving (highly recommended), scuba lessons, a trip in a resort-oriented submarine, time away at a day spa, blowing the shit out of stuff at a firing range (may require a trip out of Morris), a Kindle with kindling wood and a setting sun…

    You get the picture.

    Pick it and BOOK IT!

    Don’t feel obligated to spoon feed us every day of your lives. We’d much rather show our appreciation for you guys by letting you relax in the knowledge that you’ve raised a shitload of aware-birds. We’re flying all over the planet now.

    2. Morris probably has a pet shop. I mean, surely.

    Only Mary knows what sort of metazoan she would choose for this next part. I’m fond of my son’s gecko but to each her own.

    Pick a pet (hence the reference to “petting” up there”) and name it “Jeb”; that’s short for “Jeebus”.

    From the pet store, you hit the courthouse and have PZ’s name changed to “Joe”. When people ask “Joe” can look at you and Jeb and proudly proclaim, “Nope, it ain’t mine”.

    Hail Mary for real today.

    Without you in our lives, that guy you married might not have made so much goddam sense.

    Respectfully,

    Kol

  103. 103
    Xios the Fifth

    Happy birthday!

    And the nature walk/nice picnic sounds the best to me, for certain! (Dunno about the jewelry/flowers/etc., depends on what Mary would like.)

    It’s her birthday, so be especially nice PZ!

    Take care!

  104. 104
    lordshipmayhem

    Happy birthday, Mary, Queen of PZ’s heart!

    Have him make you a picnic basket, complete with comfy blanket, folding chairs and candles. Have him take you to some romantic spot, out of town, where you can watch the sunset.

    Relax and enjoy the day.

  105. 105
    Ouigui

    Happy Birthday, Mary! You and I share the day. :)

    How about booking a hot air balloon ride?

  106. 106
    stubby

    Happy Birthday, Mary Myers! You guys could swing down to Don’s Cafe. I think it’s still open? My grandmother used to talk about the huge amount of french fries they served. Nothing says romance like gorging yourself on greasy food.

  107. 107
    moonkitty

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  108. 108
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Happy birthday, Mary! My off-the-cuff suggestion is to spend a slow, romantic day together in nature and at home, with lots of photography and a picnic with wine, while chatting over future plans to travel to a big city with museums and musicals and fancy restaurants.

  109. 109
    Brazenlucidity

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  110. 110
    AussieMike

    Oh Shit!

    I think he’s gone and done it. No posts since 8:21 Morris time. He’s going the distance; he’s going for speed…..

    Algernon and I are in for a possible Lynching.

    Well, if I’m correct (and I hope I am PZ) then lets all jump accross to the other blogs on FTB or watch HitchSlap videos on Youtube. Dawkins also has interesting stuff and if you want deep, go Harris. Happy 24 hours all.

  111. 111
    cicely

    Happy birthday, Mary; may there be many more!
    -

  112. 112
    DocKorey

    Happy birthday Mary! We must be the same age since my birthday was 2 days ago!

  113. 113
    Yoritomo

    Happy birthday, Mary!

  114. 114
    Marcus Ranum

    Give her a whole day of your time, no interruptions.

  115. 115
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Happy Birthday, Mary. Thanks for sharing PZ with all of us.

  116. 116
    Pete Moulton

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

    I’m not one for celebrations, really, and can offer no suggestion as creative (or as suggestive) as my fellow Pharynguloids, but the igloo-building and snowball fight sounds like fun.

  117. 117
    Daniel Fincke

    Happy Birthday, Mary. Whenever PZ mentions you or your marriage, it is always very heartwarming and smile inducing. Here’s to decades more happiness.

  118. 118
    Lorraine

    Hope your celebration is a good one, with family and friends. Many, many happy returns, as well. :-)

  119. 119
    opposablethumbs

    Happy birthday Mary, and thank you.

    Past midnight here, but it’s still your birthday in the US so – whatever else you do/did, I bet any day that included a lot of foot massage (and/or back/shoulder/neck massage) would be a Good Day.

    Hope your birthday is/was wonderful, and wish you many more of ‘em!

  120. 120
    antaresrichard

    Happy Metazoan, Mary!

    ;-)

  121. 121
    Deborah (down under)

    This is what prompted me to create a user account for Freethought blogs.

    Happy birthday, Mary.

  122. 122
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    All the very best, Mary, and many more!

  123. 123
    Olav

    Classical Cipher:

    [..] chatting over future plans to travel to a big city with museums and musicals and fancy restaurants.

    Argh. Musicals. Well, perhaps, but then you’d have to find one that isn’t tritely camp and commercial.

    I recommend going to a proper concert instead. Either classical or contemporary (orchestral) music. Especially if you don’t do this too often in the first place. The museums and restaurants are also OK of course.

    But if I were on a budget I would gladly skip the restaurants and just eat fish & chips (or other cheap/fast/junk food) before the concert.

    Oh, and happy birthday, of course.

  124. 124
    Melody

    Give her a foot massage… and not a wimpy one either.

  125. 125
    Menyambal

    How about that? It is also my wife’s birthday.

    Let’s see… We went out just after midnight last night chasing down an errant child. I restrung the child’s old guitar (a first for me) and presented it to my wife, along with a printout of the tabs for Amazing Grace. I gave her four bags of her favorite snack food. I played Happy Birthday for her on my ukelele. We went out for a drive and stopped at several garage sales–didn’t find anything for her, but I got a warm coat and some fun stuff for the child. We went to her mom’s for cake and visiting.

    I am going to rub her feet later, but I do that every night.

    We haven’t had many birthdays together, yet, but I hope to have many more.

    Many more to you, Mary, (and thanks for taking care of PZ).

  126. 126
    ema

    Happy Birthday!

  127. 127
    Suresh

    Mary Myers

    Happy Birthday Mary Myers. Still you have long way to go with this evil atheist guy, well, may be an adorable guy, PZ.

    And For PZ, I freaking envy you. i am 31, and still single, no girls gives a heck about me anymore. You have such a happy married life!!!!! Atheist nerds don’t gets chick, because we are not bad enough. May be I should get out of Seattle area.

  128. 128
    darkstar

    Happy Birthday

  129. 129
    WishYouWereHere

    Happy Birthday, Mary.

    PZ.

    Next year, leave the blog alone, forget about the Pope and spend the day WITH Mary in a good day spa. It’s a great gift to her on a couple of fronts.

    First, here’s your patriotic chance to help kickstart the US economy.

    Second, women love a gift that involves sacrifice and your first time in a day spa (getting a facial, vichy shower treatment etc.) is going to seem like a very big sacrifice of your dignity — trust me. Ultimately though, you’ll get over it, will probably enjoy it and will probably go back again. As well, Mary will probably get a really big kick out of you participating with her in one of her activities. It’, also a great thing for a couple to continue to do and she get’s to tell her girlfriends all about the details of your behaviour.

    Second, day spa treatments feel really (and I mean really) good. If she doesn’t already knows this then you are guaranteed brownie points by introducing her to the spa.

    Third, your day in a spa will naturally lead to going out and having a really good time celebrating Mary’s birthday with her family and friends. If she manages to stay awake, she’ll feel very happy and mellow.

    In the end, it’s Mary’s day. Therefore, it’s really important that you stay and participate with her (that’s the real gift). Oh, and yes you can have male versions of her treatments, like getting your damn beard and eye brows trimmed.

    Cheers

  130. 130
    triskelethecat

    I’ll go back and read the comments, but:

    Happy Birthday, Mary. (a little late, blame it on moving day). May you enjoy many, many more of them, and all of them with the man you love and who loves you.

    P.S. And spend birthdays how you want to; that’s what makes them great. You get to do what you want to do, even if it’s the same stuff as every other day.

  131. 131
    volvox

    Happy Birthday Mary

    Thank you, thank you for this blog

  132. 132
    chakolate

    When we reach the age where a birthday is no big deal, then birthdays are a great time to stop and appreciate what we have. You both have tremendous luck in being married to people you admire and respect, in having children who are well begun, and in having the wherewithal to meet your needs and have a bit left over.

    There doesn’t have to be a Blesser in order to enjoy blessings, and there doesn’t have to be anyone to be grateful to in order to feel gratitude. You both should count your blessings and be grateful, as you are two very lucky people.

  133. 133
    frankb

    Happy birthday Mary Trophy Wife Myers. It is my birthday too. My trophy wife is also named Mary. What a coincidence. I had a good time. I hope you did too.

  134. 134
    marella

    Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday dear Mary,
    Happy birthday to you.
    Hip hip hooray!

  135. 135
    Amblebury

    Happy birthday.

    Here’s a poem I really like, The Noble Nature, by Ben Jonson.

    IT is not growing like a tree
    In bulk, doth make Man better be;
    Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
    To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
    A lily of a day
    Is fairer far in May,
    Although it fall and die that night—
    It was the plant and flower of Light
    In small proportions we just beauties see;
    And in short measures life may perfect be.

  136. 136
    Ichthyic

    Take Mary on a sunset boat cruise.

    5 bucks says there will be one somewhere nearby.

    After all, it’s The Land of 10K Lakes, right?

  137. 137
    phro

    I think I’m late, but hope you had a happy birthday Mary!

  138. 138
    ShavenYak

    You say it’s your birthday
    It’s my birthday too

    No, seriously, it is. Maybe there’s something to that astrology bunk after all, ‘cuz apparently we both think PZ is a pretty cool guy. Happy Birthday, Mary.

    And yeah, I’m late posting, but it’s still the 10th on a small fragment of the planet.

  139. 139
    walkingmap

    Happy Belated Birthday Mary,

    Always remember, age is but an accident of time…youth is your state of mind.

  140. 140
    DLC

    Many happy returns on the day!

    suggestion: cook dinner. it’s not too late to nip down to the market, pick up something she likes and prepare it for her.
    suggestion part2: Some wine, nice music, peaceful surroundings, and a nice back-rub, perhaps. and see where that takes you.

  141. 141
    MG Myers

    Many thanks for all of the kind birthday wishes! I had a wonderful day. PZ and I went to Pomme de Terre Park for a hike and picnic. Pomme de Terre is a lovely park with a river and wetlands, all within biking distance of our home. The dragonflies commanded the sky in full force performing various aeronautical maneuvers while the prairie wildflowers were ablaze in spectacular yellow.

    PZ also surprised me with a long, relaxing massage on the massage table. He hasn’t lost his edge!

  142. 142
    Carlie

    Fantastic! Great to know it was a good day. :) Here’s to many more!

  143. 143
    Matt

    Belated birthday wishes, and glad to hear that she had a good day.

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