That Blue Box

I love getting gifts that I want to share with others. I’m not talking about re-gifting (please!) but about those that you treasure. After having one of these gifts come to my rescue (more on this later), I realized that most of these gifts that I have received have come in the turquoise box long associated with Tiffany’s.

My introduction to the blue box came on my 20th birthday. My boyfriend at the time surprised me at work with it — my co-workers went wild. I had no idea what the big deal was. (This was before Tiffany was ubiquitous to malls everywhere.) When I opened the box, there was a “C” charm designed by Elsa Peretti. To this day, it is my favorite necklace and one of my go-to gifts for special people in my life that I’m having a hard time shopping for.

The second incredible gift that I received in a Tiffany box was my engagement ring. M. and I were in San Francisco for the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon. The day before the race he took me to the Legion of Honor, where we looked at the Golden Gate bridge and enjoyed the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. My parents had replicas of his work around the house when I was growing up. His “The Thinker” was one of them and it sits in the rotounda of the Legion. As we were walking out, M. asked me about the statue and then got down on his knee and held out the turquoise box while he proposed to my surprise. I gladly (and tearful) accepted. The next day I racewalked through the streets of San Fran—past the Legion and the Sea Cliff restaurant where we had lunch afterward—to the finish line, where firemen dressed in tuxedos held silver platters of stacked Tiffany boxes. These were our medals. Each year, I go back (as long as I get picked in the “lottery” for a coveted bib — fingers crossed, as I should know soon about this year.) to do the race and celebrate our engagement and wedding anniversary. (Sorry, I don’t share this gift. I do share the race with wonderful friends and their family though. And we all get Tiffany in the end.)

Lastly—and this is the gift that saved me—a sterling silver rattle that our friends C. and I. gave to our son. When I first opened the generous gift, I told them it was beautiful and would be a part of his keepsakes. C. told me that he should use it when teething, as it will stay cool and feel good on his gums. As you know by now, my son is teething. He was having an awful time yesterday afternoon and none of the cool rings were helping. Just as I was about to give up hope and reach for the Tylenol again, I remembered the rattle and what she said. He sucked on it for an hour. It’s even scratched where his one adorable tooth was biting down on it. I now have the perfect baby gift.

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That Blue Box

Road to Nowhere

I have a confession to make: I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 18. For my birthday, my mom convinced my then-boyfriend to teach me how. He stood in my driveway wearing a billboard sign stating he was my bike riding coach. Mind you, it was the dead of summer in Palm Springs, California. I’m still grateful.

Even though I’m glad that I learned, it hasn’t been my favorite form of exercise or recreation. I’m not comfortable on a bike and I don’t feel safe—the fact that I was nearly hit by a car while riding on San Vicente in Brentwood doesn’t help.

Despite all of this, I LOVE to spin. Indoor cycling on a stationary bike that simulates a road has got to be one of my favorite ways to exercise—especially now. At my new gym, they play movies of locales. Through this experience I’ve ridden through the Grand Canyon (a place that I’ve hiked), Seattle and Olympia State Park (which I have visited) and with the participants of the Amgen Tour of California (which used to go through my old town of Valencia).

While I always get a fantastic cardio workout, my spinning classes provide an escape. In the darkness of the room I can just concentrate on me—my lungs inhaling and exhaling; my heart pumping; my muscles working and my mind wondering. Sometimes all I think about is my body and what it’s doing; sometimes I’m composing articles; or sometimes I just let my emotions take over. No matter how hard I work (or what my mind does), I leave energized.

Road to Nowhere