That quote above is pretty much what is going on.
I turn 42 in a few weeks. God help me, I really had hoped that I would be more mature at this point, but there you go. The stars are in alignment- cognitive development, parenting skills, emotional stability... and yet I feel about 12 years old between the ears.
Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife love celebrating birthdays. Some native-born Americans are like that too, but Brazilians do love to find a reason to have a party, so birthdays are a great opportunity for them.
I'm an American guy in his 40's, from a quiet WASP'y town in New England. The Calvinist is strong in this one, even if I'm neither an Anglo-Saxon nor a Protestant. So much frippery.
If left to my own devices, I would mark my birthday by going to the gun range, enjoying time with my family, and splitting a bottle of champagne on the patio with my wife after my kid goes to bed. Pretty much what I already do all the time when I come home from work.
So, of course, I have to find the right hotel in the right city in order that we spend money to sleep on a bed that isn't my own, which I already do 4 weeks out of 6.
You'd think that after enough years together, as a husband and father, I'd be used to not doing what I wanted or getting what we want? I mean really, of the fathers out there, how many of us actually want 'just socks and underwear' for Christmas? Yet that's what many men ask for. Because if you're going to have a heart attack come February when you see the bank balance, you really don't want the hospital staff to see you in an old pair of color-coded skibs (yellow in front, brown in back!) when they're reaching for the paddles.
Seriously, I want a better table saw and a better radial arm saw. Not socks and underwear. But hell, some new Froot o' De Looms are a hell of a lot cheaper.
As always seems to happen, though, after the fact I'll realize that I had a nice time on my birthday, doing what she wanted to do.
... anyhow, I've got some fresh drawers from Christmas on standby, just in case.