Best Birthday Celebration Ever!!

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

My birthday was last Tuesday, March 21, 2017.  I always brag as a Aries that I start the Zodiac and I start the sign - since Aries is the first sign in the Zodiac and March 21 is he First day of Aries.  When I was a kid I used to also have the bragging rights to it being the First Day of Spring, which it was until someone decided to move the Vernal Equinox to the 20th of March - still not accepting that one though. 

MY Family (L-R) Adiya, Me, Jaden, Rais, Kira, Hugh

Since it was a Tuesday,  hadn't really planned anything major in the way of a celebration.  The last two milestone birthday bashes ended in disaster, with downpours of rain so bad you would have thought a monsoon had hit New York City.  So, when First daughter, Kira asked said she and handsome Jaden were coming up on Saturday for my birthday, I was totally happy to let her take charge.  Then when my Baby Chile Adiya called to ask me what my favorite foods were - I thought, wow, don't tell me she's forgotten - surely it can't have been that long since we'd eaten out together - but  I said to her, "King Crab Legs, or Thai Food - or both. " "I knew that,"she responded. 

So I thought, great, we'll have a girl's day out.  I rather assumed that Handsome Jaden,  whose birthday was the day following mine, March 22, was now officially 15, was probably going to hang in Virginia, with some of his peers.  

When Saturday, March 25, rolled around, Kira, her Hubby, Handsome Hugh, and  to my delight, Handsome Jaden all drove up together - I knew it was going to be a great day.  
By the way: If by now you haven't noticed, all the men in our families are "Handsome" - it's a practice I started when my son, Rais was born - based on a sociological study that said that meanstream media had more derogatory words and descriptions of Black men than any other group on the planet  - but I digress.  

Jaden has gotten so tall - his aspiration is to either be a football or a basketball jock, and he's excellent in both fields.  I asked him how he liked being  15 - he said, "It's all right. "  I have the feeling he's waiting for sixteen when there are some special privileges that 15 doesn't carry - like driver's licenses and things of that nature.

We went to a great Thai Restaurant on Walnut Ave., called XIANDU THAI (Shandoo thai) - which was absolutely lovely - with a bar, sidewalk and upper restaurant section.  They had some wonderful elephant carvings and statues , and a great atmosphere (1119 Walnut Ave - check them out - they even have happy hour on Saturdays) - I call it casual elegance.

Our waiter/server, Brian, must be a stand up comedian on the side because he kept us in stitches laughing at his made up jokes the entire time we were there.   



The food was excellent, and we were  already having a great deal of fun -  when my son, Handsome Wilson showed up with this huge gift bag and said under no circumstances was I to touch it.  It was fairly heavy, so I of course immediately got excited - and of course it didn't help that he put it right on the seat next to me.  When Adiya arrived the party was complete - and we spent the afternoon laughing, looking at her wonderful photos from China (she had just returned), and hearing about how shocked many people from china were to see Black people - some had even tried to rub her skin to see of the color would come off.

My handsome son-in-law told of how some had actually thought folks in his entourage - years ago  had tried to lick one of his associates because they thought she was chocolate.  LOL - we do have to travel more so the rest of the world can become accustomed to seeing us.

The food was fantastic - I had the Seafood Delight - with brown rice.  Which I could not finish because they seriously give you ample servings there.  But when they brought out the green tea ice cream and my mocha chocolate cake with the candle, the big moment for the unveiling of my gift had arrived.  
SEAFOOD DELIGHT - Shrimp, muscles, scallops, calamari - YUMM!

Rais handed me this gigantic bag and pulled a rather large box out of - making sure to support it while I unwrapped it. I kept wondering what it was that made it so heavy.  When the wrapping was finally off, a white box was revealed that said "album" on the front.  So I assumed that it was a photo album to help me organize the zillions of photos I have taken over the years. 

 So when I opened the box,  I got the surprise/shock of my life!! All the photos that I had not seen in 30 years - from when we lived in California - kids baby pictures, first steps, early Mandrill Pictures, friends from California, that I hadn't seen in eons.  I was totally blown away.  In addition to the box of photos, they pulled out an old photo album from my days in Oklahoma - including pictures of me as an adolescent in OKC, and all my Science Fair awards - as well as clipping from early Mandrill performances.

I was so totally blown away, I started bawling - I thought I'd never see those pictures again in life. They were treasures from when my now very grown up kids were still in pampers; learning first steps; dance recitals; when I used to model (back when I was 99 lbs.) - wow!  It was so hard to take it all in!! It was like they had handed me back the best days of my life!  Believe me, no amount of money, or jewelry could have been more precious to me than those wonderful pictures and that album.  

When I got back home, I just sat and went through each and every picture - there has to be about 500 or more of them - some of them are blurry because Black in the day you mainly used Instamatics or Polaroids.  But some of them are real treasures.  Actually, all of them are real treasures.

So I just wanted my wonderful kids to know how much I love them, and how beautiful this Birthday celebration was.  For me it was the BEST BIRTHAY CELEBRATION EVER!!

My Baby Chile, Adiya, with my Handsome Son-in-Law, Hugh IV

(L-R) Hugh IV, Kira, Rais

(L-R) Jaden, Rais clowning around, Kira and Adiya


(L-R) Hugh IV, Kira and Rais

Birthday Boy, Jaden, taking photo of Kira 

(L-R) Jaden, Rais, Kira & Adiya

(L-R) Jaden cracking up at his uncle's antics, Rais, Kira, Adiya

Rais and Adiya

Adiya listening to Hugh tell about people in China thinking brown skin was chocolate 

Hugh IV, Adiya and Kira

So I just want to thank my three beautiful kids my handsome son in law and my handsome grandson for the


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