Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tales of an Adventurous Boy Named Matt

A Birthday Story by Lizzi, posted from Cambodia

Thirty years ago today, give or take twelve hours, across oceans and some continents, a baby boy was born in a strange place called Texas. He came into the world wide-eyed and fair-skinned, and from the moment of his first cry, he was destined for great adventure. His parents called him Matt. Not long after Matt's birth, the parents added to their humble clan a brown-eyed, tan-skinned boy they called Tom, and together, Matt, Tom and their parents took on America, eventually returning to their hometown in Pennsylvania when the time was right.

The younger brother enjoyed the hometown, put down roots and made friends there. Though he circled round part of the American land, he might yet come back to that place of some of his fondest memories. He married a beautiful fair-haired girl from a neighboring town, and as I am telling you this story now, is presently set to become a man of letters, and people will travel far and wide to learn from him. He will no doubt be famous throughout the land for his thoughts and papers, which people will read for generations to come.

But Tom's story and Matt's story are different. While Matt had a strong fondness for the hometown, he longed to see the world and plant for himself the seed of adventure which his parents first sewed in him. He decided to dedicate himself to his country, in the hopes that his country would take him to other countries, albeit peacefully. But as with all good tales, his adventures were interrupted by a girl. The girl is called Lizzi, and though we are of the same name, I can honestly say that I am not acquainted with her at all. When Matt met Lizzi, he knew that his life's adventures were about to begin, and he learned that adventures could be had from the comfort of a living room, perhaps with the accompaniment of a few oversized cats. But the funny thing about love is that it turns both people on their head, and from an upside-down vantage point, things look awfully different. Suddenly, it was Lizzi who wanted to see the world, and she realized she would do anything for the boy she loved, not least because he made her laugh every single day, and what woman doesn't want to follow the sounds of her own giggle? So Matt dashed his longterm plans for the wild blue yonder, and set out for his greatest adventure yet: monogamy.

The adventure of adventures took them to far-off places, places which are also oceans and continents away from where I tell this tale. They lived in Oklahoma, Virginia, Maine, and Pennsylvania, and showed no signs of slowing down. Until one day, not that long ago, Lizzi devised a plan. "Let's go to Asia!" she said, and though Matt was initially nervous about the idea (he had, after all, grown quite used to those cats), he can't say no to the girl whose laughter makes him feel like he's won a prize, and so he said instead, "Yes, let's!" Which brings us, so conveniently, to today, oceans and continents away from everything they have known, in a place where people eat noodles for breakfast, where things that are ancient are so old that they can't even fathom, where, as it turns out, you cannot dig a very deep hole in the sand and get easily to the other side of the planet.

And today, dear readers, is a day of celebration and excitement! Which is why I'm telling this tale to you. It is a day to look into the sky, to seize your adventure, to make someone laugh! Because today is the very same day that Matt was born, and for Lizzi, if this wonderful day had never come to pass, well then some of her best adventures just wouldn't be worth having. It is also a day to think about the adventures of the future, both those that take place in a living room, and those that take place across oceans and continents. Because who knows what the next thirty years will bring? Except, of course, a lifetime of adventure.

The End.

Almost. Because there is one thing that my cheesy story doesn't yet have. And it is this: Happy Birthday Matt! Thank you for taking me on your adventures. Thank you for making me laugh, and for counting a day as a good day when you've made me laugh. Thank you for turning my world upside-down, for helping me to see all of the interesting things you can see when you stand on your head. And most of all, thank you for coming into my life, for showing me the world through your sea-colored eyes. I love you with all of my heart, and I love every day of our lifetime of adventure, even the days when the idea of eating noodles for breakfast make us both want to travel back across the oceans and the continents in an instant. Yes, even those days are an adventure with you, and I will gladly take them over any day without you.

All my love, Always


Patrick said...

Happy birthday Matt! yay!!! I wish I could buy you an elephant beer today for the occasion. Have a fun day and safe travels.


Ayo said...

Happy 30th Birthday old man!!! I hope you enjoy your day. Take it easy on the wine though. Take care.


Anonymous said...

Happy 30th Birthday Matt! You've reached that special age, wherein now you can be "thirty-something" for about a decade. Relish every moment -- it looks like you already are doing a fine job at relishing (big grin here). As good as this is at this moment, know that 'the best is yet to come,' for you and Lizzi.
Allan and I send our warmest birthday wishes and loving regards across the miles to you.

Nitin said...

Many many happy returns of the day, Matt!!! What better way to celebrate your birthday than to explore new places and not knowing what to expect at every turn :) - Enjoy ur birthday in Saigon...

Neema Avashia said...

Matt! Have a wonderful, wonderous birthday! Here's hoping...knowing...that the years ahead will be full of more fantastic adventures. Be well!

Andy said...

Happy 30th birthday brother Matt! The end (of your hair) is near. I promise to raise a glass in your honor this evening.

cmweyant said...

Happy Birthday Matt. You were anxious to see the world that very first day 30 years ago. Your journey has taken you far and with your lovely wife at your side you will continue the journey.

Vishal said...

Matttt...!!! Happy B'day hombre...!! i hope you rock Saigon...!!! have a safe and great trip ahead..!!!

Jess said...

Happy 30th Matt!! You're such an awesome guy that deserves fun and adventure :) In case I've never said it before, you had to reach a really high standard to be good enough for Lizzi in my eyes and you far surpassed the very high bar I had for her other half. You are smart, handsome and that great blend of respectful and fun that makes you just the bestest !! Enjoy your adventure and your very special birthday.... Love ya, Jess

mbbutler said...

Eat some Cambodian cake and steal extra kisses from Lizzi. Have a very happy birthday.

heather said...

Happy Birthday, Matt!!! What a gorgeous place to celebrate! I'm sure you'll find a bar full of people delighted to raise a glass *with* you, while we all raise them *to* you back here!

Richard said...

Hey Matt:
Happy 30th Birthday to the wonderful son that I've only known for about 5 years! Enjoy your day to the fullest with fun, adventure and love.
All My Love, Rich
(I actually got you a card, which I put in the mailbag I'm holding for you, when you return.)

Elissa said...

Welcome to the other side of 30!
Happy Birthday!

Adam said...

Happy Birthday Matt!

I must admit, I've had a huge man crush on you for some time now. A shared love of all things tech, movies and a semi-secret desire to plan and execute the ultimate bank robbery (ala Sneakers) sealed the deal long ago. Then we both turned out to be straight and this Lizzi woman comes along and foils my master plan! Who whoulda thunk it? =)

It's been great to read about your adventures on the far side of the world. Here's hoping that today is a memory that you'll be able to hold on to for the rest of you life. I'm happy for you!

Love ya man,

Chris said...

Happy Birthday, Matt!!!

We are proud to be the first (well, after Lizzi, of course) to send birthday wishes on your actual birthday! Since we are in Jordan after all, and it is 12:06 am here, and those poor working saps are still 7-10 hrs away from this glorious date of yours! So here's welcoming you to 30-something... Can't wait to see you both next week :)

Chris & Amanda

Steffers said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! We love you so much and wish we could be with you on this big birthday!

-Steffers and that guy I married

Ciera Christopher said...

Happy Birthday Matt! I think it's wonderful that you're spending your 30th on an amazing adventure far away with Lizzi!

Saul said...

Happy b-day Matt. You picked a great place to celebrate a birthday but I am still going insist on some secondary celebration when you come back through Pittsburgh. Cheers and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday, BIL! Thank you for sharing your excitement for the world with us in all that you do. Even when you're not playing with baby elephants or visiting ancient temples, you always teach me something (even if it's just how to eat at a buffet without getting grossed out!). Your enthusiasm for life is definitely contagious! I'm working on a special cupcake recipe for your birthday; it should be perfected by the time the Mo-Fo Weyants are back together again. Best wishes for an amazing day and another thirty years (plus many more!) filled with adventures and wonder.
Lots of love,

Carla said...


Happy birthday!!! I am drinking wine in honor of you..or well maybe because I have a 3 year old and a husband that brings me to drinking!!! May you have a wonderful birthday!!! All my love to Lizzie too!!! Safe travels.


Julie said...

Happy 30th, Matt! So glad I got to talk to you this morning. Enjoy your day.

Katy. said...

Happy Birthday, Matt! I will be raising a glass for you from across the pond, and drinking it secure in the knowledge that I don't have to wish for your day to be filled with love and celebration, because I know it already will be.

[I have also never met this other Lizzi person, but she sounds cool.]

So go, celebrate, explore, eat entirely too much food, and drink entirely too much of the local moonshine! And then post all the pictures on flickr. :)


Roni Burd said...

Feliz cumpleaƱos!! (aka happy bday)

Wow!! What a way to celebrate!! This is a good start for a new decade: new worlds, new smells and new cultures. May the next decade be as interesting as this one for you and Liz.

Enough of us trying to be poetic and failing. We love you and wish you a very happy birthday.

-Roni and Cindy

Alan said...

Happy Birthday, Matt! As a poor working sap (as Chris has called us), I have to say that I'm sooo jealous of your experiences--and the pictures. Don't forget to stop in Europe on the way home... okay, I know... it's not in the itinerary. But if Boston is, we'll catch up there.

Alan & Lib

Cris said...


I think the sentiment that most sums you up, my friend, is that you are truly a nice guy. I know, some men would call that the ki8ss of death--girls don't like nice guys. Well, obviously, the good girls do (lizzi and me included). You are such a kind-hearted, fun, warm person and I am lucky to call you my friend. I am also grateful that we'll be able to celebrate your 31st together in Boston. Enjoy your day (although it's likely already past in your part of the world--we'll continue the celebration stateside).

Love, love, love and happy birthday,

ps. lizzi, give him a hug for me!

Thomas said...

Dear Matt,

First, let me wish you a happy birthday. Thirty years in the making; and you skip the country. Seriously? It’s a little early for the mid-life crisis. Where’s the gala celebration of your slow descent into old age? I mean come on—heck, I’ve only been waiting for 28 and half years (I can’t believe you would deny me this—selfish!).

Second, I’m having my own celebration of your entry into middle-agedness. Amanda and I will celebrate your birthday with Thai food tonight—well, because we love you.

I hope you enjoyed your day… and remember I plan to be out of the country in a year and a half.


Jason said...

Happy Birthday Matt!

Welcome to the club old man! Isn't it good to be in your "earlys" again? I wish I could be there to toast in person like you were for me. We'll have to celebrate in Beantown with funky Vietnamese drinks when you return.

Relish your adventure and today!

Court said...

Welcome to the big 3-0. Happy birthday man! Enjoy your amazing trip and I look forward to reading more of your adventures every step of the way.

dfdsouza said...

A very Happy Birthday and Best Wishes for the many years and journeys yet to come! Hope to see you guys again soon,


Bert said...

Happy Birthday!!! Wish you all the best for an excellent year ahead of you! Rock SL!
Luv, Upeks

leweyant said...

Happy birthday son. Enjoy your day. Your lovely bride.


Timothy said...

Ah! I'm a day too late! Hope it was a good one though. Happy Birthday, Matt.


Lucia said...

Happy Birthday Matt!! Alas, I'm kinda late, but wishing you the best all the same!


Chris said...

Happy birthday Matt!! Enjoy the noodles ;)

Rachel said...


Happy (slightly belated) 29+1! I am glad to see you are out there celebrating living on your 30th!

have fun,