Greg is 60 today. How do you celebrate and what do you buy a man who is an alcoholic and not in the best of health? I have resorted to buying him lots of books, as he has always been an avid reader and hungry for knowledge, so that is always a safe bet. I even have to delicately sift through birthday cards, when buying them for him, as they tend to have pictures of beer glasses and champagne bottles on them.
But how to celebrate? I thought long and hard about whether to put on a surprise party, but then decided against it. The majority of friends and colleagues know nothing at all about his problem, as it only developed after he took early retirement and he barely sees any of them any more. A party would therefore bring it to their attention. They would also find it very strange to have a party with no alcohol whatsoever, particularly for such a special event. I asked Greg what he would prefer and he took weeks mulling it over, but decided he did not really want a big fuss. He, Kay and I hope to go out for a special meal tonight, but I fear he will already be drunk well before then, as he is meeting a few old media work colleagues for a lunchtime drink. As they do not know of his problem, they will probably ply him with drinks to celebrate and he will not be able to refuse the many rounds that will ensue. In fact he will have a field day. I shall then get nervous about whether he will behave himself in the restaurant tonight. That's if he is upright enough to get there in the first place! On the other hand, it is his sixtieth, so he deserves a special day.