Phillip’s Beefy Birthday Spectacular

So, I was asked recently how well I was doing with my agoraphobia since the move. Do you know what is hilarious about the question? I hadn’t even thought of my agoraphobia since we moved into the new house, until the question was asked! Truly, had not even given that burden a minute of my thought.

Rather than thinking constantly of methods and ways to excuse myself from leaving the house, my mind has been constantly swirling with a jotted map and a list of all the places I need to go.

Big Lots had sunflower seeds for $1. I think the front fence would look great with a healthy crop of sunflowers rising from behind it this fall. Of course, I absolutely had to go. An authentic Italian grocery opened up on the corner. I couldn’t wait to take pictures to send to my friend Giovanni asking his advice for what to pick out. So, I went up there the moment I could. And then someone who reads my blog wanted to sit and knit with me, and I took a dare, and dashed to meet her for coffee just up the street. I’ve never had the chance to do that. So, sign me up!

Then there is a little vintage clothing and furniture boutique that I pass often and wondered if she might sell my bears on consignment. And you know me, that wouldn’t be enough. I’d want to sit on her little stoop knit, get tons of attention, and have people pop in her shop to snag a bear 🙂

I guess I just didn’t have too much room in my head for thoughts of lonely confinement. I was busy cramming my imagination with beautiful possibilities.

Which brings me to Phillip’s birthday! Yes, his birthday is on Wednesday. I thought a lot about what to get my beloved, and of course, anything I give him he’d adore. But, I wanted to give him something a little more valuable. So, I’m taking him out Wednesday for his birthday.

Now, we haven’t gone out for an occasion in years. IN YEARS. Whenever we did go out somewhere it was to do an important errand that required both of us. The minute the task was accomplished, we made a bee line back home so that I could close myself back up. There is no lollygagging when you’re an agoraphobic. There is no such thing as “browsing” and “window shopping.”

So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do on Wednesday. We’re going “window shopping.” There is this classic old store around the corner that sells old records, tapes, dvds, vhs, and cassette tapes. We have a (new) old record player, so I thought we’d stroll up there and “browse.” And it really is one of those gems of an old store that is just crammed to the rafters with just old…..stuff. The kind of store you know you’re going to spend hours in because you know if you dig long enough, you’re going to find treasure.

Then for lunch, I thought we’d stroll up Bumby and hit Beefy King. Believe it or not, Phillip has never been. You would have thought the minute his two feet hit this town that he would have sought out a place called Beefy King.

Beefy King is legend in this town. It has been around for 50, 60 years, could have been a big huge success by becoming another McDonald’s or Arby’s. But, no! There can only be ONE Beefy King! And they’ve been a bigger success for it.

Now, they’re only open until 4pm through the week so cars begin lining up around the block half an hour before they open just so they can get a spot in the drive thru. Yes, they are that busy. You don’t need a watch when you  pass Beefy King. You can tell when it’s lunch time.

Yes, the food really is that good. They have the most amazing roast beef sandwiches and tater-tots. But, more so, they have this nostalgic feel about them because practically everyone in Orlando over 50 has heard the great stories about how back in the 60’s and 70’s, this was where you hung out after school. Why here?

Young men went there for all the pretty young ladies, and all the pretty young ladies went there to swoon at the two gorgeous, muscular sons that run the place (and still do, now in their 70’s!)

And these same people are still going there decade after decade. Same routine, same great sandwich. I bet in their minds, not a day has passed by….

So, I thought I’d treat us to lunch at the infamous Beefy King, so that my husband can finally say he’s been part of some really fun, culinary Orlando tradition….with me, taking pictures, little video clips, making new memories as we honor old ones.

The rest of the day will probably just be determined by impulse. We’ll either do more, like hop over a block and see what the Dollar Tree has that’s fun, or we may just go home, nap and watch our favorite bad films and reruns. Or maybe we’ll find something amazing at Retro Records, bring it home, dim the lights, put it on the record player, sit on the front porch and sip on whiskey, as the scratching of the vinyl invites any neighbor that may pass by to join us if they wish for a sip.

Man, I really do feel like a different person….

That is going to be my present to him. An afternoon on the town with little, old Gregory. Full of treasures, stories, and possibilities…..

It was either that or the trucker cap with “SPAM” written across it that he kept telling me he wanted (which he would have worn ALL the time….)

I like my gift better 🙂

Now, let’s celebrate!

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  1. Outstanding present! I’m so happy for the two of you.

    Isn’t it a great feeling to overcome something that, at one point, felt insurmountable? And that’s all on you Gregory. Good work! xxx

  2. You sound full of energy and enthusiasm for life. Gregory, I think you’ve got your groove back, probably better than ever. Phillip’s birthday plans are spectacular, but I think your best gift to him is overcoming your agoraphobia. Incidentally, your neighborhood sounds delightful. Happy birthday to Phillip.

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